Wild Food & Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Katz, Asheville, NC

I started taking macrobiotic cooking classes a while ago – unfortunately I don’t have time to go to this one, but it seems like a very interesting one! And Asheville is the place where Anita Willoughby and Sadaki Kato will give 5 day classes, Anita in May and Sadaki in September (not the same venue though) – so good things are happening in Asheville 🙂
I will keep my eye open for other opportunities with these people anyway!


This immersive workshop is led by the world renowned fermentation expert, and New York Times best selling author, Sandor Katz. He will lead you in daily hands-on fermentation projects and classes. Along with Sandor, five of Asheville’s top wild food experts will take you on field excursions to discover, taste, and learn how to work with nutritional edibles you can find most anywhere. Demonstrations, lectures, food tastings, and community gatherings will all be included. In this workshop, you will learn how to nourish yourself and heal your body with fermented foods, as well as identify and prepare wild and medicinal edibles that you can integrate into your kitchen and daily diet. If you are a food connoisseur, aspiring naturalist, chef, health professional, urban homesteader, or hungry student, you will gain life-long wisdom from this week-long immersion.

DATE: May 24 – 30, 2015.     LOCATION: Asheville, NC.     FEE: See Early Bird Discounts & other details below.

Learn hands-on, age-old, health-enhancing techniques for increasing the nutritive and healing properties of your food through fermentation. Gain take-home skills in safe foraging and preparation of wild plants, weeds, medicines, and mushrooms! Throughout this week, you will be making and doing the following:

Hands-On Fermented Food Projects:

  • Fermented Vegetables: Kraut, kimchi & beet kvass
  • Fermented Alcohol: Mead, wine, cider, beer & rice beer
  • Lightly Fermented Beverages: Kombucha, ginger bug & sodas
  • Fermented Grains: Flat bread, sourdough, pancakes, idli & dosa
  • Fermented Dairy: Kefir, simple farm cheese & yogurt
  • Plus: Basics of fermenting meat, fish, beans & eggs

Wild Edible Field Trips & Food Projects:

  • Mineral Rich Bone Broths: Making nutrient dense broths for energy, vitality & immunity
  • Ancient Roots, Ancient Foods: Preparing medicine & digestive bitters with nourishing roots
  • The Cleansing Power of Wild Salads & Pesto: Foraging for detoxifying wild greens & edible flowers
  • Wild Tea Party: Infusing and imbibing herbs for energy, balance, tummy taming, relaxation & immunity
  • Hunting Wild Mushrooms: A woodland adventure in foraging fungus with one of the country’s leading experts

“[Fermentation] is a declaration of independence from an economy that would much prefer we were all passive consumers of its commodities, rather than creators of unique products expressive of ourselves and the places where we live.  Because your sauerkraut will or homebrew will be nothing like mine or anyone else’s” ~ Michael Pollan

Why Fermentation? Bread. Cheese. Wine. Beer. Coffee. Chocolate. Most people consume fermented foods and drinks every day. For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed the distinctive flavors and nutrition resulting from the transformative power of microscopic bacteria and fungi. The flavors of fermentation are compelling and complex, quite literally alive. This week-long workshop will take you on a whirlwind trip through the wide world of fermentation, providing you with basic and delicious recipes –some familiar, others exotic– that are easy to make at home.

Why wild edibles? Foraging for wild edibles will enliven both your primal and culinary instincts. Understanding how to identify and safely use the ingredients in your woodlands, backyard, hillsides, and even city streets, has the power to transform the way you interact with nature, and how you nourish your body. Connecting with, and consuming nutrient-dense, medicinal plants can deepen your relationship with the earth, your body, and the cycles and abundance of nature. Potently healthy, living, wild food is all around you. Come join us to learn the important basics of bringing your foraging fancy forward into your everyday!

“It’s amazing how much food surrounds us when we take the time to open our eyes. I now notice the plethora of edibles that garnish even my neighborhood sidewalks every time I walk my dogs. Perspective is everything.” ~ Ashley Christensen, James Beard 2014 Best Chef of the Southeast


Sandor Katz

Sandor Katz is a native of New York City, and a graduate of Brown University. In 1993, he moved to Tennessee where he became part of a vibrant extended community. He had AIDS and considers fermented foods to be an important part of his healing. In 2003 he published “Wild Fermentation,” which Newsweek called “the fermenting bible.” Since then, Sandor has taught hundreds of workshops demystifying fermentation and empowering people to reclaim this important transformational process in their kitchens. The New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” His latest book, “The Art of Fermentation,” received a James Beard award. Sandor has presented workshops through most of the United States, and across the world in venues that have included universities, farms, farmers’ markets, conferences, and community spaces.

“Sandor Katz has already awakened more people to the diversity and deliciousness of fermented foods than any other single person has over the last century. Once you look at the world through the fresh eyes of such a genius, there is no going back to the tasteless world you had previously occupied.” ~ Gary Paul Nabhan, author of Renewing America’s Food Traditions

Alan Muskat

Alan Muskat, philosoforager, stand-up mycomedian, and epicure of the obscure, has been taking people “out to eat” for over 20 years. He founded the first and only forage-to-table company in the country and the first wild foods public education program in the world. Author of Wild Mushrooms: A Taste of Enchantment, Muskat has popped up on Bizarre Foods, The History Channel, PBS, The Washington Post, and other major media. For two decades, Alan has sold hundreds of pounds of wild foods a year to over fifty restaurants and hotels. Muskat has taught self-catering to James Beard Chefs, Dr. Andrew Weil, VPs of major corporations and a number of other notables. The creator of the documentary “GMO OMG” is filming his next film about Alan’s work.

“Too much of anything isn’t good for you, but you probably haven’t had enough Alan [Muskat]. I greatly enjoyed hunting mushrooms with him” ~ Andrew Weil, M.D.

Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie Bogwalker is the founder and director of Wild Abundance LLC, the Living Skills School, and the Firefly Gathering, all based in and around Asheville, NC. Natalie teaches and shares tools and skills that are essential for living harmoniously within the natural systems of the earth. She also teaches with Wild Intelligence, the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, Maps Meet, Earthskills Rendezvous, Ashevillage, and has presented at universities. Natalie practices and shares skills she considers vital to humanity’s future, while living in a lovely, growing homestead nestled deep in the Southern Appalachians. She spends her time harvesting in the wild, building, gardening, planting, putting up food, growing, teaching, and scheming about how to introduce more people to earth-based living, all while worshiping the beauty around her.

“I don’t know how one woman could know so much, do so much, and have such a fabulous laugh, all at the same time. She inspires me!” ~ Ellen D.

Marc Williams

Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist who has studied the people-plant connection intensively while employing botanicals for food, medicine, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture with a minor in Business from Warren Wilson College. Marc also holds a Masters degree in Appalachian Studies, concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. He is the Executive Director of Plants and Healers International, and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. Marc has taught hundreds of classes about the marvelous world of plants, people, and their interface. In the last few years, Marc has worked with over 50 organizations, as well as with Botany Everyday, an online botany course.

“Marc is that perfect blend of knowledge, practice, insight, enthusiasm, and presence that makes for an inspired teacher. His dedication to sharing about the plant world touches me deeply and I will continue to study and go on walks with him — each time I learn more and realize I know less.” ~ Matthew

Asia Suler

Asia Suler is a writer, teacher, herbalist, and energy healer who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. Asia holds a B.A in English, Anthropology, and Native American studies from Vassar College and a Reiki Masters degree. She began her journey into healing and plant-based medicine after early years of chronic pain. She began her formal study of herbs with Juliet Blankespoor at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and has continued to study, seek, listen, and learn since. Asia teaches at gatherings across the country and is blessed to work intimately with people and plants, spirit and stones. She is the creator and concoctress of One Willow Apothecaries, a small Appalachian-grown business that offers handmade, heartfelt magic and medicine.

“Of the 50, or so teachers we had over the season, Asia was one of the most beloved by our students. They got so much out of our time with her!” ~ Stacey Murphy, Director, Urban Farm School

Luke Cannon

Luke Cannon, more than a Botanist, he is a long time pursuer and teacher of the magic and medicine of plants. His passions to study and understand the beautiful ecological intricacies of the natural world have led him throughout the Americas and across the globe.  An avid naturalist, Luke draws from a diverse pool of knowledge, combining his natural history studies with his life experience in organic farming, natural building, permaculture, nature based mentoring, and rural homesteading. Luke instructs wilderness awareness programs, leads plant walks, and has served as a guest instructor with the North East School of Botanical Medicine, Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, the Appalachian School Of Holistic Herbalism, and Ashevillage. Luke is an ethnobotany instructor and director of a children’s nature program.

“Luke reminds me of a nature spirit. Either a plant, a tree, or maybe a forest elf? His wisdom runs deep and listening to him talk about the plants is like poetry…Nature’s Rumi. Call me a groupie, but I’d follow him anywhere–make that everywhere.” ~ Sarah L.

Quinn Asteak

Quinn Asteak is the program manager for Food As Medicine and the Wild Food & Fermentation Workshop. She is a sustainable farming enthusiast who is passionate about helping people develop deeper understandings of where their food comes from and how to use it as medicine. Quinn was director of operations and programming at North Brooklyn Farms, an urban farm that transforms vacant lots into productive green spaces to feed, educate, and connect urban dwellers with nature. She also worked with Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture where she ran public programs, gave tours, facilitated corporate events, and taught nutritional cooking classes. Quinn is a certified health coach and motivational presenter, who brings her multiple passions into one place and path through Ashevillage.

“My fascination with foraging has also been a handle to a great deal more than just wild foods. It’s been an entry to the study of botany and nature generally. There’s even a bit of one-upmanship involved when I crunch into one of nature’s treats and know I’m enjoying a taste thrill that some of the wealthiest people in the world have never experienced.” ~ Euell Gibbons

Asheville skyline
Asheville, North Carolina is based in a food-centric and ecological lush bioregion. Surrounded by the oldest mountains on the planet, the hoppin’ downtown is full of local artisans, organic restaurants, farmer’s markets, street buskers, yoga studios, and independent everything. It’s the first Bee City, USA, the #1 Beer City in the country, and National Geographic named it one of the best cities in the world, and Good Morning America just featured Asheville as their top city to visit in 2015. There’s tons to do, so stay a couple extra days if you can.

Homewood-AshevilleThe workshop location for the morning portion of the workshop is at the beautiful Homewood stone castle in the historic neighborhood of Montford — a short five minute drive from the heart of downtown. The afternoon workshops will rotate between various homesteads, gardens, and woodlands — roughly within a 15-minute drive from downtown. Carpooling is encouraged and connections will be made for those without cars.

“Make plans to visit Asheville and find yourself immersed in our unmistakable mountain vibe. We’ve become well known for our culinary cool, our burgeoning beer scene, and our thriving artistic community. Add to that miles of panoramic vistas and you have a recipe for an unforgettable escape from the daily grind.” ~ Explore Asheville

Arrival & Departure: The program begins Sunday, May 24th from 7-9pm with a public keynote by Sandor Katz. The week ends on Saturday night, May 30th, with a community soiree of local fermented fare, homemade beverages, friends and family.

Daily schedule: Each morning, from 10am-1pm, you will have a three-hour class with demonstrations and hands-on projects facilitated by Sandor Katz at the Homewood Castle. Then you will have a roughly 75 minutes for lunch where you can explore Asheville’s vast organic, local, farm-to-table food scene, or bring a lunch with you. In the afternoons, from 2:30-5:30pm, you will meet in smaller groups for a rotation of field trips with Asheville’s leading wild edible teachers. All topics and techniques that you will be learning throughout the week are listed above.

Participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. We do expect to fill, so the sooner you register, the more you save, and the more certain you will be to have a seat in the workshop. Check out the early bird & local discounts below. Note: For the next 10 people who register, you will receive our Spring Special of $100 off. See below.

• March 1-31: $1,111 >> SPRING SPECIAL: $1,011 for the *next 10 people* who sign up. Save $322!
• April 1-30: $1,222
• May 1-23: $1,333

Locals discount: If you are local (have lived in Buncombe or a neighboring county for more than six months), email quinn@ashevillage.org and she will give you an additional 10% discount code. #ashevillelocal #communitydeal #fermentasheville #localwildfood

Please note: Your fee includes tuition, field trips, and all materials. Transportation, meals, and lodging are not included. For lodging options, see below. If you are seeking financial assistance for your attendance, please visit our Participant Fundraising resource page for tips, or email quinn@ashevillage.org about work-trade opportunities.

June 2019
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