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August 05, 2021

RMSC’s Cumming Nature Center Hosts Fermentation Expert at FLX Fermentation Fest, August 14-15

ROCHESTER, NY, August 5, 2021 – The Rochester Museum & Science Center’s (RMSC) Cumming Nature Center (CNC) is hosting its annual FLX Fermentation Festival on Saturday, August 14, and Sunday, August 15. The festival is a two-day event celebrating the flavorful, funky, and profound aspects of fermented food and beverages. 

During Fermentation Fest, visitors will explore the hands-on science and artisan craft of fermentation through lectures, workshops, and demonstrations. Cheryl Paswater of Contraband Ferments will be the weekend's chief fermentation guru, leading workshops and offering the keynote lecture.

“I got interested in fermentation about 13 years ago when I began my healing journey. My gut was a wreck, I wasn't getting answers from conventional doctors and I was reading a lot of books on gut healing and that really sparked my interest in looking at ways I could heal through food, herbs, and microbes,” said Paswater. “When you look at the history of fermentation you start to see this really beautiful connect-the-dots between cultures, people, ancestral eating, communities, family heritage, and so on. Fermentation opened a whole new lens for which I see the world. I have such a great respect for the power of microbes and our human microbiome.”

CNC will kick off the festival on Saturday with a variety of 45-minute workshops, a vendor fair, family-friendly activities, and a keynote lecture from Paswater. Those who are interested in more in-depth lessons about fermentation can return to CNC on Sunday for Workshop Intensives, which focus on Miso and Soy Sauce. 

“Fermentation is the most fascinating combination of science, nature, and culture. Saturday's event will be the perfect time to discover new foods, explore the human microbiome, and meet fermentation enthusiasts from around the region,” said Sarah Jacoby Murphy, Communications and Events Manager at CNC. 

General admission to this event, which provides access to the vendor fair and family-friendly activities, is $5 per person or $15 per family. 

Tickets for Saturday workshops and Sunday Workshop Intensives are sold separately and require advanced registration.

To register in advance, go to or call 585.697.1942.


Cheryl Paswater is the Chief Fermentationist and owner of Contraband Ferments as well as a educator, health coach, functional medicine student, artist, and writer. She co-organizes the NYC Fermentation Festival, and is an organizer of the NYC Ferments Meetup. She has been a contributing writer for Edible Magazine as well as a contributor to the book "Miso, Tempeh, Natto" and is currently working on her first book on fermentation due out sometime in the near-not so near future. You can find her teaching workshops and speaking on fermentation and health at in person workshops, online classes, and at festivals both regionally and internationally. She splits her time living in Brooklyn, NY and Richmond, VA with her partner, cat named Koji (which means "moldy rice") and all of her cultures as pets (aka: bacteria, yeast, and mold).    

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