At our home, our cultures are given our constant time and care. We like to think of them as part of our family, (as odd-looking as they may be!) - because really, they are just like any other pet or child that requires time, nourishment and care. We lovingly refer to our cultures as 'The Greeshka', after a story from one of our favorite authors, where a strange collective entity of creatures join together to be better as a group (how fitting for these little symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast!).
Our Kombucha Scobys are our slowest of our 'fermenters', turning out a delicious kombucha every week or two (which we love to bottle and drink with our lunch). We are always searching for fresh and high-quality ingredients and tweaking their diet through the seasons to encourage strong and healthy mushrooms to grow. Since the ferment is slow, the ingredients going in need to be fresh and reliable, and clean.
It's important to be able to rely on your scobys to produce a good kombucha, especially when most of us these days are seeking out kombucha for its health benefits. Kombucha can be difficult to understand and experiment with because the ferments are so slow. For this reason, we always have many tests going simultaneously to learn the most that we can to ensure the mushrooms make a great kombucha for us to drink from, and you to adopt from.
Our scobys are currently fed with a blend of organic green and black teas, cane sugar, and occasionally whole cane sugar or some form of fructose (this helps strengthen the bacteria if the yeast are too strong), such as agave.
Our scobys are fed according to their needs, which is somewhere between 5-14 days. We handle them gently (they are living, and part of our family, besides!) and we only use wood, food-grade plastic and stainless steel (and canning jars just like you see in our supplies, as their little homes).
When any of our scobys seem out of balance, they are given a monitored diet change until they are back up to speed. They then resume fermenting when balanced and ready, or are tossed to our dogs or garden to reincarnate as veggies or fruit! We also keep scoby 'hotels' for some of our favorite scobys that we want to keep and use at a later point (a jar with many scobys residing in kombucha liquid).
Why is there a cost for your cultures? You may ask, why do we charge for our cultures - isn't it a tradition to share and give these cultures away? While we would love to be able to offer all of them for free to everyone, we like to compare it to an 'adoption fee'. Putting a cost to the cultures covers the time and care we put into them daily, enables us to afford the best ingredients to ensure the best cultures (raw milk, whole cane sugar, organic tea, fresh home-ground flours). It also aids us people from all around the world the opportunity to try these cultures, and encourages those who people from all around the world the opportunity to try these cultures, and encourages those who invest in a culture to take the time and effort to care for their cultures. We also enjoy sharing our cultures locally, giving away our cultures to our family, friends, and neighbors whenever we can.