Capturing a Fermented Food Festival: The Bacteria Bazaar

Gathered in the old Hamilton Grange, a motley collection of old, young, and in between. Some from the Bitterroot, others from distant vales of Montana and beyond. Many hairy and beautifully bearded.

A day spent soaking up new biology, chemistry, and cooking lessons. A night tipsy on homemade brews, twisting to Jewish dance music and farmer folk tunes. Shoutout to the bands, Chutzpah and Barn Cat!

Led by keynotes of the ineffable Sandor Katz (“The Godfather of Fermentation“), a cadre of impressively knowledgable and passionate people taught the old (and new) ways of making real food more flavorful, long-lasting, and accessible to our guts. The 2-day Bacteria Bazaar featured workshops on wine, sauerkraut, sourdough, kombucha, tempeh, cheese, and more.

You can watch a short film from the event that I created below.

People who grow their own food and make their own food, their own alcohol, their own music, their own fun, their own insights, and they’re eager to share it all—they’re some of the best people to be around.

Making sauerkraut.

I often forget how technically challenging it is to photograph inside dark inside old buildings. Sometimes it is also logistically complex to photograph people during activities like workshops. However, the organizers, Angi and Erin, did an awesome job with the event and it yielded some really great photos.

Find Angi with Blue Coyote Farm and Erin with House of Ferments at the Missoula Farmers’ Market and others. Also check out their Instagram page for updates on the event: @bacteriabazaar.

If you can, show your support for the small businesses that made the Bacteria Bazaar possible! If you’re outside of Montana, give your love to the local farmers and foodmakers in your area.