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Preserving the Harvest: Four Basic Vegetable Ferments with Marissa Percoco

July 31, 2022 @ 11:00 am 4:00 pm

freshly harvested vegetables fermeting brightly in a gallon jars

Join Firefly’s Executive and Creative Director, Marissa Percoco, in one of her most sacred passions-FERMENTATION!

We will explore the history of fermentation and its evolution with our species, as well as the four basic vegetable fermentation techniques in this hands-on workshop. We will begin with a historical overview of fermentation, what it is & how it has evolved with our species over time, dabbling in bacteria & the many pathways of how we came to be what we are today. Then we will jump into the 4 basic preservation methods of vegetables: the Liquid Infusion method, the Brining method, the Kim Chi Method and the Kraut method, plus sauces, salsas, chutneys and more. 

We will sample and prepare each of these along the way, so that by the end of the day, you will be empowered to go home and embark upon your own adventures in fermentation, cultivating your own micro-herds,  bypassing the need for refrigeration, and aligning with the traditional foodways of countless generations.

Workshop Details

This class will be held outdoors under a covered pavilion on Sunday July 31, 2022 from 11:00am – 4:00pm in Barnardsville, NC.

This class is for everyone. Beginners will not be able to absorb all of the info, but the handout will help (it’s 4 pages long!). Intermediate folks will be able to add skills to their bag o’ tricks, and advanced fermenters will be able to ask questions, taste delicious and inspiring fermented products, and gain new information. Minimum age is 12 with adult.

About the Instructor

Marissa Percoco (she/her) wears many hats: first and foremost, she is a devoted mother to her own four amazing (now mostly grown!) children; she is also “Mamarissa” to many! Fermentation is a special love of Marissa’s, along with an obsession with strange & exotic plants! She’s been fermenting since 2008, having studied with the infamous Fermentation Revolutionary & Rock Star Sandor Katz. Viewing all flora as brethren, Marissa is never alone. Other loves include creating beauty, paddling, cooking, crafting, foraging, reading, playing games, and snuggling her kitties while watching things grow.

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 her curiosity about how nature works has been leading her “down crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, trails, leading to the most amazing views” for much of her adult life.  She spent her children’s younger years adventuring in the wilds and raising them as a single mom, all the while 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, songs and local ways of weaving into harmony with the environment is her passion.

Marissa is also a farmer and plant and land tender; an activist against all forms of oppression; an artist, a writer, a dancer, a delicious food maker; a bee tender, a crafter, a bookworm, a brewer; a tiny home maker & dweller, an otter, a plant spirit communicator, a healer, a trickster and so much more!

And, as of 2021, Marissa is also a breast cancer survivor, which is an ongoing and incredible journey of fear, pain, humility, connection and healing (for more please read her personal blog HERE). 

Marissa is deeply grateful for her family and community, the abundance of our planet, and for the opportunity each day to connect with the beauty and vibrance of nature. Sharing that connection is her life’s work. Serving as the Executive and Creative Director of The Firefly Gathering, as well as coordinating the Equity Fund and evening entertainment for Earthskills Rendezvous, and teaching various classes throughout the southeast, all provide Marissa with ample opportunities to help shift the dominant paradigm.

Now nesting on a little farmstead on the ancestral lands of the Aniyvwiya or An-igiduwagi (Cherokee) people, now known as Barnardsville, NC, Marissa is deeply rooted in the Earthskills movement, anti-oppression work, her garden, and the old Appalachian soil, committed to co-creating a new culture within which we, our children and all beings thrive.

Sliding Scale $110 – $40

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 $110: 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 $75: The Standard reflects one person’s share of what it costs to produce the class and cover basic expenses.
  • Equity Discount $40: 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.