Nashville Fermentation Fest Announces Inaugural Month-Long Event of Microbial Celebrations

The festival will host workshops, talks, and more in partnership with Tennessee’s finest experts in fermentation, including Sandor Katz, Katie WIlliamson, Nathan Gifford, and more.

Nashville Fermentation Fest, presented by the East Nashville Farmers’ Market announces its inaugural event: a month-long series of classes, workshops, markets, and more hosted by some of Tennessee’s finest experts in fermentation. Festival Director, Rebecah Boynton, has curated a variety of experiences to dive deeper into the wide world of microbes and all of the ways the ancient technique plays a part in everyday eating and drinking. 

“The most basic goal of my work is to try to create a greater understanding of growing and preparing food on a scientific level while also honoring and preserving our traditional techniques. Fermentation, for me, is that nexus that connects those objectives in a flavorful, funky way that can also bring a diverse group of people together,” says Boynton. “I hope this festival inspires attendees to dive deeper into the flavors, foods, and culinary practices of cultures outside of their own, and to try their hands at fermenting using local farm food from the market in their own kitchens. I’m also thrilled to show people how much the East Nashville Farmers’ Market has grown into this unique urban market that is as culturally diverse as it is agriculturally and culinarily.”

Rebecah Boynton is a writer, food systems consultant, and a marketing professional. She is the director of the East Nashville and Richland Park farmers’ markets, as well as the new Hunters Community Market. She holds a bachelor of science in horticulture from Auburn University’s School of Agriculture where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, and has more than  20 years of experience working in multiple areas of our local food system. Rebecah grew both personally and professionally studying indigenous food systems and traditional ecological knowledge under a team of researchers in the remote mountains of Northern Thailand, and sharpened her program-building skills developing two college courses, Thai Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy of Efficiency Economy, for KMUTT in Bangkok (King Mongkut’s University of Technology in Thonburi). She is the child of a public school teacher and a passionate advocate for abused women in Nashville, TN. She sits on the Board of Directors for AWAKE (Advocates for Women’s and Kids’ Equality) and is a caregiver to her father. 

Please see below for an overview of events included in the Nashville Fermentation Fest lineup. The full class calendar with ticket links can be found online at

Fermentation Marketplace at the East Nashville Farmers’ Market
Tuesday, October 5, 12, 19, 26, and November 2, from 3:30-6:30 p.m.
East Nashville Farmers’ Market (511 Woodland Street)

Sourdough Workshop: Fermenting Flour for Flavor with Kathleen Turchi
Saturday, October 9, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Citizen Kitchens (945 Main Street)
In this four-hour hands-on workshop, students will learn the basic properties of wild yeast and how to mix, shape, proof, and bake two naturally-leavened sourdough breads at home. Breakfast and coffee provided.
Ticket price: $75

Fermented Herbal Sodas with Katie Williamson (This class is taught in English and Spanish) 
Saturday, October 16, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (ENGLISH) 
Saturday, October 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. (SPANISH) 
Citizen Kitchens (945 Main Street)
In this two-hour demo, Katie Williamson of Yo Soy Fermentista will instruct you on how to turn fresh herbs and fruit juices into delicious, naturally-carbonated probiotic sodas. Bring a quart-sized jar to take home your own soda.
Ticket price: $35

Vegetable Harvesting & Fermenting Workshop with SAndor Katz & Jeff Poppen in Red Boiling Springs, TN
Saturday, October 23, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Long Hungry Creek Farm (Directions:
Bring your own vegetable-chopping materials and a potluck meal to share, and join Sandor Katz and “The Barefoot Farmer,” Jeff Poppen, at Long Hungry Creek Farm in Red Boiling Springs, TN, for their annual fermenting workshop. Start the day by harvesting vegetables, gather over a potluck lunch, and in the afternoon participate in a Fermentation Workshop (bring your own jars, cutting board, knife, grater, and mixing bowl). 
Free | Suggested donation of $30 

Fermented Sausage Basics with Nathan Gifford & Andy Fields
Saturday, October 30, from 12 to 2 p.m.
Gifford's Bacon Shop (1109 Straightway Avenue)
In this two-hour demo, Nathan Gifford & Andy Fields of Gifford’s Bacon will teach you sausage-making and curing basics for traditional salami, nduja, and more at their USDA-certified butcher shop in East Nashville. Food, beer, and fun provided.
Ticket price: $50

Variations in Vegetable Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Katz
Monday, November 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Citizen Kitchens (945 Main Street)
In this two-hour hands-on workshop, students will learn the basic processes for sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented pickles, plus Chinese pao cai, rice water pickles, and a special turmeric-garlic-turnip pickling medium from author and fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz. Bring your own vegetable chopping materials (knife, cutting board, bowl, grater) and jars to take your own fermented creations home.
Ticket price: $50

Sandor Katz Book Signing at the East Nashville Farmers Market 
Tuesday, November 2, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
East Nashville Farmers Market (511 Woodland Street)
Pre-order Sandor Katz’s upcoming book, Fermentation Journeys, from our festival sponsor The Book Shop, and have it signed by the author himself at the East Nashville Farmers’ Market. (*limited number of books will be available at the market, first-come, first-serve)

Fermentation Journeys: An Evening with Sandor Katz
Tuesday, November 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location TBA 
Middle Tennessee fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz has traveled the world teaching about fermentation, and learning more about it every day. Join us at a soon-to-be-announced location to hear him discuss his latest book and answer your questions about fermentation. Heavy hors d’oeuvres provided.
Tickets: $50 or $90 with signed copy of Fermentation Journeys by Sandor Katz