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

Posts tagged “kombucha

I Can’t Even Think of a Title

Because there’s so much cool stuff.
So much has been happening the past month!  For starters, the Birch trees have come into full foliage, which blocked our line-of-sight antennae to the repeater tower of our ISP, so we’ve been without internet for a couple of weeks.  Thankfully this situation was resolved today by a professional (thanks to Mats).  The compost pile has a load of horse manure added and it has heated up quite nicely.

Why yes, that is a steaming pile of shit

Why yes, that is a steaming pile of shit





compost with a stylie hat

But it is a steaming pile of shit with a stylish hat

But yes, onto projects!

I downloaded (LEGALLY of course) a copy of “Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Cultured Foods” by Sandor Elix Katz.  The digital copy was parsed a little weird, but thankfully a friend here in Finnskogen has a hard-copy, which they were not able to read because their reading list got too large, and loaned out to us here at Solbakken.

I’ve been brewing kombucha and kefir before, using a nifty culture hack I stumbled across at Instructables, and I had a short but successful run fermenting tempeh when I was living in the bus; However I had not stepped into the wide, wild world of lacto-fermenting vegetables, making vinegar, and such.  All that has now changed.  Especially with going to a predominately plant-based diet (for the time being, blame Dr. Whals), eating “pickled” vegetables makes the nutrients more bioavailable.

Fermented projects so far include:


-Kimchi (we’re on our 2nd batch now)

-Fermented/pickled garlic
-Anjera pan-bread
-Onion-Rye Sourdough bread (my personal favorite bread, not so much gluten as the wheat breads)

First loaf
I got no dough, but hey I can make bread!

-Braided Challah bread
-A sourdough-modified recipe on a raw sprouted-grain bread based on a recipe originally used by the Essenes.  Dang that was a lot to type out; I’ll use the term “‘Essene’ bread” from now on, and you’ll excuse the blatant cultural appropriation.  Vær så godt
-Alaskan Sourdough hotcakes
-Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes
-Vinagre de Piña (Pineapple vinager, still in progress)
-Fruit Scrap Vinegar (still in process)
-Raw milk kefir
-Almond/oat milk kefir (the kefir culture is versatile, and can ferment most grain/seed milks)
-Horseradish sauce

The raw/fermented food revolution is booming in our home, but as exciting as all this is, I’m even more excited about the Open-Source Protein project. . .so where were we. . .um, we had oyster mushrooms, tried a couple of different modes for fruiting (that were not that impressive, to be fair), then. . . .compost worms.  No, we didn’t buy worms, we were given some by a friend who collects them for fishing (I like to think of it as an animal rescue on our part.  We’re not going to kill the worms to get another animal on our dinner plate. . .we feed the worms our delectable food scraps and collect their manure for plant fertilizer and mushroom feed).

you don’t have to worry. . .it’s over now, you’re safe

And HERE is where it all gets cool.  Permaculture, vermicomposting, and mushroom farming, all in one.
The Oyster mushrooms LOVE the worm-castings, and both the fungus and the worms love spent coffee grounds, as well as general kitchen waste.  The worms are faster at eating, but the mushroom is a slow, thorough march whereas the worms will eat their weight in food waste every day.  The oyster mushroom however, loves to eat the worm casts, so the two get along quite well.Materials.  Make it like a vermicompost bin, but crumble oyster mushroom culture on the bottom layer of paper/cardboard.

Once the wormWhat lies beneath. .s and mushroom got settled in, it was just 1) add food and 2) stir the mycelium every week to break it up and redistribute it (it helps it propogate faster).  If you have moss readily available, you can just set a thin layer on top to hold in moisture and it looks a lot more koselige than a piece of cardboard.

Can't we all just get along?

Mycorrhizal bliss

Among the food waste that was added to this bin was the remains of a melon (cantaloupe), including the see

d p

ulp.  P. Ostreatus is a saprophage  so it only feeds on dead matter, and these seeds were still alive, so instead of digesting them, it waited for them to sprout, and then went immediately into a mycorrhizal relationship with the new roots.  The seeds have been removed and planted, now to see how they do this summer

As the mycelium filled out, I changed the top layer of moss to take some of the worms to the safety of another compost bin, as I assumed the mycelium would force them out as it grew in.  Two weeks ago I poured a couple of pitchers’ worth of water into the culture, and allowed it to drain off (keeping the rich dark yellow/brown tea to water plants).  After a few days the culture began to show pins. . .this time much larger than previous fruitings in the fruiting chamber.  2 days later, we had well over 200 grams of mushroom.

Well said, Wendell.


When these beauties were harvested several worms were seen rapidly fleeing the scene into the mycelium.  They were too fast and strong to catch, so they slipped away.  I dug down to the bottom of the culture in just that one corner of the tub to discover the worms were alive and well, thriving throughout the mycelial network and cleaning up small dead regions of mycelium (the mycelium then absorbs the casts and in this way seems to repair itself.

It reminded me of a BBC documentary where David Attenborough was explaining coral reefs as a super-organism.  This discovery of sustainable symbiosis of the compost worms and p. ostreatus has led me to dub this superorganism “Garden Coral”

That’s it, no witty ending tale or quaint quotes, just a final picture demonstrating the indomitable will to thrive


It is the nature of living things to THRIVE


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.


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)