Pick of the Week: Fermentation bus visits farmers’ market

Tara Whitsitt will be at the Hood River Farmers’ Market Saturday with her “Fermentation Bus.”

Photo by Collin Andrew
Tara Whitsitt will be at the Hood River Farmers’ Market Saturday with her “Fermentation Bus.”

Waucoma Bookstore and Gorge Grown are hosting author Tara Whitsitt for a book signing on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hood River Farmers’ Market, Fifth and Columbia streets in downtown Hood River.

Whitsitt will be signing her new book, “Fermentation on Wheels: Road Stories, Food Ramblings, and 50 Do-It-Yourself Recipes from Sauerkraut, Kombucha, and Yogurt to Miso, Tempeh, and Mead.” Whitsitt will also have her bus-turned-fermentation lab at the event. The public is invited on the bus for tours, tastings, and fermentation talk. Bring starter cultures of your own for exchange and discussion, added a press release. (If you would like to take a starter culture home with you, please bring something to trade or $10 per starter culture.)

About the Book

Three years ago, Whitsitt, a food activist, had a dream: To take to the road in a converted school bus and spread the gospel of kombucha, kimchi, and kefir nationwide. Called “the Johnny Appleseed of Pickling” by the New York Times, Whitsitt would bring her microbe-dense delicacies and her expertise to food communities across the country. Her motto: Tasty food belongs to everyone.

In a 1986 International Harvester bus-turned-fermentation-lab, Whitsitt took off from Eugene, teaching her skills to curious attendees, hosting potlucks, and sampling the seasonal produce of each stop on her tour. The project accrued a following, and she gave it a name: Fermentation on Wheels.

Through her stories, illustrations, photographs, and 50 recipes, “Fermentation on Wheels” tracks the two-year, 20,000-mile journey that made Whitsitt into a apostle of delicious, creative, and healthy, fermented flavors — from sourdough to sauerkraut and wild berry wines to fruited mead. “Fermentation on Wheels” is also celebration of how age-old food traditions can bring people together, inspire sustainability, and promote healthy eco-systems.

About the Author

Whitsitt is a nomadic artist and educator whose passion for growing food and teaching fermentation inspired the grassroots educational project “Fermentation on Wheels.” Along with millions of microbes, she travels with a gray panther-like cat named Franklin. She lives in Eugene.

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