Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Kombucha and Kraut Kamper!

Kombucha on the Kamper Kounter

People ask if there is anything I miss about being in a regular house. Most of you know that we have been living full-time in our camper for about 10 months now. You can read about our camper life in the blog archives. In a nutshell, our decision to do this was inspired by Will Tuttle (author of The World Peace Diet) and his partner Madeline. They have been living full-time in their camper for about 15 years.

Things I LOVE about living in our little camper:
-Simple systems that we are in touch with . In our big house I was not that aware of how much energy or water I used. I tried to be conservative with my usage and we had a grey water system, but I did not have exact gauges like we have in our home on wheels. We use very little water or electric and will soon be converting our electric system to solar.
-We get to park in some of the most beautiful places on earth and have views out our front door that are usually reserved for very wealthy land owners.
-The loudest sound we hear at night is owls and peepers and crickets.
-When visiting friends or attending conferences, we dont have to pack and unpack....our home is with us.
-Only about 10 minutes to really do a thorough cleaning.
-No lawn to mow or major maintenance.
-Flexibility to move with the weather or our conference schedule.
-The perfect size shower with a skylight or our outdoor solar heated shower.
-A sweet little kitchen with everything we need and a great little gas stove.
-It is like backpacking but with all the luxuries of home and a GIANT backpack that someone else carries.
-Being part of so many communities and visiting friends, farmers markets and libraries wherever we go.

Things I don't like about our home on wheels:
-No separate space to meditate or sleep in if one of us gets up early. (The meditation space has been solved with a very small tent that is not set up next to the camper....but it is tough to go out there when it is cold) Doing regular yoga is also a challenge when the weather doesnt cooperate.
-Small aisle in the kitchen/office/bedroom...takes some choreography between us and the two dogs.
-Having the dogs with us when much of the USA is not dog-friendly or easy with dogs who are used to being off-leash. (This will be easier when we are in the Southwest).

As I am typing this, a piliated woodpecker just landed and is drilling away on a dead tree about 5 feet away from me. His beautiful red head is gleaming in the sunlight like a London punk's mohawk. Geez, can barely hear myself think around here with all that racket. Honestly, isn't it funny how our story about something can change our whole reaction to it? If there was some person standing 5 feet from me pounding away on a piece of wood, I would be so annoyed. But when a piliated woodpecker is making at least that much noise, I feel blessed by his presence.

Our camper food scene is great. We have two on-going science projects that make me particularly happy. One is JC's saurkraut. He makes it with red cabbage and lots of other veggies and it creates its own brine from just the addition of salt. This stuff is seriously delicious and beautiful.
Here is a brand new batch sitting with an aged batch:

Want to make your own very easy saurkraut? You can find instructions on our website: www.plantpeacedaily.org.

You can also make your own kombucha. The photo at the beginning of the blog is one of our bottles of home-brewed kombucha. The stuff sells for about 3 dollars for a little bottle of it in the natural food store. I make mine with kukicha twig tea and maple syrup, agave or other sweetener for about 15 cents a bottle. We always have a gallon of it fermenting on our counter. The culture (known as a scoby) is available for free in most communities. The tradition with kombucha is to always give away your surplus culture..and there is plenty of surplus once you get started on the kombucha making path. If you are looking for your starter culture, just start asking around....ask at yoga class or through Freecycle.org in your community. There is debate about whether or not these fermented foods and their pro-biotics have much in the way of health benefits...I cannot end that debate and say for sure that these are super-foods. But, I can tell you that they taste great and we love them!

http://cf.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/images/012008/photocontest-_pileated_woodpecker_07.jpg"I don't understand why that annoying woman keeps pecking away at that keyboard when she doesn't get a single insect out of it."

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