Drifter, the re-emergence of Fermentation Illustrated, and Community Supported Ferments

Greetings from Northern New Jersey! This month through October 2020 I’ll be running a pop-up called Drifter, even though I’m a little more driftless than usual these days. So until I drift again, join me at Get Juiced Health Bar Cafe every third Thursday from 6 to 9 pm for dinners inspired from as far as Southeast Asia to as close as your [favorite] neighborhood diner. Menus will highlight traditional foods and fermentation techniques. Ingredients will be organic and sourced as locally as possible. I’m emphasizing vegetarian cuisine but will often offer meat options.

The first dinner will showcase Rueben-style sandwiches. We will offer protein options (lamb for $18 or tempeh for $16) with sauerkraut and miso mayonnaise on naturally fermented sourdough bread, served with hand-cut fries, and three dipping sauces — almond-cilantro pesto, malty mustard, and fermented ketchup. Fermented pickle plates of seasonal, local vegetables will also be available as a side for $5. Inner Love Foods will brew up Sassy Soda, a fermented soda made with sassafras for $3.50 a pop. We are in the brainstorming phase of very fancy vegan milkshake, too. Everything, down to the tempeh, will be made in house. The fermented ketchup is made from tomatoes that were grown in my garden last summer! The mustard is made with my favorite malt vinegar, started by my friend Lou Bank of SACRED. It’s a simple yet decadent menu.

drifter reuben_4
Drifter’s vegetarian option is a coriander-garlic marinted tempeh Reuben with hand-cut sweet potato or regular French fries, almond-cilantro pesto, fermented ketchup, and malty mustard. 

Seats at Drifter are available as first come first serve and reservations are strongly suggested. Contact Tara at tara@fermentationonwheels.com to reserve. We will also have a take-out option available if you pre-order at least a day in advance. Guests with reservations will go home with a complimentary 4-ounce jar of something fermented.

New issues of Fermentation Illustrated, my monthly zine, will come out every third Thursday at Drifter. Fermentation Illustrated shares cultural, historical, and personal stories of fermentation, inspiring and empowering people to do it themselves. It’s also very silly and will hopefully fill you with a little more laughter. This issue will be the first since Tempeh Demystified was released in January 2015. Issues are regularly $10 but you can receive a half-price discount if you dine at Drifter the night of a zines’ release.

And finally, this dinner adjoins the upcoming launch of Community Supported Ferments, my monthly subscription program of fermented foods. Shares will include tasty ferments such as kimchi, tempeh, vinegar, yogurt, and sourdough. Fermentation Illustrated will also be in each share. For more details on Community Supported Ferments, download the brochure here.


Mad for Miso

Miso is a fermented bean paste that hails from Japan and is well-loved for its decadent umami flavor. It’s also an tradition of fermentation, which is a testament to the intelligence of age-old processes, the wonders of collaboration with nature, and the eagerness of microorganisms to thrive. Miso can be made using a variety of different grains and legumes as well as be used to flavor everything from soups to marinades and salad dressings.

This workshop is hands-on, taste bud-interactive, and take-home.

Purchase on a sliding scale, $50-75. A light lunch will be provided and each student will go home with a pint of to-be miso. Work-trade opportunities are also available. For more information and questions about pricing, please contact Tara at tara@fermentationonwheels.com

Space is limited. This will be a small class with constant teacher-student interaction.

Fizzy Ferments: Beverage Fermentation

Fermentation is a testament to the deep intelligence of age-old processes, the wonders of collaboration with nature, and the eagerness of microorganisms to thrive. Discover traditions of preservation through bacterial collaboration in this hands-on class at The Armstrong Farm in Sussex County, NJ.

Learn how to make an array of fizzy beverages! Discover the continuum of fermentation processes when we encourage microbial growth with the simple addition of sugars and starter cultures. Learn about unique yeasts and bacteria and their roles in creating nutritious and delicious beverages. This course will cover kombucha, ginger beer, and water kefir.

We will ferment with flora local to Sussex County and students will bring starter cultures home to begin more projects at home.

This event is co-hosted by Get Juiced Health Bar Cafe, Inner Love Foods, and The Armstrong Farm. Each participant will receive a cold bottle of Inner Love Foods water kefir.

Please purchase tickets online through Eventbrite or Facebook. They are $22 plus processing fees ($24.97). You may also pay in person day-of for $25. Keep in mind space is limited and tickets are only guaranteed if you purchase tickets in advance!

Fermentation Fest // Wormfarm Institute in Reedsburg, Wisconsin

Fermentation on Wheels will be at one of the nation’s largest fermentation festivals this year! During food chain hours, everyone is welcome on the bus and all questions are welcome. Taste the ferments, browse the library, and stay for a chat. Fermentation on Wheels also has starter cultures and books for sale.

Tara is offering two workshops at Ferment Fest this year. Both are interactive, intimate, and located on the bus. Spots are limited, so reserve your tickets soon.

10/6 or 10/13 9:15 am // Cultured Breakfast with Fermentation on Wheels
Greet the day with Fermentation on Wheels! Tara will serve her Slab City Specialty — cultured oat date shakes. Tour the bus (its ferments and systems!), delve into all things fermented, and go home with recipe ideas to start every morning with fermentation. Limited to 8 attendees. $35.

10/7 or 10/14 12:15pm // Mid-Day Miso Madness: A Luncheon
A mid-day luncheon with Fermentation on Wheels featuring a creative ways you can wrap miso in everyday foods. Chat with Tara about all things fermented, peruse the library, and go home with a full belly, heart, and head. Limited to 8 attendees. $50



Fermentation Fest – A Live Culture Convergence is an annual celebration of live culture in all its forms, from dance to yogurt, poetry to sauerkraut. Presented by Reedsburg, WI-based Wormfarm Institute, Fermentation Fest brings together farmers, chefs, artists, poets and performers in the beautiful working lands of Sauk County, WI for tastings, demonstrations, cooking classes, art events, performances, food carts and more.


From sauerkraut to hot sauces, from chocolate to coffee, beer and wine, from yogurt to sourdough bread, over one-third of what we consume is fermented. Fermentation Fest features authors, chefs, bakers, scientists, chocolatiers, brew masters and cheese makers over two consecutive weekends, offering 50 classes and lectures that celebrate the abundance and transformation of fermentation. Learn skills you can use at home, enjoy samples, and experience hands-on ways to bring fermentation into your daily experience.


The biennial feature of Fermentation Fest – where live cultures converge, Farm/ Art DTour is a 50 + mile drive through scenic working farmland of rural Sauk County where artists explore the timeless connection between land and people. For thousands of years farmers in cultures around the world interwove dance, music, and art through rituals of planting and the harvest in celebration of the land and those who care for it. Through a contemporary approach and within this timeless context, we continue the tradition.


Black Hills Farmers Market // Rapid City, SD

Join Fermentation on Wheels in its bus-turned-fermentation lab, library, and workshop space at Rapid City’s largest Black Hills Farmers Market on September 29th.

Tara, the project’s founder, will share tastes of her creations and offer a basic sauerkraut demonstration for market passerby that highlights the beauties of fermentation in connection to farming, food, and our inner and outer ecosystems.

Fermented foods heal our bodies, celebrate age-old traditions, and promote healthy people and planet. Interested beginners and advanced fermenters alike are welcome to hop on the bus and join the conversation!


Fermentation on Wheels is a grassroots project that brings fermentation education to communities of all ages and backgrounds and inspires with a school bus that has been converted into a fermentation lab, library, and workshop space. The project’s founder, Tara Whitsitt, organizes events nationwide to bridge communities and restore a genuine fascination in local, traditionally-preserved foods. By traveling the country, connecting consumers to local farmers, and teaching fermentation, she hopes to emphasize the importance of strong, sustainable food practices and values.

Read more on www.fermentationonwheels.com

Wild Vegetable Fermentation // Bozeman, MT– CANCELLED


Discover the simple tradition of preservation through bacterial collaboration in one of its most simple forms: via the local micro-fora of vegetables! Fermented foods heal our bodies, celebrate age-old traditions, and promote healthy eco-systems. Learn about cost effective & simple tools that will help you get started at home in this by-donation class.

You are also invited onto the bus for tours, tastings, and fermentation talk. Bring starter cultures of your own for exchange and discussion. If you would like to take a starter culture home with you, please bring something to trade or $10 (per starter culture).

Get Cultured! with Fermentation on Wheels // Eugene, OR

Celebrate the wonderful world of fermentation with Tara Whitsitt of Fermentation on Wheels. From noon to 2:00, Tara will guide you through a variety of cultures that require inoculation—their history, how to feed them, and the transformative foods they create such as kefir, tibicos, sourdough, and kombucha. Then, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., Tara will open the Fermentation on Wheels bus for tours and a culture swap. Bring your own starter cultures for exchange & discussion as well as an empty jar and take a culture home from the workshop. If you would like to take a starter culture home with you, please bring something to trade or $10 (per starter culture).