VIking-PIrate-NInja-GYpsies. Go ahead, try and find a stereotype for us.

Archive for March, 2012

Mira drikker Kombucha

Da er det Mira som skriver 🙂

Jeg tenkte det kunne være greit med en post om hvordan jeg føler kombucha virker for meg. Det er tonnevis av påstander på internett om hvordan kombucha er en helsebringende vidunderdrikk som grenser til selveste ungdomskilden. Jeg syns det er litt oppblåst… Jeg finner lite fakta fra virkelige studier om emne, og de fleste “studiene” er egentlig personlige historier.

Dette holde rmeg ikke unna å drikke kombucha, og det vi VET om kombucha er at det er en flott kilde til antioksidanter, inneholder mange B-vitaminer (bra for veganere) gir mer energi, hjelper fordøyelsen og er det er en detox. Så for all del, kombucha er fantastisk, men jeg tviler på den kurerer AIDS 😉

Personlig merker jeg stor forskjell på de dagene jeg drikker kombucha, og de dagene jeg ikke drikker kombucha. På en “bucha-dag” har jeg mye mer energi, føler meg mer opplagt og ett mindre sukkersug. På lang sikt har jeg merket at jeg har gått en del ned i vekt. Det kan være en direkte effekt av at det våres, jeg spiser sunnere (har mindre sukkersug) og beveger meg mer (har mer energi). En annen ting jeg merker, er at jeg har renere hud. Siden kombucha er detox, passer jeg på å drikke mye vann vedsiden av, dette kan også være grunnen til renere hud. I alle år har jeg hatt en kjip og treig fordøyelse, det er det slutt på, og her er jeg rimelig overbevist at det er kombuchaen som har skylda. Det er en forfriskende og ren følelse å kjenne at alt fungerer som det skal, jeg har ikke hatt en eneste forstoppelse siden jeg begynte å drikke kombucha. Bank i bordet!

Konklusjoen min er:
Kombucha er en fantastisk drikk til værdags for å holde systemet igang, få mer energi og bli sunnere, men for en sunn livstil holder det ikke bare med kombucha. Drikk masse vann, spis mye råkost, vær ute i sola og ta vare på deg selv. Kombuchaen kan absolutt hjelpe deg på veien med å gi ett energi-kick og fjerne litt søtsug (sånn det virket på meg ivertfall).

Jeg liker å blande litt solbær, rips eller eplesaft i kombuchaen min. Jeg blander den også sammen med yoghurt i müsli eller mixer den inn i en smoothie. Ettervert vil jeg nok lage en liste langt som ett vondt år over ting man kan bruke kombucha til i forskjellig styrke.



The March of Progress

2 jars have started fruiting, 1 should start soon.

The plastic containers of coffee/mate blend are taking off quite strong.

There is a culture that is still alive and growing in the compost.  The snow is almost all melted, so soon we will have worms 😀

Open-Source Probiotics (are you detecting a theme here yet?)

So I was sitting and thinking about how to write about kombucha.  Truly though, just look it up on wikipedia

Kombucha is simple, easy, and tasty for sure, but there’s so much more than just tart, fizzy tea.  As this adventurous individual discovered, the zoogleal mat can be inoculated with the culture that ferments milk to make kefir.  I did this when I had access to raw milk in Oregon during 2009-2010, it was delicious!  You got an old kombucha scoby hanging around (If not, you can use one of ours)?  You can make kefir, sourdough bread, and who knows what else (please please please let this also work with bioluminescent bacteria).  At least with kombucha/kefir, vinegar is your friend for keeping spaces clean, though over-brewed kombucha will also do the trick.

Quite the culture for the aspiring biohacker.

Next up:  All the uses for kombucha (cleaner, shampoo, beverage, biohacking, etc)

Diversify and Strengthen.

The Open-Source Protein project continues on.

Fungi, like most *every other living thing* need variety.  Some of the tried and tested complementary substrates have been

– Root vegetables (carrots, leeks) and tubers (yams/sweet potatoes)

Yerba Mate (p. ostreatus consumes it faster than anything else we’ve tried)

– Cat hair

– Fresh kombucha scoby

– Moose manure (tried in a different location from the other cultures.  Mushrooms for me, yeah.  Moose-leavings?  Nahh)


– Dried kombucha scoby cleaned with a vinegar wash.  The fungus simply routed around, though it never molded


The first jar of culture that we naturalized with cat hair has sprouted a cluster of fruitbodies in the past day and a half.  New blend of coffee/yerba-mate are developing strong mycelium.

2 jars have been naturalized in the developing compost pile.


1.  Red-wrigglers (vermicompost) also like coffee grounds, and many species of mushroom will readily feast on worm-castings with all the rest.  Waiting for it to get warm enough that the worms come up into the compost more.

Hypothesis:  Worms (great soil-builder/decomposer) and p. ostreatus mycelium will form symbiotic bonds filling in complimentary ecological niches.  Increase rate/thoroughness of compost process.  If a developed culture is installed in middle of raised garden beds, the oyster mushroom mycelium will also form symbiotic/mycorrhizal  bonds with the vegetable roots.

2.  Seeing as how p. ostreatus can digest crude oil and nuclear waste (?  Trying to find source), and kombucha can partially break down rubber and lower-grade plastics (it turned the rubber gasket on a flip-top locking bottle to a nasty goo.  Bottling with caps is a lot better), one wonders if the two can work in tandem to accomplish bio-recycling (related to bioremediation).  If the kombucha scoby can be inoculated with that culture they found in South America hat digests nylon, like it can with kefir, the sky’s the limit.


Oh!  And before I forget. . .if you happen to find a (**legitimately licensed, of course) copy of  the 2-volume set of “Edible Forest Gardens” by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier, READ IT.  There are very few “should”s in this world, this is one of them

Another step. . .

The jar of mycelium that had kombucha culture introduced to it has naturalized and is rapidly consuming it.  On a roll. . . .





Open-Source Protein part II

Kevin here.

So there’s a story involving some hurricanes hitting Norway in the winter of ’11-’12, infrastructure disruption, and mail that was way late.

My parents sent us an oyster mushroom growing kit produced by the good fellows at as a Christmas gift.  I am a major fan of the company and what they are doing, and I have cultivated mushrooms in the past. . .the major block for continuing production (or for starting production in the first place) is the cleanliness issue.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a slob, and I enjoy living in a clean house, but the cost for starting and maintaining a sterile lab environment are prohibitive to most, not to mention the investment of time that is required.  So this project (“Open-Source Protein”) is setting to the task of finding a method (or family of methods) to start and maintain cultivation of this wonderfully healthy source of protein.

So in the 2 months since we finally received our package the loose timeline is as follows:
The project starts

T+7 days:  We followed the instructions (cut a “+” and soak the culture-bag.  Mist twice a day, expose to indirect sunlight) to no avail.  The culture block started secreting a yellow brine, with no other activity

T+9 days:  A snap decision is made to save the culture, which is only secreting more of this discharge into its bag.  Some jars filled 2/3 with coffee grounds are sterilized in a pressure cooker.  12 hours later, with a clean knife wiped in a strong vinegar solution, small sections of the culture block are cut off, and crumbled into the coffee grounds.

T+12 days:  Two of the jars of coffee grounds have been successfully inoculated, one of them is showing the first signs that it has been infested with the dreaded Trichoderma mold.  It is immediately disposed of, and the tupper box holding the other two jars is wiped clean.  Turns out that sterilization isn’t the way to go, especially with open air (non-sterile/lab conditions) culturing.  I’m not so used to being over-effective at things 😛

T+16 days:  Several more jars have been inoculated (thanks to the local café for their spent coffee-ground donations.  We can’t drink THAT much coffee, try as we might).  The two jars from the first batch are fully covered with mycelium, and are now being naturalized to other foodstuffs (a small sliver of a fresh, well-brewed kombucha culture in one, and  some cat-hair in the other (hair contains protein, and oyster mushrooms can eat most anything, they just have to develop the enzymes first).  Now the great ironic fun:  The original block (which we’ve been continuing to mist/fan 2wice a day and keeping in a clear tupper box) finally started to fruit!

There are now 13 jars with healthy cultures growing on coffee grounds.   1 jar/culture has been soaked, and is in the fruiting chamber with the original culture.

Next Step

Harvesting the ‘shrooms off of the original culture in a few days, and cooking them up (mmmmm, tasty. . .).  Naturalizing some more cultures to various complementary substrates (Ash/poplar sawdust, book paper, human hair, etc) and hoping the jar that was soaked will fruit.  Stay tuned!