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Magical Mead Making w/ Marissa Percoco

November 11, 2023 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm

PW22 MeadMaking 2

Delve into the ancient art of mixing honey–the nectar of the flowers of plants gathered by the bees–with local fruit, flowers, roots & herbs to create divine expressions of beverage bliss. This hands-on event will guide participants through the process of harvesting ingredients and preparing them for the mead, discussing basic qualities of flowers, fruits, roots, etc. & how to handle & use them. Then we’ll blend these things together with water & honey, feeding the yeasts, to create the beginnings of a most delightful beverage! 

This is a beginner’s workshop, so we will briefly discuss ratios of sweetener, the qualities of various sugars, & have an overview of wild, open & cultured fermentation. We’ll end with a brief demonstration of racking, bottling & storing your brews while sampling a few lovely examples of fermentation and alchemical magic! Bring extra cash to purchase some bubbly bliss from the cellar to bring home with you! 

In this workshop, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the cultural context and history of mead, as well as the sacred empowerment that comes from making your own libations and medicines. 
  • Learn how to process and preserve various plants in preparation for mead
  • Understand the relationship between sweeteners and alcohol and how one is transformed into the other
  • Get a clear overview of yeast, especially wild or open vs. cultured ferments, and how to succeed with both
  • Understand the steps required to go from a nice young mead, to an aged bottled beverage that you can be proud of!

Workshop Details

The class will be held on Saturday November 11, 2023 from 1-4pm in Barnardsville, NC. It will be held in a covered outdoor kitchen, with gardens nearby. Bring a sweater and a hat,  as we have unpredictable weather this time of year. (option to step indoors for discussion if very cold). Bring a chair if you’d like to sit.

While this is a beginners class, there is something for everyone, with lots of time for Q&A. Minimum age is 21.

About the Instructor

Marissa Percoco (she/they) wears many hats: first she is a devoted mother to her own four amazing (now mostly grown!) children and is also “Mamarissa” to many! Having grown up in the concrete labyrinth of the San Francisco Bay Area, Marissa escaped to the wilds in college and has never looked back! She is a naturalist by heart, and spent her children’s younger years adventuring and raising them as a single mom, exploring community & nature, traveling the backcountry on a shoe-string, from coast to coast, crawling through swamps, deserts, mountains, hot springs, islands & oceans.

Learning plants, animals, stories and local ways of weaving into harmony with the environment is her passion. Marissa is also: a plant and land tender, activist, artist, delicious food maker, bee tender, crafter, bookworm, tiny home dweller, otter, plant spirit communicator, healer, trickster and so much more!  As of 2021, Marissa is also a breast cancer survivor, which is an ongoing and incredible journey of fear, pain, humility, connection and healing. Fermentation is a special love of Marissa’s, along with an obsession with strange & exotic plants! Viewing all flora as brethren, Marissa is never alone. Serving as the Executive Director of The Firefly Gathering, and teaching various classes throughout the southeast, all provide Marissa with ample opportunities to help shift the dominant paradigm.

Sliding Scale $75 – $35

In order to make our workshops more accessible, we offer two price options for each class, with an additional Equity Discount for qualifying individuals. Please consider these options and select your price at checkout.

  • Sponsor Price $75: For those who have enough to share, thank you for being a Sponsor. This is an opportunity to contribute towards the cost of the class for someone else.
  • Standard Price $55: The Standard reflects one person’s share of what it costs to produce the class and cover basic expenses.
  • Equity Price $35: We offer an additional Equity Discount for those from the following communities who support reparations and/or an equitable redistribution of wealth and would not have access to this workshop without this discount:

Thank you for helping transform the world into a culture of abundance, resilience, and opportunity for all.

Which Price Option is Right for You?*

*Please check your pricing options before you register for your first Perennial Workshop. The pricing options are the same for all events, so you only need to do it once!


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Lily Harlin


Lily is an artist, creator, and dreamer. Since a very young age, she has been immersed in the natural world and draws heavy inspiration from the wild. Though her medium changes frequently, Lily’s art and expression always incorporate an element of the organic and unpredictable. She got her associate in fine arts in 2023, and now volunteers at her school as a ceramic studio monitor. She hopes to open a studio of her own one day to have a place to teach and inspire others. In addition to doing commission work, Lily has been creating many graphics for The Firefly Gathering since 2019. Lily grew up in the Earthskills community from the time she was eight years old, so having the opportunity to grow and give back in so many ways has been incredibly fulfilling. No matter where she ends up, this group of people and ideas will always hold a special place in her heart.