With Mother’s 50th anniversary just around the corner, we’re reviving Report From Them That’s Doin’, a department featuring people discussing what they’re learning, who’s inspiring them, what tools they’re using, and more.
We want to know what’s captured your interest too. Have you discovered a nifty device or launched a DIY project? Taken an illuminating class or discovered an innovative gardening technique? Tell us at Letters@MotherEarthNews.com. In the meantime, here’s what we’ve been doin’.
Fermentation and Flowers
Last winter, I began brewing kombucha and baking bread. Winter was long, so I had to keep my kombucha in my oven to maintain an ambient temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Likewise, I baked bread on warmer winter days, fearing a slow rise given the inconsistent temperature of my drafty house. I was successful on all counts. I also propagated houseplants! I trimmed my violets to get a bit more color on my windowsills. This can be tricky, but it’s truly exciting when tiny new clusters of growth pop up. I love it! — Jean Denney, editor
I picked up a Mortier Pilon fermenting crock during a fundraising auction, and I’m having fun fermenting for the first time. I found a fermented horchata recipe and had to try it. I’m not a fan of kombucha (don’t tell my co-workers), but I wanted to experiment with fermented drinks. The recipe produced enough concentrate for two batches. I’d like to think the ferment benefited from some lovely honey I got while living in Europe, but how could one go wrong when rice and cinnamon are involved? Currently in the jar: pickled fermented mushrooms. — Amanda Kim Stairrett, online editorial assistant
Portable Clothes Washer
After using the Lavario Portable Clothes Washer for a live video, I decided to test it out at home with our kitchen laundry. Being able to wash at your own pace and decide when your clothes are clean is satisfying. I used a small amount of water, let the laundry soak, and then added a plant-based detergent, which enabled me to use the leftover greywater in my garden. After washing with the Lavario, I continued to use it as a hamper where I stored our dirty kitchen towels. If you’re looking for a space-friendly, dual-purpose manual washer, this is the way to go. — Queren King-Orozco, digital content assistant
Lightweight Water Filter
When an emergency strikes, having a stash of bottled water is valuable, but this requires preparation and provides only a limited supply. The Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System can offer additional peace of mind; it filters water without electricity, batteries, chemicals, cartridges, or bulky equipment. It can easily screw onto an external water source, and weighs only 2 ounces. — Liam Kivirist, writer
What Have You Been Doin’?
Tell us what you’ve been up to at Letters@MotherEarthNews.com, and include “That’s Them Doin’” in the subject line. You may end up in the magazine!