187. the Kombucha Mamma | Hannah Crumm | Los Angelos, CA

It’s June 13th and schools out and I’m back to podcasting! Excited to reach out to all of you Green Future Growers! Hopefully this episode will hit your ears asap and here it is July 24th! But alas summer flies does it not!


Today I am here with Hanna Crumm the Kombucha Mamma!

Hannah Crumm Big Book of Kombucha

The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea

Tell us a little about yourself and what is it Kombucha and am I even saying it right?

Kombucha with an O and it’sĀ basically fermented tea

I visited a friend from collegeĀ 

Sanfranciso in CA

box of jars, towels, weird floaty things! Thatā€™s the kombucha! I had never heard of it, I was like that’s funny! So I get back toĀ 


I get back to Los Angels and there’s anĀ entire case of kombucha!Ā I take my first sip

acidic acid

tea vinegar

A lot of people that might get that sour kombucha face! For me I loved the flavor but I’m the girl thatĀ loved the pickle juice out of the pickle jar, fermented funky flavor

I felt the kombucha in my body

You know when you pick a vegetable out of your garden and you grew it and you know everything that went into it! You take the first biteĀ itā€™s a rush thatā€™s beyond the flavor and you can tell it’s alive andĀ that was the experience IĀ felt alive

I wanted more of it

but I my thirst out did my budget.

This is so appropriate because I ust got home and tasted some of the first lettuce out of the garden and just putting it in my salad, right here fresh picked!Ā 

Kombucha has applications beyond making it a beverage to drink.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

My first experience come from my dad, he grew up on a farm in minĀ own of like 200 people

Every summer we’d getĀ 

shipped out to the grandparents and get dropped off there

John Deere shop

clamber out the tractors

  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • plant the marigolds to keep bugs away
  • soux chef who had to go out and gather the herbs and pick all the leaves off
  • Lots of great memories!

How did you learn how to garden organically?

My grandparents grew

fields weeding

on the land stuff as a kid

later in life more pesticides

by the time I was getting older they kind of transitioned away into other things likeĀ auctioneering and real estate

My dad never used any fertilizer but on the other hand weĀ didnā€™t have a composter

I made my own in my backyard a few years ago in Los Angelos, I loveĀ working with the worms. IĀ turn all of that stuff into that richĀ black earth! That’s where all myĀ volunteer tomatoes come from that come up in theĀ weirdest placesā€¦


Tell us more aboutĀ kombucha

Kombucha is in some ways similar to gardening

We need to have a really rich soil that is nutrient dense that has the right microbial balance so that teh plants are able to uptake that nutrition.

Were like that too where our guts are the soil in our boddies…interface to create that

diverse micro biome

create our nutrients that way

Kombucha is a fermented food.


  • sauer kraut
  • pickles
  • vinegar

preserved our foods, back when we didā€™t have a fridge, I know we take it for granted but 150 years ago,Ā didnā€™t have those luxuries.

A lot of people still don’t around the world.Ā 

What’s interesting about the United States weĀ came from a bunch of places

came to a country that didnā€™t

post world war 2 processing food industry replacedĀ 

  • having a garden preserving

touting on the WWII posters

  • patriotic to plant a garden
  • everyone should have chickens

processed food industry

lowest cost lowest quality inputs unfortunately ourĀ bodies are suffering as a result of that

repopulate our microboime in a positive way.



thereā€™s bacteria everywhere

I know we’ve been waging germ warefare

  • bacteriacides
  • hand sanitizers


now banning trycluen

micorobiome is all the bacteria andĀ organisms that live on your body


rainforest under there

arm is like a dry desert

Our body has all these different terrains

each is populated with different organisms that protect you. They go from your mouth to end of you everything isĀ covered with bacteria

We’re over prescribed


that leaves space for organisms that


arentā€™ native

candida overgrowth


bacterial infectionsĀ 

can go wrong.

Even more to most basic level

back to hypocreties who saysĀ all disease starts in the gut.



really starting to uncover

  • autism
  • parkinsons
  • alcoholism
  • rumitoid arthritis

so often they’re goingĀ 

THE gut is out of balance

what strain

one thing



just like nature

organizms populating our body

speaking engagements

hug or a handshake you’re not getting away withoutĀ sharing some of your bacteria only

Tell us about

Kombucha Kamp Website

kombucha kamp

started out Ā as a workshop in my home. Kombuchas is easy to make.Ā 

  • tea
  • steep it
  • add sugar to it

specific website

click on recipe

read it

sweet tea solution

add our culture to it then it turns it into thisĀ tangy healthy beverage

Because we’ve lost this connection with ourĀ grandparents

demistifying our process


Mainstream media says

  • no proof
  • contaminate yourself if your make it home

if that were true

people would stop ages ago

Why would you share somethingĀ if you know itā€™s gonna cause them harm?

because itā€™s an acidic acid

low ph

coupled with the healthy acid profile has been shown to kill salmonella and wisteria andĀ all of the pathogens on contact

pathogens were so strongĀ 

if they were so dominant we’d all be dead!

pathogens would have gotten us

There’s more good guys then bad guys

many good guys as possible

It’s our force

microbial cloud

helps keep us strong


what does all of this have to do with gardening?

soil based organizms are good for people

The bacteria tangyness

If you have acid loving plants

  • rose bushes
  • blueberries

composting the cultures is a way to get positive organisms in your soil

the worms love them and they help to break everything down quitkcly

then you get the particular

soil ammendment

put that scoby in a blender

burry the pieces in the ground

Let’s back it upĀ a scoby what is that?

That’s what we call

our mother

If you’re at all familiar withĀ raw apple cider vinegar at the bottom of the bottle you will see thisĀ disc object

acidic acid bacteria

also creates cellulose because it’s so reproductive you end up with loads theseĀ extra scobies

My hope is if you throw them away they will break down the garbage.Ā 


donā€™t want to throw them away, people feel like they areĀ friends and pets and up withĀ hoards of them

put them back into the worldā€¦

indicative in all things in nature if you give an organismĀ what it needs to thrive it will!

If you’re putting the right nutrients in the soil you’llĀ notice your plants will be more

  • robust
  • healthier
  • they don’t don’t need pesticides as much because their immune system
  • plants are more nutrient dense

something we can look at through bricks testing. That’s really we have thisĀ myth of needing pesticides because we’re trying toĀ farm in a way that isnā€™t in harmony in nature

Nature isn’t monocropping

nature is diversity

  • corn
  • squash
  • beans trio

more of all of them

competing and taking things from each other

how nature operates

implement how those things we end up withmore successful gardens

instead of in straight lines following the patterns of the earth in order toĀ create more yields with less chemical inputs.

PITMOSSā“‡ prime

The one thing I have been trying to get done, I interviewed thisĀ womanĀ fromĀ PITMOSSā“‡Ā 


  • it’s natural
  • recycled fiber

there’s two other episodesĀ IĀ haveĀ done with soilĀ scientists, it’s imperative for me especially Mike’s been wanting to buy $180 for soil for Ā hopefully welll split with someone. I think the non-organic optionĀ 

soil health is so essential I’ve been trying to have a worm bin. I’m fascinated with all of this that it’s a tea I thought it would be more like a vegetable.

Is it an herb? Do you grow it?

tea doesnā€™t grow everywhere

tea plantations in the south


other climates showing potential

tea plant

here in the us

traditionally grown in china and india

fermentation has been important in all of those ancient cultures coupled with the fact that they haveĀ realiable access to tea

arose from

cha in kombucha

chai can we use herbs?

Often reserve those for flavoring. That’s what I did. Ā IĀ went out and plucked some

  • lavender
  • rosemary stems
  • sprigs of thyme

would give it this lovelyĀ herbacious flavor

herb s and spices are our friends

donā€™t just add flavor

help support our bodies

come from nature


litterally no separation

all inhabit

same amazing planet

all of our computers


drive our cars


leads toĀ a lot of depression and sadness

we need to be in contact with nature

Japanese word for forest bathing

concepts like these are percolating back intoĀ our society

thing when we take the time

Even if your not the most successful gardener

  • getting your hands dirty
  • peace and kind of
  • sense of connection that really satisfiesā€¦

Absolutely, I call people trying to grow a greener future being in thr garden, something we all share in common.Ā 

Then you see how the run off pollutes the waterways

fish start to suffer

We’re starting to see about the negative affects of not caring where those inputs are growing. That’s creating a lot of problems with theĀ waterways or fish that live in them and the humans that have toĀ consume that

If we poison ourselves to death wereā€™ the ones to lose. Look at whereĀ ChernobylĀ other nature is vibrant and robust.

Especially today, it seems it gets scarier and scarier but I try to look on the postive side.

So looking to nature and witnessing the regenerative power

quickly take something that was toxic

wasnā€™t in a


here in California we had theĀ Ballona Wetlands Preserve


As soon as they started preserving it they started to come back

Some people accused the environmentalists of planting birds there, but the reality isĀ if you give animals the habit they need they’ll show up. There’s aĀ zillion ways ofĀ reconnecting with the soilā€¦.

I love that and you’re so passionate about protecting your planet and our health! I think listeners will like it as much as I do!

You said your stuff was starting to bolt? Tell us about something that grew well this year. We’re close to that too.

Being in California, we have aĀ long growing season here in so cal too. My husband as a gift someone invitedĀ 

  • gardening boxes
  • mulch in the yard
  • planted a bunch of veggies

new to all of this

cabbages all turned into flowers


before I could get anything that I know looks familiar.Ā 

in addition to planting you also have toĀ take care of themā€¦ doing really well

of course are my greens these things are fantastic

  • swiss chard
  • kale

My lettuce has bolted because it got warm, and myĀ parsley has grown over and flowered. I’m enjoying everything I get from my garden.

My arugala, sometimes you’re window to rabe that produce is just a couple of days.

I figure theyā€™ll just regrow

  • cut back broccoli
  • cabbages
  • more then anything it’s just fun to see theĀ interplay with the insects

what else gets attracted

  • short dwarf lemon trees want to make sure they get a lot ofĀ fruit
  • cumquat tree
  • crazy in the late summer
  • good at the stuff that doesn’t require a lot of effort.

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

Im growing some strawberries right now, they are yielding some fruit but theyĀ donā€™t taste good like the ones I get at the farmerā€™s market?! I think a lot of this that’s exciting isĀ how much work and effort goes into

wheather I’m getting it at my garden or the farmer’s market there’sĀ another layer of appreciation of all that goes into that process

food is so accessible

year round

recognize how much effort is growing into it to make a salad! IT’s not like you can have enough salads if youĀ 

My problem is I should put 5 seeds in the ground and the next week another 5 and another and I say it evrey year and I NEVER do!

lazy gardener have to admit

potatoes pieces

throw them in the yard they eventually

ends of my celery

get those things to grow

just interacting with it seeing how it goes is just kind of al ot of fun!Ā 

then you get the aphidsā€¦ Ā and I’m likeĀ now what do I do?

You can sometimes put kombucha or vinegar

sour to drink

leave it too long

if you end up with Kombucha you don’t want to drinkĀ another things you can do Ā is put it in aĀ spray bottle

That’s good because people talk about pest problems alot.

Mike spends a lot of time on potatoes.


here is so easy

little dirt over them

green tops grow,Ā wait until they fall over and then pull them up. That’s what I do is IĀ let them grow wild

not harvesting enough potatoes to keep us through the winter.Ā 

Or a potato meal, but that’s Mike’s goal to grow us enough to get us through all year, but this year he planted the mini-farm and IDK what’s gonna happen there!


A big one for me that I didn’t realize until a couple of years ago, was the red potatoes have red pink flowers and the white potatoes have white potatoes!

broadfork from Amazon

This year we got this thing aĀ Broad forkĀ and it’s so fun Idk how we ever lived without it. It’s just so great for turning over new beds or turning over anything. It’s interesting the way it works in hard packed ground or soft soil in a deep bed.


I’ve been trying to get down to the garden more but I think a lot of people are like me we start off strong in the Spring and in the middle of the summer were like huh!

tidying up the garden

If you live a busy life like me, I klike being an acciental gardener, nature will come through for you. I

I love your appreciation for the farmer’s market. I think a lot of listeners are like that people who have access talk about growing native plants and landscaping and being able to commune in the garden without having to grow all your vegetables.Ā 

I have more bees coming around

  • more hummingbirds
  • butterflies

I love to see how the other aspects of nature

Since I’m a lazy gardener is put more flowers

  • for butterflies
  • hummingbirds so theĀ pollinators to have some food
  • look pretty somewhat easy to take care of
  • not harvesting it quickly enough before it goes to seed


I love right now the chives are blooming, they bring in the pollinators, they grow in sandy soil, and they come back every year! One of my power houses!

green onion plant

compbination of paved patio


Of course in California succulents are really popular

  • look like they came from mars
  • neat colors
  • awesome flower coming off of itĀ 

fun to watch you never thought it was gonna do that!

  • low keep plants
  • bromileads
  • jade plants
  • lavendar
  • birds of paradise
  • roses grow great!

Miss Marple

I grew up reading theseĀ Miss Marple books,Ā difficult in England

Or on


audible logo

Here in this climate there just super easy! Ā I love being able to just cut a few stems and put them in the house. Even though my husband’sĀ encouraging me,Ā they look so pretty! WhenĀ they die I dead head them anyway!Ā 

They’re gonna grow back, it’s like cutting your hair.

I think they grow back more.

Yes they do!

People have asked me a lot of questions about roses? I know do some people get the blight on the leaves?

We use soil amendments

our compost

I turn the compost 2xs a year

fill up and get nice and rich.

I don’t have an actual compost bin. I have like a converted garbage can

dig out the top layer, I get thisĀ lovely richness

pass that around, because it’s had theĀ scobies in there you canā€™t even see the pieces, you can’t see them they’ve just beenĀ consumed, I think thatĀ helps roses to do well. PuttingĀ acid loving soil

  • acid loving plants that they are
  • citrus as well
  • compost that I am creating
  • extra scobies

sometimes a little bit ofĀ cardboard make sure the worms have a good variety of things.

Letā€™s take a minute to thank our affiliates!

Recommended books on the Organic Gardener Podcast

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Letā€™s Get to the Root of Things!

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden?

If itā€™s my least favorite Iā€™m not doing it

It would be dealing with the aphids

I bought the lady bugs but they justĀ fly away

attack it early


caring for plants

let one plant go to aphids almost like a sacrifice, I say you guysĀ stay over here and thenĀ tidy them off of everything else


Two Interesting things about aphids, I swear it was something like if the ladybugs leave that’s good because that means they’ve run out of aphids to eat. I have had other people talk about leaving a plant for the aphids as a sacrifice. And also, I was just reading this book about tidying that my principal gave me I like the way you talk about tidying the garden.

The Life-changing magic of tidying up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

also available on


audible logo

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden?

To do, I like pruning! IĀ feel like, youā€™re communicating youĀ end with your trees and your plants.Ā 

  • lemon trees
  • kumquats

It tells you get rid of this dead piece there and it lets this new thing come through,Ā something about getting rid of the old yuck. I love toĀ pull all the dead leaves off! Throw it on the patio andĀ sweep it on the patio.

I feel that way about cleaning the chalk board. Starting a clean new slate. She talks about discarding and getting rid of things, and communicating your clothes, and the way you fold your socks in a swirl and thinking about what your gonna wear. Filling your house with joy, instead of getting ri of things, just filling yourself with things you love.Ā 


the seed putting love into everything you do

constantly buying more stuff, we don’tĀ value or appreciate the things we do have

yearn for a return toĀ craftsman ship and quality over convenience and chepaness.Ā 

those pieces have a

If you have a heriloom beause it’s durable you can hand it down, there’sĀ not just something Ā monkey wrench there’s an Ā intrinisic value

piece itself

  • clothes
  • garden
  • bookshelf

Anywhere you can cultivateĀ that love andĀ put positive energy

world is so stressful enough if we don’t have theseĀ havens of peace

if your homeā€™s all cluttered.

Yes, but sometimes I like my clutter, and when I find something I’m like oh here you are my old friend. IDK I have lots of things that I haven’t used for years and then it will be invaluable again.

We have these quarterly clothing swaps

  • see some of the same pieces will come back around
  • joy of somebody finding pleasure in something you want
  • they’re gonna love this!

re-cylcing aspect

all enjoy

that is a fun way to let things go and have a 2nd life in the community and who knows maybe it will come back your way and you’ll say I’mĀ ready for this again

donate to people

We have really good thrift stores. We call it the food pantry. IDK we have like 5 thrift stores now in Eureka and good ones in Whitefish

My grandma was the first one who took me thrifting!

What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

Donā€™t fight nature let nature take itā€™s course,Ā trust the buds are going to bloom

nature teaches me to be patient and I’ll see the little lemons forming and they fall off and Ill beĀ so disappointed and Ill be like oh no, myĀ lemon didnā€™t grow

relearning patience and process.

trusting in the outcomes that come

A favorite tool that you like to use?Ā If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

My pruning shears

My pokey stick for the compost. It’sĀ not exactly a pitchfork

railroad tie


compost is hard

do need to trun it

So I like how it helps meĀ get in there and turn it allover.

I’m curious about your garbage can do you have a pic?

see all

garbage can

  • gravel and a screen on the bottom
  • hole so liquid can come out
  • drain
  • throw things in the top

A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?


Hannah Crumm Big Book of Kombucha

The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea

Tomato and Feta salad

I’ll harvest those littleĀ tomatoes growing in the garden and then make aĀ kombucha vinegrette! With some feta. Best tastes of summer summer.

good olive oil

that recipe is fantastic!

Sounds so good!

A favorite internet resource?

our resources forĀ info on kombucha.

kombuchakamp.comWe make it really easy, we’ve beenĀ doing this for over a decade

going on 15 years

every paper

passion for our product and passion for education

dispel fear and myths

gives you info that empowers you so thatĀ 

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you canĀ recommend?

Hannah Crumm Big Book of Kombucha

The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea

400 pages on subject

trouble shooting

lots of pics

kombucha scobie can take a bunch of weird shapes.


  • cooking recipes

  • 260 flavoring recipes

benefits from a scientific research paper

great reputation putting that info withĀ resources to do own research to understand why Kombucha is beneficial for so many people.



best sellar on amazon

flagship stores

Grateful for everyone who has enjoyed the book andĀ given us a review to help others


Final question-

If there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

I think the most crucial issue is teaching children where their food comes from so I am heartened byĀ 

  • school gardens
  • urban gardens

serving the food deserts and remember that theĀ first grocery store didnā€™t exist until 1946? It’s only recent that we’ve been so disconnected from our food supply.

all you need is a piece of earth, detereminations, love

The first grocery store didn’t exist until 1946?!

you can create a food source for yourself

how similar place

terms of a supermarket grocery store! Recent phenomena, of theĀ insane processed food

  • root cellars
  • farmerā€™s market
  • relationship with milk person who dropped it off at your doorstep

we had a different food system and I hope we canĀ remember to go back to our roots

Recultivate that love of gardening

caring for our earthā€¦.

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

our motto is trust your gut

listen to the innate wisdom if you’re feeling a whisper to get back to the earth thenĀ listen to that impulse

wisdom, nutrition is about sunlight getting our hands dirty nourish ourĀ being our soul

couch locker stuck staring at aa screen all the time.

go do thatā€¦

trust your gut

How do we connect with you?



free ebook and guide

starting the process

reach out with the email

small family business

number goes right to my cell phone, I’m always happy to help

Hannah Crumm Big Book of Kombucha

The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea

The Organic Gardener PodcastĀ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

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Kombucha Brewers International