Recap of the 2018 San Diego Fermentation Festival

Amanda and I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 San Diego Fermentation Festival at the Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas, CA last weekend. This post documents our experience and offers an explanation of the health benefits associated with consuming a diet rich in fermented foods.

The festival was located at a beautiful private farm overlooking the coast. It was a surreal feeling entering a gorgeous rural space in the center of a coastal urban community. The event featured dozens of local kombucha brewers, Sauerkraut fermenters, and farm-to-table snack and meal providers offering samples of their products for local consumers. It also had a wellness tent, dedicated to providing healing services, such as acupuncture, yoga, gong immersion, reiki, and energy healing.

Amanda, me, and two of our dear friends received a reiki treatment from the folks responsible for creating the San Diego Yoga Festival. It was a very relaxing experience, and encouraged a meditative state. I felt renewed after my treatment, almost as if I was given new perspectives on how to view my current state. It was relieving, in the sense that other folks can transmit their energy in a healing way. I like to think that is what I do every day, so it was nice having a restorative treatment for myself.

I cannot say enough about the Gong Immersion treatment, as well. Essentially there were eight large gongs hanging underneath a tent. The practitioner encouraged patrons to lay down – leaving their thoughts, worries, and to-do lists at the door. He also encouraged us to open ourselves to the power that vibrations and frequencies would have on our psyche and state of being.

Laying there felt amazing. I focused on the sounds and sensations they created in my body. It was the most restorative experience I have had in years. It’s interesting how your mind can release all sorts of chatter, when it is tasked with focusing on the sound, vibrations and frequencies coming from the gongs. As we were told, “you just got gonged.”


We also loved tasting local products. It was fun to people watch, and talk with people about the fermentation process. A few patrons described their fermentation projects as their pets. Meaning, they either find someone to watch and feed it when they go out of town, or they take their project with them. It was neat to see people take pride in the products they were producing. So many of them were beaming with excitement when they talked about the healing potential fermented foods have for the body. As part of the festival, we got to enjoy our own DIY project – creating Sauerkraut from salted cabbage. More on that in future posts.

Why should you consider producing your own fermented foods and/or consuming a diet rich in them? A report by Dr. Robert Hutkins focusing on fermented foods and human health reported that “If you’re consuming a diet rich in fermented foods, you’re essentially bathing your GI tract in healthy, food-related organisms.” A web MD report concludes similarly, arguing that “An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms make a home in your gut, and they play a big, though not yet fully understood, role in your health. They influence metabolism and the immune system, and they may be involved in the development of colorectal cancerobesity, and diabetes.”  If you’re considering adding fermented foods or beverages to your nutrition program, here is a list of fermented foods and beverages to consider! 

So – we’ll let you know how our DIY project goes as the fermentation process takes place over the next two weeks. In the meantime, grab yourself a kombucha and start your day with probiotics to heal your gut!

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