WHAT DATE DOES THE PROGRAM BEGIN?
You can start now! As soon as you register and return the program participant agreement you get access to the first module. You’ll get all the information you need to setup your fermentation station, be able to review the supply list and watch the Making Fermented Veggies video series to start fermenting at home. Then we dive deep into the science of fermentation, the ways that fermented foods are beneficial, as well as when is the best time to use fermented foods to restore the microbiome. The rest of the ferment modules will be released weekly.
ARE THE FERMENTATION SUPPLIES INCLUDED?
Supplies are not included. The good news is that you can order what you need from the supplies list for under $200 and even use jars you already have to ferment in until you are ready to purchase artisan crocks. But just a head’s up—fermenting is addictive and will make you want to budget for cool fermentation gadgets! Just as there are many types of ferments, there are tons of handmade, beautiful crocks, airlocks, cooking gadgets, and more to fuel your fermentation delight.
ARE THE 4 LIVE GROUP SESSIONS ONLINE? ARE THERE ANY MEETINGS WE NEED TO TRAVEL TO TAKE PART IN?
No travel is required. We used to have in person retreated but we decided to go 100% virtual so that we could keep the cost of the program low and make it accessible to our growing international community. All live group sessions are offered through ZoomMeeting. Love ya, Internet!
WHAT KIND OF FORMAT DOES THE PROGRAM COME IN?
The program is a mix of PDF handbooks, MP3 audio recordings, and MP4 videos (including the live calls, which are recorded, too). Everything is recorded and you’ll have access to this information even as we add new scientific studies. Our students love the format of the program— you can take “A Look Inside the Program” by clicking here.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT FOR THIS PROGRAM?
In the past I’ve asked students to dedicate a block of time each week on the same day to cover their lessons. I suggest scheduling 5-10 hours each week (we release new lessons on Fridays). You should check the previous week’s ferment lesson for the “How to prepare” activity to plan on making that ferment once you’ve learned what supplies you need and how to get ready.
I’ve front loaded the program so you’re making some of the longer ferments at the beginning such as miso. This way, as you near the end of the program, you will have more time to meet your certification requirements and harvest the ferments you started earlier in the program. Warning: Once you get more savvy with ferments, you might want to make more than just one ferment a week—it’s a really great creative outlet!
I’M NOT INTERESTED IN STARTING A BUSINESS. MAYBE THIS PROGRAM ISN’T RIGHT FOR ME?
This program was made with the lifelong learner in mind. If you are fascinated by the world of bacteria, microbes, and fermentation then you will have a blast. You are not required to own or start a business to do this program, although many started charging for workshops and health consulting afterwards. We’ve had a few Fermentationists start CSA boxes or full on fermented foods processing companies after completing the program. I’ve had many participants go through the program who used it for personal use only and had a great experience. The bottom line is that the
Certification Program will teach you how to use fermented foods to get more energy and feel better, both physically and mentally, and give you the skills to develop your business if that is the path you choose.
I’M NOT A HEALTH COACH, NUTRITIONIST, OR WELLNESS PRACTITIONER. CAN I STILL JOIN?
Absolutely! As an herbalist and health coach, I have found that specializing in fermentation has been a boon to my practice. It helped me stand out and using the word
makes people smile and start asking questions–perfect when you are networking.
That said, we’ve had many moms, massage therapists, chefs, and master gardeners come through the program. The one thing they all had in common is they had the enthusiasm to learn!
For more details about what you will learn in the program, listen to the webinar here.
WHAT ARE THE CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS?
The certification requirements include a fermentation log, instructional video, and final project.
The Fermentation Log is where you keep all your notes about each ferment you make, including at least one picture of each ferment to show you made it.
You’ll need to make a 3-5-minute video of you teaching how to make a ferment that is included in the program. You can record it on your phone or computer and upload the video to YouTube. (Share it with the world or set it to unlisted so only I can see it.)
There is also a final project, the requirement is to create a document explaining step-by-step the process of making one fermented food that is not included in the program. This is to test your skills in gathering new information about fermented foods. You may do a variation of one of the ferments already in the program. For example, you could offer instructions for making camel milk kefir (since I teach coconut, milk, and water kefir in the program).
I WANT TO LEARN THE INFORMATION, BUT I DON’T NEED THE CERTIFICATION.
No problem. You can take the course and learn everything without turning in the requirements. Certification is not required to participate in the course.
WHAT WILL WE COVER IN THE PROGRAM?
The following ferments are covered: Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles & Brine, Miso, Yogurt, Injera, Non Dairy Cheese, Kombucha, Vinegar, Kefir, Idlis, and Tempeh!
One of the big distinctions of the program is that you learn all the science behind the ferments so you can be sure you know what you’re talking about. Some people who came into the program to help themselves or their families have gone on to give talks in their community, while others have started big gardens to keep up with their newfound passion for fermentation. There’s really no limit to what you can do, especially since the material is presented in a way that teaches you how to be a critical thinker, problem solver, and creative fermentation artist.
I’M REALLY INTERESTED IN LEARNING HOW YOU STARTED A BUSINESS DOING THIS WORK, SUMMER. DO YOU TEACH THAT?
Yes, I give access to my business building intensive to all participants, which includes my resources and lectures for both an online wellness practice and a food production company.
Whether you want to become a health coach or start a food-based company, this behind-the-scenes collection of over a dozen interviews with other 6-figure wellness practitioners will help you become a sharpshooter in business. Getting this creative business advice is like having a seasoned mentor right alongside you to fast track your financial success.
Additionally, you are invited to 4 group coaching sessions to share and learn along with your fellow
If you are interested in getting personalized coaching for your business you can read about working with me privately here.
SUMMER, WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND THAT ALLOWED YOU TO BECOME QUALIFIED TO TEACH THIS? WHERE DID YOU LEARN ABOUT FERMENTATION?
I studied pre-med at The Evergreen State College. The science programs and laboratory studies are graduate level – we had access to machines and devices that undergraduates rarely get to touch! At the end of my studies I decided that I didn’t want to write prescriptions, so I veered towards nutrition. At Evergreen you can write ‘contracts’ which are self-directed programs overseen by a professor. To obtain my second bachelor’s degree in science, I studied the propagation of Rhizopus oligosporus, which is the mold that makes tempeh – a bean ferment we cover in the
Certification Program. I bought a ton of unique textbooks on microbiology, fermentation, and industrial food production. I also researched the gut. I’ve dedicated my entire adult life to fermented foods. I’ve used them to heal my own health issues and I’ve helped thousands of others to get rid of bloating, IBD, Candida, ADD, constipation, and more. And while I’ve since sold the company, I started an award winning gourmet sauerkraut company.
I am certified in Integrative Nutrition from Columbia University and a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I completed my certification in Herbology in a full-time 650+ hour program in New Mexico in 2001. Everything else I have learned has been self taught. I geek out on textbooks. I love reading research studies. I compile these scientific studies for your references into the handbooks in the
Fermentationist™ Certification Program.
CAN I TALK TO ONE OF THE GRADUATES TO SEE IF THE PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR ME?
We don’t currently give out our graduates contact information—but you can go check out these videos to witness their experiences. Our grads are so passionate about what they learned in the program that they volunteered to submit videos of themselves sharing what they got out of it. I think you’ll find this useful. Watch the Fermentationists™ here.
I NEED TO SAVE A LITTLE MORE MONEY BEFORE I JOIN THE PROGRAM. CAN I SIGN UP LATER?
The program is rolling, so yes, you can sign up for it in a few months. However the sooner you start the program, the sooner you’ll learn about how to save money on store-bought probiotics. Also, be sure to watch the webinar because I share a way that you can make the program even more affordable so maybe you can begin sooner than you thought! Watch the webinar here.