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Fermentation on Wheels

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Fermentation on Wheels It was a real treat to have Tara Whitsitt and Fermentation on Wheels parked outside our store this past weekend. Bitter & Esters did a series of fermented beverage workshops on Saturday and Tara taught people all about fermentation on her bus. People would ask me, what is up with the bus? What does Tara do? My answer is that she drives around the country fermenting stuff on her bus and teaching people about fermentation. Although that is indeed what she does, there is so much more to Fermentation on Wheels. We met Tara when Bitter & Esters opened in 2011. She lived right next to the store! Tara used to come into the shop and talk about her projects, making mead and wine and fermenting food, plus she would show us her artwork (she is a great artist). One day she told me she was moving back to Eugene Oregon, to live and work on an organic farm. We were sad to see her go, Tara has a positive energy and a passion for what she does. Fast forward to 2013 when she had the idea to renovate a huge bus and travel the country to share her passion for fermentation. She visited B&E in 2013 and again this past weekend. Our free fermented beverage workshops were a hit. I taught beer and cider making, Eric from Kombucha Brooklyn taught Kombucha making and Mary Izett of Fuhmentaboudit! taught a class on Mead making. The highlight of the day was Fermentation on Wheels. People came to see Tara and the bus because they were into fermented foods and sustainable living, others came out of curiosity. Tara welcomed everyone on the bus, gave samples and spoke about her projects and travels. Hanging out with Tara and visiting the bus it occurred to me that what she is really doing is showing people that this can be done. You can live a life according to your passion and beliefs. It takes hard work, courage and support. When you visit Fermentation on Wheels the first thing you feel is a sense of calm. Everything is alright on the bus. You smell the delicious smells of fermented food, you feel a life lived with purpose. She has dedicated her life to opening peoples eyes to living sustainably and healthfully. Fermenting food and beverages is not just something you can do, it is something you should do. It's not just about fermentation, it is about living well. Tara is an inspiration. I am so impressed by the fact that Tara does this. It is the type of thing that people will say, "I would do this if I had the time". You do have the time. You don't have to travel the country in a bus, but you can follow your passion. Tara is living proof of this. And you should learn more and more about the foods you eat, where they come from and how to utilize them. This is a big part of Tara's mission, helping people learn about our world. We had a great time during her visit. I even chopped wood on the bus for her stove! (I was not so great at it, but I got it done). Tara is a friend and someone I really admire. It's not always easy living on a bus, teaching all over the country, but Tara does it. And we are all the better for it. Thank you Tara. Good luck on your life's journey. John LaPolla Headshot


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