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Them That’s Doin’: Forays into Fermentation

Check out what MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors and readers have been enjoying lately, from apps and classes to tools and techniques. In this edition, editors are experimenting with fermentation, cleaning laundry in a portable clothes washer, and filtering water with a lightweight filtration system.

| October/November 2019

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 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


Fermentation Foray

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

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