Fermentation on Wheels is a grassroots organization that provides free food education and inspires people through workshops, literature, & visual arts projects that raise awareness about food sustainability alongside teaching fermentation. The community organizes potlucks and teaches fermentation in a school bus that has been converted into a creative kitchen and workshop space. These events also serve as a way to bridge communities and restore a genuine fascination and interest in local, traditionally-preserved foods.
Fermentation on Wheels gives people the tools to consume foods more thoughtfully and also provides communities with resources on how to get involved in the food movement. By traveling the country, visiting farmers and connecting them with consumers, we hope to make a powerful statement and emphasize the importance of strong, sustainable food practices and values.
Fermentation on Wheels was born in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in May 2013. The founder of this traveling project, Tara Whitsitt, converted a 1986 International Harvester school bus into a fermentation lab and workshop space during the summer of 2013, departing from Eugene, Oregon October 2013.
Whitsitt is a social activist, artist, and food preservationist originally from Houston, TX. Her passions for fermenting & growing food, living communally, and teaching inspired her launch of Fermentation on Wheels. She teaches vegetable fermentation workshops that correspond with the regional and seasonal produce of each destination. She also spearheads “starter culture” exchanges, which encourage people to try new and different fermented foods, while sharing the history, science, and stories of food cultures she acquires along the road.
Since its departure in October 2013, Fermentation on Wheels has traveled over 12,000 miles, holding free educational workshops and culture exchanges in schools, community centers, and at festivals. The project has also collaborated with other innovative organizations and businesses such as FoodCorps, Fermenters Club, and Edible Communities, as well as dozens of farms and homesteads. Workshops target communities of all ages and socioeconomic levels, teaching attendees how to create nutritious, pro-biotic foods through the simple art of fermentation.