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.

article image
by Haley Casey

Kombucha Kit

I got the opportunity to take fermentation into my own hands and try the Kombucha Starter Kit from Northern Brewer. I was worried about keeping a SCOBY alive through a constant brewing process, but I couldn’t have been more surprised by how simple brewing turned out to be. This kit comes with instructions that are clear enough for any beginner to follow. My first batch was a success! Making my own kombucha means I also get to experiment with unique flavors, from strawberry-basil made with my own garden ingredients, to ginger-orange, rosemary-grapefruit, and lemonade. –Haley Casey, editor

boot on snow with a boot print and ice grips laying to the side

Slip-Proof Grips

Too many of my friends and family members have slipped on ice and suffered broken bones, and the older I get, the more anxious I get that the same thing will happen to me. So, last winter, I invested in the Yaktrax Pro Ice Grips. I’d long heard of these traction cleats’ excellent reputation. But, still, I was tentative about walking in them. No fear: The lightweight steel coils really dig into snow and ice. The Pro’s rubber bands can be tricky to pull over footwear, but this can be avoided by leaving them strapped to your outdoor boots all winter. –Rebecca Martin, editor

green and tan board game with green yellow blue and purple dice

Gardening Games

I recently came across some gardening-related games that I tried with my friends. The first, Herbaceous Sprouts, is a dice-based board game in which players collect seeds to cultivate sprouts in a community garden. Its instructions take some time to decipher, but we had fun after the game got going. The other game is a deck of cards called Foragers Playing Cards. The cards can function as a normal deck, but each suit corresponds to a food category, and each card includes an illustration of a wild item and its foraging information. The plants range from deadly to edible, with higher numbers indicating safety. Both games have vibrant illustrations and fun applications, and would make great gifts for gameplayers with green thumbs. –Amanda Sorell, editor

bone needle pushed through red and gray yarn project on a wooden table

Nålbinding: Hats and Mittens

Nålbinding is an ancient form of knotless netting. I’m fascinated with the technique because I only need yarn, a needle, and my thumb to make hats, mittens, socks, and anything else I can imagine. I use a bone needle, but wooden needles are also common. The stitch marker helps me keep track of how many rows I’ve done; I decided to leave it hooked to the finished piece as a decoration. –Carla Tilghman, editor

What Have You Been Doin’?

Tell us what you’ve been up to at, and include “Them That’s Doin'” in the subject line. You may end up in the magazine!




Grit has compiled expertly written tips on thriving on less out where the pavement ends. The new Grit Premium Issue: Guide to Frugal Country Living is 112 pages of articles that help you live a more sustainable lifestyle. Inside, you’ll find how to create your own home-based business, heat the homestead with wood, build a hoop house, feed a flock of chickens the easy way, learn more about cast-iron cookware, make your own soap, and so much more.

Learn how a few extra seed saving steps, and simple ones at that, will keep your garden growing next year. Read everything you need to know when considering a biomass system to heat your home or shop. Discover how these reclaimed-lumber raised beds let you garden without the toil of tilling. Versatile, durable and easy to use, the original nonstick cookware is still a kitchen essential. Learn the very best homemade cleaning recipes and avoid harmful chemicals and save money with effective cleaners using this collection of simple recipes.

Order from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Store or by calling 800-234-3368.