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

Hannah Crumm Kombucha Mamma

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’s basically fermented tea

I visited a friend from college 

Sanfranciso in CA

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


I get back to Los Angels and there’s an entire case of kombucha! 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 that 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 bite it’s a rush that’s beyond the flavor and you can tell it’s alive and that was the experience I 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! 

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 min own of like 200 people

Every summer we’d get 

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 like auctioneering and real estate

My dad never used any fertilizer but on the other hand we didn’t have a composter

I made my own in my backyard a few years ago in Los Angelos, I love working with the worms. I turn all of that stuff into that rich black earth! That’s where all my volunteer tomatoes come from that come up in the weirdest places…

Tell us more about 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 did’t have a fridge, I know we take it for granted but 150 years ago, didn’t have those luxuries.

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

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

came to a country that didn’t

post world war 2 processing food industry replaced 

  • 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 our bodies are suffering as a result of that

repopulate our microboime in a positive way.


there’s bacteria everywhere

I know we’ve been waging germ warefare

  • bacteriacides
  • hand sanitizers


now banning trycluen

micorobiome is all the bacteria and 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 is covered with bacteria

We’re over prescribed


that leaves space for organisms that


arent’ native

candida overgrowth


bacterial infections 

can go wrong.

Even more to most basic level

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


really starting to uncover

  • autism
  • parkinsons
  • alcoholism
  • rumitoid arthritis

so often they’re going 

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 without sharing some of your bacteria only

Tell us about


Kombucha Kamp Website

kombucha kamp

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

  • 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 this tangy healthy beverage

Because we’ve lost this connection with our 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 something if you know it’s gonna cause them harm?

because it’s an acidic acid

low ph

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

pathogens were so strong 

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 up a scoby what is that?

That’s what we call

our mother

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

acidic acid bacteria

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

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


don’t want to throw them away, people feel like they are friends and pets and up with hoards of them

put them back into the world…

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

If you’re putting the right nutrients in the soil you’ll 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 this myth of needing pesticides because we’re trying to farm in a way that isn’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 to create more yields with less chemical inputs.


The one thing I have been trying to get done, I interviewed this woman from PITMOSS 


  • it’s natural
  • recycled fiber

there’s two other episodes I have done with soil scientists, it’s imperative for me especially Mike’s been wanting to buy $180 for soil for  hopefully welll split with someone. I think the non-organic option 

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 doesn’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 have realiable access to tea

arose from

cha in kombucha

chai can we use herbs?

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

  • lavender
  • rosemary stems
  • sprigs of thyme

would give it this lovely herbacious flavor

herb s and spices are our friends

don’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 to 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 into 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 satisfies…

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

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 the waterways or fish that live in them and the humans that have to consume that

If we poison ourselves to death were’ the ones to lose. Look at where Chernobyl 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

wasn’t in a


here in California we had the 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 is if you give animals the habit they need they’ll show up. There’s a zillion ways of reconnecting with the soil….

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 a long growing season here in so cal too. My husband as a gift someone invited 

  • 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. 

in addition to planting you also have to take care of them… doing really well

of course are my greens these things are fantastic

  • swiss chard
  • kale

My lettuce has bolted because it got warm, and my 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 they’ll just regrow

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

what else gets attracted

  • short dwarf lemon trees want to make sure they get a lot of 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 they don’t taste good like the ones I get at the farmer’s market?! I think a lot of this that’s exciting is how much work and effort goes into

wheather I’m getting it at my garden or the farmer’s market there’s 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 you 

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! 

then you get the aphids…  and I’m like 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 drink another things you can do  is put it in a 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, wait until they fall over and then pull them up. That’s what I do is I let them grow wild

not harvesting enough potatoes to keep us through the winter. 

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 a Broad fork 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. 

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 the 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 it 

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 these Miss Marple books, difficult in England

Or on


audible logo

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

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 this lovely richness

pass that around, because it’s had the scobies in there you can’t even see the pieces, you can’t see them they’ve just been consumed, I think that helps roses to do well. Putting acid loving soil

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

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

Let’s take a minute to thank our affiliates!

Recommended books on the Organic Gardener Podcast

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Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

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

If it’s my least favorite I’m not doing it

It would be dealing with the aphids

I bought the lady bugs but they just fly away

attack it early


caring for plants

let one plant go to aphids almost like a sacrifice, I say you guys stay over here and then 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! I feel like, you’re communicating you end with your trees and your plants. 

  • lemon trees
  • kumquats

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


the seed putting love into everything you do

constantly buying more stuff, we don’t value or appreciate the things we do have

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

those pieces have a

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

piece itself

  • clothes
  • garden
  • bookshelf

Anywhere you can cultivate that love and put positive energy

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

if your home’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’m 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?

Don’t fight nature let nature take it’s course, 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 be so disappointed and Ill be like oh no, my lemon didn’t grow

relearning patience and process.

trusting in the outcomes that come

A favorite tool that you like to use? 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’s not exactly a pitchfork

railroad tie



compost is hard

do need to trun it

So I like how it helps me 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 little tomatoes growing in the garden and then make a 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 for info on kombucha.

kombuchakamp.comWe make it really easy, we’ve been 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 that 

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can 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 with 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 and 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 by 

  • school gardens
  • urban gardens

serving the food deserts and remember that the first grocery store didn’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 the insane processed food

  • root cellars
  • farmer’s market
  • relationship with milk person who dropped it off at your doorstep

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

Recultivate that love of gardening

caring for our earth….

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 then listen to that impulse

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

couch locker stuck staring at aa screen all the time.

go do that…

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 Podcast 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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Hannah Crum


Alex LaGory


Kombucha Brewers International




About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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