Sunday, March 17, 2013

Making Kombucha

Last year, I responded to a craigslist ad for a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, used to make kombucha), and the woman never responded to my email requesting the culture. Little did she realize that I was able to use the email she provided to figure out exactly who she was, or in other words figure out what kind of person would make an ad for a free scoby and never respond to my email. It turns out she was a local yoga teacher, and I will certainly not reveal her name here. Because I'm better than that.


I'm using GT's Organic Raw Kombucha to start my mother (the filmy/pancakey colony of bacteria floating on top of the batch of kombucha), per this recipe. Anybody who knows me knows that I am going to exhaust every other option before I order an expensive mother offline... it's just a culture of bacteria, after all, what's the big deal? I will update the results here.

Nate has been working hard on building the new duck pen by the creek. It will house 20-something ducks and ducklings and... 2 goslings? It's such a whirlwind of seed/animal orders around here, it's hard to keep track. Kubla and I enjoyed relaxing by the work site today in the warm sun, happy that spring finally sprung.

Our Dominique chicks ventured outside of the chick pen today for the first time. Boy, it took a long time for them to get up the guts to come out, I guess they got hungry.

Our two adult lady ducks, Dewea and Agatha, started laying eggs last week. I keep hearing people describe duck eggs as "gamey," and it is totally inaccurate. I think people go with that term because ducks are usually wild, and I guess people want to describe wild meats as gamey because they don't know what else to say. They're richly flavored and the yolks are a deep orange. The shells are a bit leathery, and the whites tend to want to stick to the shell for longer after you crack the egg... but I've heard that they make a fluffier baked good when used in stead of chicken eggs. I poached some this morning as toppers for some cheesy grits, and they were divine.

I did the first full hive inspection since last November today, and I am happy to report that the bees look textbook healthy. The queen is present and laying, making the ideal rainbow of brood/pollen/nectar pattern that I've read about but have never seen in my own hive before. I hope the two new nucs (bee colony nuclei, or starter hives of 5 frames) I get this spring from Wild Mountain Bees do as well!

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