September 12, 2014 | Featured Instructor

cabbageWhat’s old is new again! Transforming vegetables into wild-crafted, nutrient rich creations through fermentation is back in vogue. Personally, I was drawn to the art by a love of botany, an interest in ancient traditions and in all things food. Once hooked, I quickly discovered the transformative powers of these homemade masterpieces as a creative expression, culinary delight, and a way to bring the wild into my body and transform my health.

As composting magically converts organic matter into richer elements of the earth’s ecosystem, fermented foods have the power to alter and upgrade our internal ecosystem and create harmony within.  Complex and effervescent flavors complement and satisfy the palate like none other.  Beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria help bring balance to the invisible flora in our digestive tracts and increase our vitality.

Lacto-fermented foods, those created by leveraging the lactic acid loving bacteria, such as kraut, kimchi, gingered carrots, dilly beans and pickles, are gems underappreciated in the Standard American Diet. Most vegetables lend themselves to the unique preservation process. Roots such as burdock, dandelion and chicory, along with members of the allium family, serve as pre-biotics to jumpstart transformation and ensure a rich pro-biotic (beneficial bacteria) diversity. Seeds, such as caraway, fennel and dill, deter unwanted bacteria. Together these natural beauties create rich diversity and welcome additions to our diets.

Quality ingredients, simple technique, and time, ensure safe and flavorful recipes, which are appealing and easy to make. With the depletion of our soils, the homogeneous nature of our food supply, and a greater understanding of the role of probiotics, fermentation is making a welcome resurgence. 

Discover how you can create these healthy and delicious recipes at home for you and your family. Join instructor Cynthia Farris for The Ancient Art of Wild Fermentation: Preserving Fall's Abundance, Naturally on Saturday, October 11 from 10 a.m. - Noon.

cynthia farrisGUEST BLOGGER: Cynthia Farris

As a board certified health coach and fermentationist, Cynthia teaches natural and sustainable ways to boost digestion, energy, and brain power through easy food and lifestyle upgrades. She also shows her clients how to recognize and address signs of imbalance in their bodies, the root causes of illness and a lack of vitality. 

Her passion for inexpensive do-it-yourself whole-foods-based health solutions, along with her love of food, botany, and the lost arts, led her to fermentation. The unparalleled life-giving qualities of fermented foods compel her to share their power.

Cynthia may be reached at or


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