Spiral Living Center


Our annual Fermentation Festival is going virtual this year! Join Earth Scouts! for our 10-week Fall Fermentation Festival, featuring local Illinois Valley & Southern Oregon mentors sharing their knowledge on all things fermentation. Learn how to make your own probiotic drinks, kimchi, pickles, miso, wine, sourdough, cheese, soil amendments, and more! Videos will air RIGHT HERE on the Spiral Living Center website every Friday at 4PM PST in October and November. Each pre-recorded video comes with an educational PDF for at-home learning. Watch at your own pace with your family and follow along in your own kitchen or garden. To get a free taste of our series, enjoy our “teaser” video below: Fermentation for the Mind, Body, and Soul with Jerry Allen.

The series is available at $5 per video or $45 for the entire series!
SLC members get $10 off and will receive a coupon code upon sign-up.

To learn more about how to become a member, visit our membership page.



Ready for a taste of our series? in our teaser clip → Fermentation for the Mind, Body, & Soul, Jerry Allen from Thistledown Orchards explains why fermentation is good for your overall health. Jerry joins us in our first episode, “Introduction to Fermentation”…

Fermentation for the Mind, Body & Soul • Jerry Allen

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Episode 1: Introduction to Fermentation

In our first episode, Jerry shares with us the history, benefits, and basics of the ever expansive process that is fermentation and a brief overview of the human microbiome. Jerry has taught at many of our previous in-person Fermentation Festivals and most will remember and love his teaching style. As a trauma therapist, Jerry has done a lot of work on helping people settle their nervous systems. Fermentation is one of many ways to settle our bodies from the stressors of modern life. It helps settle our gut and promotes gut health by sending messages up to our vagus nerve telling us that “all is well.” Jerry reminds us that, “this combination of mind, body, and spirit working together in harmony is human health at its best! “

Along with his wife Lisa Waltenspiel, Jerry owns Thistledown Orchards, a small ten-acre farm in the Illinois Valley near Selma, Oregon. Their farm began in 2015 with the purchase of the property and their first orchard planting. Their mission is to develop a flourishing organic farm, nurture a sustainable microecology on the land, and create a spiritual refuge for all who visit. They offer heritage varieties of natural produce, crafting & homesteading tools, and resources for healthy living.

Episode 2: Miso with Midori Uehara

In our second episode, Takilma local Midori Uehara from Mido’s Miso, shows us how to make a simple soybean miso using her own homemade koji. Miso is a fermented bean paste and one of the oldest condiments in Japan. It originated in China and was brought to Japan around AC 700. Miso has a long history of aiding people’s health and it has become an essential daily food over many centuries in Japan. Miso is traditionally made with 3 simple ingredients: legumes, grains, and salt, and contains probiotics similarly found in many other fermented foods.

Midori moved to Oregon in 2016 from Japan, where she grew up eating miso soup every day for breakfast. She has a passion for teaching and a pursuit towards contributing to our local community’s health. She strongly believes in the interwoven relationship with food, nature, body, & soul. Currently, Midori is starting the first miso business in Southern Oregon, Mido’s Miso. Her products are small scale and handcrafted from scratch. She uses the highest quality non-toxic ingredients and tools, sourcing as locally and organically grown as possible. Mido’s Miso plans to offer several different types of aged miso and koji soon available for purchase locally around Southern Oregon and online. For more information and recipes visit www.midosmiso.com.


Episode 3: LAB with Shannon Long

In our third episode,  Earth Scouts! Coordinator Shannon Long shares with us all about LAB! LAB refers to a large group of bacteria that produce Lactobacillales a.k.a. lactic acid as a by-product of digesting their food source (usually carbohydrates). Lactic Acid then accumulates to ferment or “pickle” food. When done correctly, this process of acidification inhibits the growth of nonbeneficial bacteria that can cause food spoilage. LAB is present in the many types of fermented foods, drinks, and supplements that we cover in the Fermentation Festival, including our upcoming episodes on Raw Milk Kefir with Tesha and Winemaking with Debbie Lukas.

In your garden, LAB can be combined with other plant nutrient solutions and applied as a foliar spray to leaf surfaces of leaf/fruit crops. On the homestead, LAB culture can transform a malodorous, anaerobic livestock pen into an odorless system! It can also be given to most livestock species to consume through their feed and/or water as a probiotic to help foster healthy gut flora, enhance their immune systems, and aid in digestion. In this episode, Shannon shows us how to make a simple LAB culture using white rice and other tools available in most kitchens.


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