Thursday, February 21, 2008

kombucha scoby

ok i was skeptical at first. Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast have its way with my perfectly good tea seemed like a bad idea. well the tea has to be sweetened which i hate. so let the russian mushroom have it.

i tasted the stuff, very skeptically. you are supposed to only drink a couple of ounces and build up to a glass full over weeks. i love the stuff. it suits my taste perfectly. i can't wait for it to grow larger so we can make it more often and larger batches.

wikipedia has a good description of Kombucha. of all the websites out there that taut the miracles of this drink the idea that it might help cleanse my liver seemed the most intriguing. lord knows it could use a good scrub.

we also got some kefir grains. they are a similar kinda thing but for milk. allegedly letting kefir grains have their way with regular store bought milk diminishes most of the adverse affects from pasteurization and homogenization. tabitha and the kids seem to like it alot. for me i'll have it disguised in a smoothie or stick to the kombucha.

i have been in the depths of research of bee keeping. there is an incredible amount of information out there regarding bees and bee keeping. so many conflicting opinions with extremely articulate people passionately expressing their views. it is very exciting. i have stumbled onto a vein of opinion that suits my perspective nicely. this vein believes that nature knows best, work with the bees and don't try to force our will on them to sternly.

this model mirrors how we feel about most other aspects of our life that it is compelling beyond contest. i can hardly wait to get the bees i have so many ideas and aspirations. bees could fit so harmoniously into our life style that it is exhilarating.


Life at Dogfight Cove said...

I think your blog is great, your family's ideals as well. my husband and i are just starting on our homestead. thanks for the inspiration!

Sean LaFianza said...

I've been brewing kombucha for over a year now and everyone really likes it. I can absolutely testify to it upping our family's immunity, especially through the winter months. If you'd like to build the fizz (I don't like it flat) bottle it in "EZ Cap" bottles with some strips of fresh ginger and some dried cranberries. Not only does it taste GREAT the cranberries give the bacteria something to eat to build up gases after being bottled. I've had people say I should start selling the cranberry ginger kombucha they like it so much.

You can find EZ Caps at any homebrew store or online for pretty cheap... or find someone who drinks Grolsch beer.

uncle matt said...

You're kidding, right? Actually, Sean's ginger and cranberry idea sounds pretty good! I've never even heard of combu...komboo...kam..kom..the stuff, but I'll research it.
Bees is bees. Like you, I say, let them do their thing!

Danielle said...

Did you get the beelinks that Joe and I sent you a week or so back? Do you make your own soil mix for the seedlings? If so, could you share. Where do you get fish emulsion? Joe has really grown and learned a lot about bee keeping over the years and what you are finding out early on is what has taken us some trial and error to accomplish and that is, what will be will be. We still mess a bit more than we probably should but I beleiver over time we will stop feeding the bees in the spring and just see what happens. It's just hard to keep your hands off when you think your bees are starving. Of course, you guys live a bit warmer climate, so the nectar flow will start sooner for your bees.

Ed Abbey said...

Do you have an idea of what the major food source for your bees will be? Up here in SE Iowa they harvest nectar from clover in the spring and summer months and goldenrod in the fall. My favorite is white clover as it is almost clear and has a very light delicate taste. Goldenrod on the other hand is a lot darker honey with a much stronger flavor. I don't know what kinds of nectar are available down in your area.

Wendy said...

My kids love kefir, although I haven't tried making it myself. I saw the "starter" in the health food store, so maybe. And Kombucha sounded interesting, too. I heard about it this past summer, and did a little sleuthing. I'm a tea person, and I like it sweet. Guess I'll have to try it out ;).

My grandfather had bees, and we're looking into whether or not bees would work on our property. We have a nice back corner that's not too close to our house and far enough away from all of the neighbors that no one complain. I'll be looking forward to hearing more about your bee adventures ;).

tansy said...

the ginger/cranberry flavor sounds yummy. someone else that brews their own uses dried tart cherries. i just got my own mother this week and i'm looking forward to trying different flavors myself.

good luck with the bees! we are ready to go this year too. hopefully, we'll be able to capture a hive since we've had a swarm here for the past 2 years.

Danielle said...

I swear by kombucha, though I don't remember to drink it as often as I should. Jim calls it my "witches brew," but it got rid of my chronic hives and got me off allergy meds. I'll look forward to trying some of Sean's suggestions.

I just started my bee course and am having fun poring over the catalogs we got along with the text, which is out of Penn State. I have one nuc on order, but I'm thinking about adding one so that I have two hives for comparison. Of course, that ups the cost significantly, too, so... I'm still considering.

What have you been reading for the bees?

Madeline said...

I am so glad that I read this! A friend gave me some Kombucha to start my own this past weekend and I got distracted by my husband's flue (wish we'd had the kombucha earlier) and forgot about it. It's in the fridge. I will (hopefully) save it now. We (kids too) loved our kefir shakes but lost our starter when we went out of town so have to find new. Keep sharing your bee journey. We have gone a little too far down the let nature take its course path and we lost a lot of them. We are going to check on them more from now on.

karl said...

life at dogfight cove,
thanks i like your blog also.

thanks for recipe. i found a different bottle grolsch bottle i'll have to make a huge sacrifice, in an effort not to be wasteful, and drink the contents of the bottle first. i think these will be perfect. re-usable and pretty cheap since i have, on occasion, been known to enjoy a beer once in a while, occcasionally, not often at all... well, anyway.

gee i bet your liver could use a good scrub too.

yeah i got the links. thank you and joe. they are where i started my exploration. we bought soil. it is already sterile. sterilizing your own soil can tricky. constant temperature with exacting parameters and you don't know if you failed until your plants die or never germinate. we'll probably try it in the future but until we have more room to start seeds we are sticking to the safer route.

ed abby,
we have tons of honeysuckle all summer long. honey locust trees, clover and tons of other wild sources. i hope that our garden and fruit trees can provide a bit for them also.

people have bees on roof tops in major cities. they will venture out for their food.

i hope you enjoy it as much as i do. i bought some dried cranberries last evening.

unusually unusual danielle,
"witches brew" i love it. i hope your course goes well. i'm condemned to head first method--breath holding optional.

kombucha rules...
i bought a bottled drink version at the heath food store last night. it was very similar to ours. i hope to encourage a little effervescence in the next batch. i'm so excited. i must really need "whatever" it supplements because i love the stuff.

pablo said...

My daughter visited recently from Eugene, Oregon (a major stopping point on the old hippie highway) and brought along some commerical version of kombucha tea. She winced every time she took a sip, assuring us that she loved it.

I don't favor sweet drinks at all, so it is unlikely that I'll ever do more than sample it, but I do like the idea of the health benefits.

Good luck with your beekeeping ambitions. If nothing else, I think your little ones will be fascinated by the whole thing and benefit from learning still further where their food actually comes from. It will make them more informed and more compassionate adults.

Christy said...

I just went to a day long beekeeping seminar Saturday and loved it! I can't wait to get bees but it will have to wait until next year :(

FarmerRon said...

Looks good. I'm in Washington State, and trying "The Square Foot Garden" for the first time. Check out my blog at

I'll come back to check on how things are growing.


Danielle said...

Hey there! Just as an fyi kind of thing, I hail from Touch the Earth Farm.

Tammie is the Unusually Unusual Farmchick. Although I can be rather flaky, I'm not unusually unusual.

Or am I? ;)

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