Knowledge for Sale

I love writing my blog. But I can’t do it full-time because I am neither independently wealthy—I need a steady income—nor savvy enough to figure out how to make money by advising people not to buy anything.

I have tried to think of ways to monazite my blog but to no avail.

I work in publishing, I work with writers, I love books and face no ethical dilemma selling books—in theory. Last year, I set up an online bookstore through Aerio, owned by Ingram, the largest book distributor in the US. But I took it down. I would rather people patronize their local indie bookstore than buy from me. When you shop local, more of your money stays in the local community, you support small business and the more efficient transportation of books to bookstores—think thousands of books shipped en masse to one location versus individual books shipped to thousands of locations—burns less fossil fuel. And you avoid all that packaging! San Francisco recently raised garbage collection rates due to the “Amazon effect”—bins overflowing with brown cardboard and packaging materials from online shopping.

I do have a few affiliate links here and there to the online store Life Without Plastic (that’s one right there), a shop that carries quality wares for plastic-free living—items you may have trouble finding elsewhere. As a customer myself, I feel fine linking out to them and earning a small commission if someone buys something there via my site.

I have also decided against posting ads on my site. I don’t want to advertise just anything on here and I don’t want to prostitute myself for the small amount of money I would earn from ads. Now if I earned a lot of money… Then again, I have a good day job that supports my blogging habit.

I will, however, happily sell one thing—my expertise. I love teaching people how to cook and especially how to ferment food. In just the last few decades we have become almost helpless in the kitchen, relying on processed food-like substances to feed ourselves. Our addiction to convenience has created a kind of positive feedback loop. The more we rely on convenience, the less we can do for ourselves, so the more we rely on convenience to meet our most basic needs.

We need to break that cycle.

Through my classes—and my blog—I aspire to teach people some of the not-quite lost skills we need now and will need in the future. To that end, I have scheduled some new workshops. I plan to offer one class every month. People have lots of questions about fermentation and I like to be able to answer them, so I keep the class sizes very small.


Fermentation 101 Workshop

Learn a bit about everything: kombucha, ginger beer, simple kimchi…and whatever else I have brewing

Location: Mountain View, private home address provided upon registration

Fee: $75 includes food and materials

Sat, Nov 11: 10am to 12pm

Sat, Jan 13: 10am to 12pm 

What you’ll get

  • A taste of my latest cultured foods: sauerkraut, ginger beer, sourdough bread and more
  • A jar to take home containing the ferment you start in class
  • A lively SCOBY for brewing kombucha

What you’ll learn

  • How to ferment food
  • Why fermentation is so safe
  • Which supplies and ingredients you need—and which you don’t
  • Your questions answered in a small class of 6 students maximum

Email for more info or call 650-450-8205


Sourdough Bread Boot Camp

A true sourdough loaf contains only flour, salt and water, and undergoes a long ferment. People baked this way—using wild yeast present in the flour, air and on us—for six thousand years until the introduction of commercial yeast two hundred years ago. While commercial yeast does result in more consistent loaves, they have less flavor and nutrition.

Invest half a day to learn a life-long skill—real bread baking. I have space for only three students in this hands-on, intensive class. Expect the workshop to last up to four hours. You will need to bring a bowl and dish towel to transport home your shaped loaf, which you will proof and bake at home.

Location: Mountain View, private home address provided upon registration

Fee: $150 includes food and materials

Sat, Dec 9: 10am to 2pm 

Sat, Feb 10: 10am to 2pm 

What you’ll get:

  • Hands-on instruction—you will go through the many various stages of sourdough bread making
  • A shaped loaf of dough to take home, proof and bake
  • Written instructions to follow at home
  • A mature sourdough starter
  • Vegetarian snacks including sourdough bread and other cultured foods and beverages

What you’ll learn:

  • The method, from feeding a sourdough starter to baking your loaves
  • How the dough should look, smell and taste at various stages in its development
  • What equipment and ingredients you need
  • Book and recipe recommendations
  • Your questions answered in a small class of 3 students maximum

Email for more info or call 650-450-8205


Private Workshops

Looking for an unusual, fun shindig? How about a kombucha bachelorette party? Or bring your neighbors together for a fermentation 101 class and learn the basics: ginger beer, sourdough starter and simple kimchi. Perhaps you simply need a SCOBY whisperer or someone to take care of your starters. I lead workshops in Silicon Valley and can teach you and your group in your home. Please email me for more information.


Free Kombucha Workshop, Santa Clara Library, Oct 15, 1pm

I’ll have free samples on hand and will give out SCOBYs for you to ferment kombucha at home (if you have an extra jar, please bring it to transport home your adoptee).

8 Comment

  1. You are a wonderful teacher, Anne-Marie. Best of luck with your workshops!

  2. Penelope Lovegrove says: Reply

    Wish I could come to your workshops but would have to cross the pond… I love your blog, your approach and the information you provide.

  3. I’m in Scotland, so not likely to make it to your kombucha workshop any time soon, but I’d be delighted to buy any ebook you wrote. Like you have nothing else to do. A gift certificate to your (future) ebook would be a terrific ZW holiday gift…

  4. Good for you for sticking to your principles. Good luck with the courses & I agree with Katy – an ebook or course materials would be a good idea for those further away.

  5. I’m in South Africa and I visit your blog often.How true that we are often slaves to convenience, even at the expense of the health of the planet and our own personal health due to the inferior nutrient quality and dodgy additives so common in processed foods. I love the wholesomeness of the food that you create, and also the fact that you work with fermentation which is an alternative to refrigeration at a time where electricity is no longer cheap or always reliable.I have quite a few staples of my own that I make from scratch: yoghurt, mayonnaise, pickled beetroot, marinated chickpeas, humus and pickled red onion. Also most of my home cleaning products. Wouldn’t go back to commercial products for anything! I also currently have some of your vanilla extract ‘brewing’: looking forward to sampling the results when ready!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 I too will never go back. I understand the lure of convenience but the homemade stuff just tastes so, so good! And then there are the health benefits (especially in all those fermented foods). Your food all sounds mouthwateringly delicious! Enjoy your vanilla. ~ Anne Marie

  6. Yes, convenience is something that we all look for, especially as the pace of life seems to escalate. Pity that it’s so often at the expense of our well-being. Ps…I don’t know if you have seen this post: San Francisco is apparently the ‘greenest of them all’!
    https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/16884496/posts/1625461543
    (I believe you live in San Francisco?)

  7. […] via Knowledge for Sale — The Zero-Waste Chef […]

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