We've had so many excellent Portland Fermentation Festivals in our nine-year run but this year's, just last week at Ecotrust, was one of my all-time favorites. There was a lot that made this year stand out, including the fact that we had our extra-special guests of honor from Kombucha Ship and Kitchen Nippon travel all the way from Tokyo to Portland this year for our festival!
This year's festival Panel of Experts theme was Japanese ferments and included Kaoru Shibata and Machiko Tateno of Kitchen Nippon, Yuji Shimada from Kombucha Ship and festival co-organizer Heidi Nestler of Portland's Wanpaku Natto. Thank you so much to Travel Portland's Jeff Hammerly and Yoko Furukawa for translating the panel! I really enjoyed moderating it.
My friend Phoenix Rath made us super cute Japan flag lapel pins, photographed below, in celebration of our Japanese guests of honor, and she also made us Shrinky Dinks pickle pins. She and other friends have made us these cute ferment fest pins for the past few years’ festivals. I was lucky enough to get to bring some of them with me to Tokyo's Fermentation Future Forum in the spring that they made.
Another festival standout this year includes our first ever (and definitely annual now!) Fermentation Station, organized by festival co-organizer Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft. At the Fermenation Station, festival attendees got try their hand at making their very own veggie ferment that they then got to take home with them to ferment. So sweet. All of the veggies and salt were so very kindly donated by People's Food Co-op. Thank you People's!
And, we had our youngest exhibitor to date this year -- 11-year-old Kylie! Kylie and her mom are two of my very best friends. Kylie was our boss this year and we helped her make and sample her very own home-fermented root beer. She even worked on a collaboration grapefruit soda for Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. Photos below.
I love that we had yet another sun-shined-upon festival day and night. Strangely enough, even though our Portland festival is always set in the rainy fall, we have always had beautiful weather for it. That makes the rooftop of Ecotrust all the more magical on festival night. On the rooftop, during this year’s festival, we had music from DJ Jimbo (check out his festival playlist here), cider from Reverend Nat's Hard Cider and food from Obon. What a dream.
Thank you to everyone who came out for our ninth annual STINKFEST and made it so special and fun! There were nearly 500 of you! Stinkfest is our loving nickname for the festival since all of those open, ferment-filled crocks and ferment samples can get pretty stinky on festival night. In a good way!
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who makes our festival so fantastic year after year, including our host with the very most, Ecotrust. We couldn't do it without them. I love, love, love Ecotrust and their non-profit mission. Others who make our festival thrive year after year include our exhibitors, demo'rs, attendees, rooftop vendors, volunteers and local media folks who always help us to get the word out.
If you didn't check out any of the festival coverage this year, I highly recommend this longer clip as well as this shorter clip from KGW with Cassidy Quinn featuring our 2018 Stinkfest. This Portland Tribune article is great too. We also had good coverage from Portland Monthly, Willamette Week, Portland Mercury and others. We are so grateful for all of this solid support year after year.
In terms of social media, we have our festival Facebook and Twitter accounts if you want to see more, and/or post something. On social media please consider adding the hashtag #portlandfermentationfestival to your festival photos. We’d love to see them.
And, once more, here’s a reminder of why we do what we do from our 2018 press release: At a time in Portland when it feels like just about everything is undergoing or has recently undergone great change, it's nice to have some things that remain the same year after year. Thank you, Portland Fermentation Festival. No big changes, same old STINKFEST! // The Portland Fermentation Festival is, and always has been, a non-commercial event. Once you purchase your ticket and enter the festival you will not be sold to. The wide array of food and drink ferments are not for sale, they are there to sample. We always have food and drink to purchase for a meal on the rooftop but the mission of festival has always been firmly rooted in no sales. Our one-night, annual event fosters learning, connecting, communicating and celebrating fermentation with one another. We believe that transactional interactions often get in the way of that.
Ok, without further ado, 2018 festival photos! Stay stinky! XOXOXO