Our Top 10 “Cultured” List for 2013

We are students of CULTURE.
-whether it's creating and transforming food with bacteria or the human ingenuity that makes our lives more interesting-
We are intrigued.
We think you're here because you're intrigued too.
This list is for you.
Wishing you a joyous 2014.
The Farmhouse Culture Team.

10. GUT Rebuilding Virtual Conference: Hosted by Summer Bock: 16 experts (including our very own Kathryn Lukas)  tell  you how to heal your belly, increase your energy and get rid of bloating, constipation and discomfort for good!  16 brilliant minds.  One goal.

9. Burning Man: A cultural phenomenon and the most amazing living art gallery on the planet. Radical self expression, inclusivity, community, leave no trace, just a sampling of our favorite guiding principles of the event. If you have a hard time reaching us during Labor Day weekend, you know why.

8. Mountain Feed Farm and Supply: The Central Coast’s ultimate DIY emporium. Not only do they have absolutely everything you need to make just about anything your culinary heart desires, their informative staff is stellar. This is exactly the sort of business that enriches our community and deserves our local dollars. Keep an eye out for their evolving “Learn Ems” video series.

7. All things David Chang: Love him or hate him, the Momofuku founder’s genius can’t be denied. Don’t miss The Mind of a Chef PBS series (also on Netflix), check out his edgy new food magazine The Lucky Peach (Momofuku in Japanese) or if you’re really adventurous, try getting a reservation at Ko, the 2 Michelin star crowned jewel in NYC (we couldn’t). But the real reason we love this guy? He has a fermentation lab! We await magic.

6. Ginger Beet kraut: Ok- so we’re a little biased, but our gorgeous “it” kraut has received more PR in the last six months than any other in kraut history; RedbookFood & WineBon Appetit, and Metro News to name a few.  We’re convinced it’s more than her pink pouch that’s piqued publishers interest.  One taste and you’ll see why she makes the paparazzi drool.

5. Guts: PBS Michael Mosley: Ever wonder what happens on the inside of your body? Mr. Mosley did.  So he swallowed a tiny camera to find out just how the alimentary canal works.  Witness the fascinating journey through the digestive machine. Only slightly gross at times and well worth the watch. Bonus: See Lactobacillus Plantarum (abundant in kraut) in a petri dish.

4. Cooked by Michael Pollan: Our favorite author explores food through the classical elements: fire, water, air and earth. In the Earth (fermentation) chapter he says: “To declare war on ninety-nine percent of bacteria when less than one percent of them threaten our health makes no sense. Many of the bacteria we’re killing are our protectors.” We couldn’t agree more. He elaborates on this theme in his brilliant New York Times Magazine piece, Some Of My Best Friends Are Germs. Do yourself a favor, stop what you’re doing and read it now. It will rock your world.

3. The Art of Fermentation: It was a close tie for 3rd place between Sandor Katz’s iconic muttonchops and his breathtaking guide The Art of Fermentation.  But alas, this DIY bible is the mother of good culture, and therefore deserving of the glory. Check out his blog and fermentation portal where hundreds of fermentos coalesce.

2. The Microbiome: Researchers are calling it the second Genome. Turns out that for every human cell that is intrinsic to our body, there are about 10 resident microbes. Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford, suggests that we would do well to begin regarding the human body as “an elaborate vessel optimized for the growth and spread of our microbial inhabitants.” Wow. Want to know who’s playing in your microbial orbit all whilst helping scientists deepen their understanding? Go to The American Gut Project to learn more. Soon you’ll be able to answer that burning question: Am I getting enough kraut?

1. Lactobacillus Plantarum: It takes no great stretch of our imagination to see why LBP takes home the gold. The true pioneer leading the forefront of cultural revival.  The real disco star in this dance of bio-cultural symbiosis. The little hero working diligently behind the scenes, day and night, to produce the healthful bounty in lacto-fermented veggies. You’ll be hearing a lot more about LBP’s amazing ability to transform your food and your gut in 2014. Stay tuned.