Snapshots from Past Festivals


We had a beautiful day for the 2021 festival!

Triangle Ferment Fest booths 2021
2021 Triangle Ferment Fest – vendors getting ready for the festival!

The 2021 festival was held at Botanist and Barrel in Cedar Grove, NC on Sunday, November 14th, 2021, 1-5 p.m. We had an enthusiastic crowd of fermenters join us for the cool and sunny day.

Sauerkraut Demo at 2021 Triangle Ferment Fest

Outside under vendor tents, festival goers had fun learning about different types of ferments, signing up for upcoming classes, and sampling and buying fermented foods and related products from our passionate vendors.

For those new to fermenting, we had an Ask-an-Expert table with local experts from area universities and businesses, available to answer your questions.

Fermentation experts from Appalachian State and NCSU at the Ask an Expert booth – 2021

We had a wide variety of workshops at our 2021 festival!

Spice it up with Kimchi!

Many people have heard of kimchi, a spicy traditional Korean side dish made from vegetables and spices, but are intimidated by the thought of making it in their own home. Kimchi is a flavorful addition to soups, sauces, and stir-fries, and is receiving attention as a superfood containing probiotics and healthy-gut bacteria.

Attendees learned the ins and outs of making this delicious dish with Fermenti’s Meg Chamberlain. In this demonstration and discussion, Meg shared how to make kimchi and how vegetable fermentation works. The two basic types of vegetable fermentation – self-brining, like kimchi and sauerkraut, and brined vegetables, like pickles – will be covered. Attendees walked away with ferment recipe ideas, culinary applications of fermented foods, and a secure understanding of how fermentation cuts food waste, reduces food budget, and increases your nutritional value.

Learn to make your own kombucha!

Kombucha is a fizzy, probiotic tea that’s both delicious and healthy to drink! Try making your own — it’s easy and inexpensive! Two of our local kombucha crafters, Carly Erickson (Boro Beverage) and Grant Ruhlman (Homebucha), who have been at the heart of the Triangle’s fermented beverage scene for years, taught the basics of making kombucha at home, and answered questions about the process and their businesses.

Tips and tricks for making your own Sourdough

Attendees learned how to make great sourdough bread from Ron Graff. Ron is the founder of Loaf in Durham, North Carolina, a bakery that has been featured in both Bon Appétit and The New York Times, and is among the most popular bakeries in the Triangle.

What started out of a backyard brick oven as a hobby to share with friends and neighbors, very quickly grew to a stall at the Downtown Durham Farmers Market, and settled as a brick and mortar shop in 2011. Now located in the heart of downtown Durham, NC, Loaf focuses on hearth baked sourdough breads and pastries. Throughout the years Loaf has expanded it’s offerings, and partnered with local growers, and makers to provide you with as many seasonal treats from right here in the NC Triangle.

Loaf Sourdough!

Sauerkraut made easy!

Jenna Monk from Two Chicks Farm explained the basics and provided the tips and tricks for success. Started in 2009, Two Chicks has been growing vegetables and making sauerkrauts, kimchi, pickles and more for the local community, using sustainably grown North Carolina produce & time-tested methods of food preservation – fermenting with salt, pickling with vinegar and preserving with sugar.

Two Chicks Ferments!

The nuts and bolts of fermenting!

Ivelisse Colon Diaz taught how to easily ferment foods at home with basic equipment you already have. Afterwards, there was time for asking questions and to share tips that worked for attendees.

Ivelisse Colon Diaz is an Orange County Cooperative Extension Agent, working with the local community to share tools and information that improve the lives of millions of people each year.

The Nuts and Bolts of Fermenting!


The 2019 fest was a success — despite the rain!

Over 500 folks come out for the first annual Triangle Ferment Fest to learn about and sample fermented food and drink. The day started out with a fun hands-on kimchi workshop led by Mama Kwon that had people signing up at the last minute until it was at capacity. The next workshop also had numerous last minute signups, and attendees were treated to an engaging talk by Sarah Michalski on how to brew their own kombucha at home. Two presentations rounded out the list of events, both sold out before the festival began: well-known artisan baker Lionel Vatinet of La Farm taught attendees how to make sourdough bread, and microbiologist Fred Breidt from the USDA taught how to ferment foods safely.

Our awesome vendors included: Boro Beverage, Lyrix Elixirs, Jodi’s Elderberry Syrup, Spicy Hermit Kimchi, Bee’lixir, Fermenti, Cary Downtown Farmers Market, Bull City Ciderworks, Two Chicks, Cultured Carolina Kombucha, Harmony Farms, Piedmont Picnic Project, Planetary Elixirs, Cary Pottery, Cultures for Health, Atlantic Brew Supply, Tribucha, and Baxter Bees Honey. We also had an Ask an Expert booth that was very popular, and a culture exchange booth.

Piedmont Picnic at the 2019 Triangle Ferment Fest!
Ask an Expert booth at the 2019 Triangle Ferment Fest
Boro Beverage booth at the Triangle Ferment Fest

We had an exciting line-up of activities to choose from during the 2019 festival — from hands-on workshops to presentations. And participants in our kimchi and kombucha classes even got to take home their own ferments to enjoy!

Here’s a description of the 2019 Triangle Ferment Fest workshops.

2019 Workshops and Demos

Spice It Up with Kimchi!

Chef Mama Kwon and her assistants teaching how to make kimchi at the 2019 Triangle Ferment Fest

Many people have heard of kimchi, a spicy traditional Korean side dish made from vegetables and spices, but are intimidated by the thought of making it in their own home. Kimchi is a flavorful addition to soups, sauces, and stir-fries, and is receiving attention as a superfood containing probiotics and healthy-gut bacteria.

Local chef Mama Kwon taught the ins and outs of making this delicious dish with local chef Mama Kwon. Participants learned about traditional Korean spices and participated in the preparation of kimchi, picked up tips along the way, and left with a jar (or two) of ready-to-ferment kimchi and instructions on finishing the process with confidence.

Make Kombucha at Home!

Kombucha Brewer Sarah Michalski teaching how to brew kombucha at home at the 2019 Triangle Ferment Fest

Kombucha is a tart, slightly sweet and refreshing fermented beverage made from fermented organic tea. Today, kombucha is loved by many for its healing, prebiotic/probiotic and energizing properties. Sarah Michalski, kombucha brewer at Cultured Carolina Kombucha Company, guided participants through the home brewing process. The class included brewing culture and starter kombucha as well as membership in a private Facebook support group.

Learn the Secrets of La Farm’s Sourdough

Master Baker Lionel Vatinet teaching the secrets of making sourdough at the 2019 Triangle Ferment Fest

Participants of this presentation learned how to make great sourdough bread from Master Baker Lionel Vatinet of LaFarm. Lionel is the founder and head baker of the renowned La Farm Bakery in Cary, North Carolina. Recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a semifinalist for “Outstanding Baker” in 2015, 2016, and 2017, Lionel has been one of the foremost forces in American artisanal bread baking for the past 25 years, and USA Today just named La Farm one of the top 10 artisanal bakeries in North America.

Is Fermentation Safe?

Dr. Fred Breidt: Fermenting Foods presentation at 2019 Triangle Ferment Fest

USDA Microbiologist Fred Breidt specializes in the safety of fermented and acidic foods. Although most of us eat some form of fermented food every day, the idea of fermenting our own food conjures up images of strange, iffy, and perhaps dangerous dishes. Surely it would be best to leave it to the experts. Not so, say food scientists, microbiologists, and fermentation advocates—especially in the case of fermented raw vegetables. They point out that just about any raw vegetable can be safely fermented at home, if done properly. Participants learned what fermentation is, its history, and how to do it safely.