Homestead at Handcar Regatta 2011

Digging the DIY food culture? Here's what you missed...and how to get involved.


The Society for Homestead Preservation at the 2011 Handcar Regatta was six hours of cheese making, beer making, butchery, fermentation stomping, pie-eating, apple-pressing, butter-churning, preserve-making, kombucha drinking, coffee-roasting and spice-sniffing amazement.

The newest addition to the Handcar Regatta, the Homestead brought together more than a dozen of Sonoma County’s best culinary artisans for a massive collection of DIY demos of the grandma arts — a throwback to the slower, time-honored ways of eating, drinking and savoring the best of what life has to offer.

In a drive-thru world, there’s something to be said for re-learning the skills that sustained the human race, and that most of us have either forgotten, or never learned at all.

Here’s a sampling of what was on the menu:
– Sourdough starter: The Real San Francisco starter and how to do it at home
– Whole Hog Breakdown: How to use every part of the pig
– Rabbit Butchery: A lesser-known meat, but easy to raise at home
– Coffee Roasting: How to roast your own beans for better coffee
– Spicing it Up: Using fresh spices to make tastier meals
– Poultry Butchering: Skip the breasts and DIY the bird yourself.
– Porchetta de Testa: Whole Head Hog Salumi
– Kombucha: Know your SCOBE? Why fermented drinks are great for your gut
– Fermentation 101: Cabbage stomping to kraut, learning all about fermentation
– Fresh Pies: Sassy gals making homemade pies from scratch
– Cheese making: Fresh cheese to cultured ones, how to start with a gallon of milk and end up with a great cheese
– Beer Making: Sud-making at home
– Preserves: From strawberries to marmalade, how to cook up a quick batch of summer’s best
– Ask A Vegan: Want to go meatless? Learning how to use less and taste more
– Apple Pressing: Using some good old elbow grease to make the season’s best cider

Missed the event? There are many opportunities in Sonoma County for classes, products and other DIY arts.

Beverage People
Courtway Catering
Savory Spice
Testa Duro Salumi
Meat Revolution

Epicurean Connection
Preston Vineyards
McEvoy Ranch
Medlock Ames
Revive Kombucha
Hat Creek Coffee Roasting

This was a six-month project by BiteClub to bring Sonoma County’s homestead arts to a large audience. A million thank yous to everyone who was part of the Regatta Homestead on Sunday. Culinary props to Nancy from Gleason Ranch for EVERYTHING, Meloni Courtway and the Pie Hole Girls, Revive Kombucha, Christopher Hanson, Jason Azevedo, Berry Smith Salinas, Savory Spice, Roger Martial Praplan, Sean Thorniley, Hat Creek Coffee, Lou Preston, Merrilee Olson, Medlock Ames, McEvoy Ranch, Sheana Davis, Beverage People, Mary Bergin, my amazing family, Ty Jones, Spring Maxfield, Handcar Regatta, Nan Sea Love and the compassionate vegans, Josh Stithem, Amy and anyone I forgot.
WARNING. These pictures include butchered animals. If that offends you, don’t look.