How to Make Kombucha At Home

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.


Kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (besides water), but storebought kombucha is SO expensive! Learn how to make kombucha at home for a fraction of the price, plus get as creative as you like with custom flavours! Homemade kombucha is healthy, affordable, delicious and easy to make. Here's everything you need to know to get started! #homemadekombucha #howtomakekombucha #kombucharecipeI’m not gonna lie: when I first decided to learn how to make kombucha at home, I was feeling pretty intimidated.

I had never done any fermenting before and, just like with learning any new skill, I feared I would mess it up or make my family sick. 

But as it turns out, making kombucha at home is actually one of the quickest and easiest things that I now DIY on a regular basis. It takes very little hands-on time to brew a batch and virtually no special skills or equipment to get started. All you need is some water, sugar, tea, a SCOBY (which we’ll talk more about in just a minute), a glass jar and some bottles.

Oh, and it’s nearly impossible to mess it up or make anybody sick with homemade kombucha. In fact, quite the opposite: kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks you can consume besides water!


Cool. But what is kombucha, exactly?

Kombucha is a bubbly fermented drink made from black or green sweet tea.

To make it, all you need to do is brew some tea, mix it with sugar, let it cool and then add your SCOBY and some starter liquid and then let it sit on your counter and ferment at room temperature for a few days. Once it’s fermented, your kombucha will be ready to flavour and bottle, and then a few days later it will be bubbly and delicious and ready to drink!


Health benefits of kombucha

Kombucha is a fizzy, carbonated drink that can be flavoured in a myriad of ways using fruits, herbs and spices. But unlike soda and other carbonated beverages that are loaded with sugar and flavoured with artificial flavours, kombucha is all natural and is actually very low in sugar. This is because, even though kombucha is made with sugar, the SCOBY actually feeds on the sugar during the fermentation process. (See “What is a SCOBY?” below for more info.)

The longer kombucha is left to ferment, the less sugar remains, and by the time it’s ready to consume, there is typically very little sugar left. It also feeds on the caffeine in the tea, leaving very little caffeine too:) Since it is fermented, “living” food, (err, drink), kombucha is also very beneficial for gut health and for supporting a healthy microbiome.

As we are becoming more and more aware, our overall health and immunity is intrinsically tied to our gut health, and fermented foods and the probiotics they contain are one of the best possible things to consume to support a healthy gut!


How much does it cost to make kombucha at home?

Making your own kombucha is WAAAY cheaper than buying it from the store. Like, insanely cheaper.

Like anything, there will likely be a few start-up costs at the beginning (although they are very minimal), but overall making your own homemade kombucha is extremely economical.

Case in point: I can make about a gallon of kombucha at home for literal pennies. Okay, maybe it might cost me up to a buck or two for a gallon depending on the exact ingredients I use to flavour it. But that’s even a bit of a stretch.

Compare this to store-bought kombucha, which can cost anywhere from about $5 to $10 for a 16oz bottle. I’ve priced it out before, and for roughly the same amount as I make at home in a gallon batch, it would cost me roughly $40 to $60 to buy it ready-made from the store!

But financial savings aren’t the only reason to make your own kombucha at home…


Kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (besides water), but storebought kombucha is SO expensive! Learn how to make kombucha at home for a fraction of the price, plus get as creative as you like with custom flavours! Homemade kombucha is healthy, affordable, delicious and easy to make. Here's everything you need to know to get started! #homemadekombucha #howtomakekombucha #kombucharecipe

Other reasons to make kombucha at home

By making your own homemade kombucha, you also have total control over the flavour, as well as the sugar content.

When it comes to flavouring kombucha, you can get as creative as you like! I’ll talk more about some of my favourite ways to flavour kombucha and favourite flavour combinations further on in this blog post, but for now just know that there really are no rules when it comes to flavouring your homemade kombucha.

Finally, while you do need to use sugar to start a fresh batch of kombucha, the fermentation process essentially consumes the sugar for you so that there’s much less sugar in the finished product by the time you’re ready to drink it.

The longer you allow your kombucha to ferment, the less sugar there will be in the end. In fact, if you ferment kombucha long enough, there will be almost no sugar left at all, and in this case kombucha is even allowed on reduced sugar or keto diets! 

However when you’re purchasing it from the store, the sugar levels vary depending on the brand and the batch, so you definitely have much more control over how much sugar is in your kombucha when you brew your own at home.


Kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (besides water), but storebought kombucha is SO expensive! Learn how to make kombucha at home for a fraction of the price, plus get as creative as you like with custom flavours! Homemade kombucha is healthy, affordable, delicious and easy to make. Here's everything you need to know to get started! #homemadekombucha #howtomakekombucha #kombucharecipe

What is a SCOBY??

The acronym SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.

You use an existing SCOBY to start each new batch of kombucha and then a new SCOBY forms as a thin layer on the surface of the batch when it’s fermenting. It eventually grows into a thick, gelatinous disc that looks a bit like a large mushroom or an alien sea creature of some kind. I’m not gonna lie, it can definitely be a little confronting the first time you lay eyes on one! (Just ask my friends who gasp and ask “dear God what is that thing?!” When they see it floating in a gallon of kombucha on my counter!)

But I assure you, there’s nothing threatening or alien about SCOBYs. They’re a perfectly natural part of the sweet tea fermentation process, and they’re an essential ingredient when it comes to brewing your own kombucha at home. 


Where do I get a SCOBY from?

If you’re ready to get started making your own kombucha, you’ll need a SCOBY to get started. You can either ask around locally and see if you can get one through a friend or through Facebook marketplace, etc., or you can buy one online. 

I got my first SCOBY for free from a friend and have never had to get another one because they multiply every time you brew a fresh batch! 

* If you happen to live in the Comox Valley send me a message and I will happily give you one of my SCOBYs free of charge:)

But even if it costs you a few bucks for your first SCOBY, so long as you keep brewing kombucha somewhat regularly and store your SCOBYs correctly (see below), you’ll never have to buy one again, and you could even potentially sell extra SCOBYs to other people in your area!


Where to order a SCOBY online

If you’re opting to order a SCOBY online, there are a couple places you can get one from. One of my favourite places to get all sorts of fermented starter cultures (including SCOBYS, yogurt starter cultures, sourdough starters, kefir, etc.) is from Cultures For Health.

Cultures For Health also sells some pretty delicious kombucha flavour kits, including flavours like White Tea and Ginger, Lavender Lemonade, Black Chai Spice and more.

You can also order a SCOBY from Amazon. 


Can I make my own SCOBY?

Technically, you can grow your own SCOBY simply by mixing brewed tea, sugar and some starter liquid (kombucha). Eventually a new SCOBY will form, but it typically takes a lot longer to create a SCOBY from scratch this way and your kombucha will be susceptible to being taken over by bad bacteria while you wait as part of the SCOBY’s job is to populate your kombucha with enough good bacteria that bad bacteria can’t thrive.

I’ve never personally made my own SCOBY from scratch and don’t really recommend it, but technically it’s possible if you wanna get really scrappy.


Kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (besides water), but storebought kombucha is SO expensive! Learn how to make kombucha at home for a fraction of the price, plus get as creative as you like with custom flavours! Homemade kombucha is healthy, affordable, delicious and easy to make. Here's everything you need to know to get started! #homemadekombucha #howtomakekombucha #kombucharecipe

What else do I need to make kombucha at home?

Aside from a SCOBY, you’ll need a few other basic ingredients and tools to get started making kombucha at home.

You’ll need… 

  • A SCOBY (see above)
  • Tea (you can use any black, green or white tea, bagged or looseleaf. But make sure it’s organic!  I like Farmhouse Teas (affiliate link) and highly recommend their superior organic teas! 
  • Sugar (I prefer organic cane sugar. I’ve also used coconut sugar with success).
  • Water (tap water is fine, just make sure it’s filtered or non-chlorinated. If it’s chlorinated, make sure to boil it first to remove the chlorine).
  • A glass vessel (glass gallon jars are my favourite, but you can use half gallons or even quart jars for small batches)
  • Bottles (I like using swing-top bottles like this, but I also use old (clean) growlers and howlers that I’ve picked up at local breweries, etc.)
  • Flavouring (this is optional, but recommended. You can use fruit, juice, herbs, spices or herbal tea blends to flavour your kombucha)

Alternatively, you can get everything you need to get started making kombucha at home –minus the glass vessel– with this starter kit from my friend and affiliate partner, CeAnne at Farmhouse Teas.

The Homestead Kombucha Bundle is only available for a limited time, and has everything you need to get started brewing kombucha at home, including Farmhouse Teas’ Three Sisters black kombucha tea blend, a starter SCOBY, a bag of organic cane sugar and three of my favourite flavour packs, including Farmhouse Teas’ Strawberry Mojito, Rose Berry and Rosemary Citrus herbal tea blends. Plus you’l get a stainless steel strainer, a 30+ page kombucha brewing eBook and more, including a bonus kombucha brewing video course (among other sweet bonuses). 

AND, until June 30th, you can save a massive $100+ off this limited edition bundle. Check it out right here.


How to make homemade kombucha

Once you’ve got your SCOBY, tea, sugar and fermenting vessel, you’re ready to get started making your own kombucha at home! 

First you’ll need to know how much of each ingredient to use. This will depend on the size of your fermenting vessel.

For a quart-size jar, use

  • ½ Tablespoon loose leaf tea or 2 tea bags
  • ¼ cup sugar 
  • ½ cup starter tea

For a half gallon, use

  • 1 Tablespoon loose leaf tea or 4 tea bags
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup starter tea

For a gallon, use

  • 2 Tablespoons loose leaf tea or 8 tea bags
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups starter tea


Step 1 – First Ferment

The first part of the kombucha-making process is called the First Ferment. This is the part where you actually get your batch going and get it started fermenting. 


Watch: How to Make Kombucha At Home – First Ferment

Here’s what you do:

1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place your tea into a tea pot or other similar vessel to steep in (you could also use a pot or a glass jar or bowl). Make sure that loose leaf tea is contained in a tea bag or strainer.

2. Once your water has boiled, pour it over your tea and allow tea to steep for about 5 minutes. 

3. Strain tea or remove tea bags and then transfer tea to your fermenting vessel (make sure to leave space for your starter tea!). Add sugar and stir until dissolved.

4. If there’s lots of extra room in your fermenting vessel (ie. in a large, gallon jar), top with cool water until your vessel is about of the way full.

5. Allow tea to cool to at least 85 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler (room temperature to tepid, lukewarm water is ideal) before adding your starter tea and your SCOBY. 

* DO NOT add your SCOBY to hot tea! If the liquid is too hot, -it will kill your SCOBY! Liquid should also be at least room temperature and not refrigerated when doing your first ferment as refrigeration slows the fermentation process.

6. Once your tea has cooled down, add you starter tea and your SCOBY. Then place a coffee filter over the jar opening and secure with an elastic band. Set kombucha aside on your counter at room temperature but out of direct sunlight, and leave it to ferment for at least 5 to 7 days and up to about 2 weeks.

* The time it takes for your kombucha to ferment depends on the temperature (warmer temps = faster fermentation and cooler temps = slower fermentation), as well as your personal preferences (if you prefer it sweeter, bottle it sooner. If you prefer less sugar, wait a little longer to bottle it).


Step 2 – Second Ferment

The second ferment is when the real fun begins! This is when you get to add your flavourings and bottle your kombucha!


Watch: How to Make Kombucha At Home – Second Ferment

You’ll need… 

  • Bottles (use glass bottles with airtight lids to bottle your kombucha and allow it to build up carbonation. I like to use swing-top bottles or glass growlers for mine). 
  • Flavourings (fresh, frozen or dried fruits, fruit juices, herbs and spices work great for flavouring kombucha! I especially like using the herbal tea blends from Farmhouse Teas to flavour my kombucha. My favourite flavours are Rose Berry, Strawberry Mojito, Apple Pie and Turmeric Ginger Peach… Okay, who am I kidding. I like them all!) 


Kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (besides water), but storebought kombucha is SO expensive! Learn how to make kombucha at home for a fraction of the price, plus get as creative as you like with custom flavours! Homemade kombucha is healthy, affordable, delicious and easy to make. Here's everything you need to know to get started! #homemadekombucha #howtomakekombucha #kombucharecipe

Add your flavouring(s)

Start by adding your flavourings to your bottle. If using fruit, you can either pop it in the bottle whole, chopped up, or blend it up first with a tablespoon or two of kombucha and then add it to the bottle. If adding herbal tea, herbs or spices, just add them in loose. You can strain them out later. 

As for how much to add, I sort of eyeball it, but on average I’ll add about one tablespoon of herbal tea to a 34 oz. swing-top bottle, or about ¼ cup of fresh or frozen fruit. If adding spices (cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, etc.) I add about ½ teaspoon dried, ground spices or 1 teaspoon fresh (ie. ginger, turmeric, etc.).

This is where you get to play around with the different flavours and amounts and find what works for you. There are no hard and fast rules about flavouring kombucha like there are when you’re doing your initial ferment, so have fun! I’ve personally never made a bottle of kombucha I didn’t like, but if you do happen to make a bottle too strong or you don’t like the flavour combination, it won’t hurt you. Just chalk it up to experience and adjust your flavouring next time:)

The sky’s pretty much the limit when it comes to flavouring kombucha. I love using the herbal flavouring packs from Farmhouse Teas because they’re delicious, 100% organic and already blended for me, but here are some of my other favourite flavours and combinations…


Kombucha flavour combo ideas 

  • Strawberry Mint 
  • Strawberry Basil 
  • Strawberry Rhubarb 
  • Blueberry Lemon/Lime 
  • Lemon Ginger 
  • Pineapple Ginger 
  • Mango Pineapple 
  • Blackberry Ginger 
  • Apple Cinnamon 
  • Raspberry Cherry 
  • Raspberry Lemon 
  • Watermelon Mint 
  • Cherry Lime 
  • Cranberry Orange 
  • Lemon Rosemary 
  • Blackberry Cherry 
  • Blackberry Mint 
  • Pear Ginger 
  • Tripleberry (Blackberry Blueberry & Raspberry or Strawberry)


Kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (besides water), but storebought kombucha is SO expensive! Learn how to make kombucha at home for a fraction of the price, plus get as creative as you like with custom flavours! Homemade kombucha is healthy, affordable, delicious and easy to make. Here's everything you need to know to get started! #homemadekombucha #howtomakekombucha #kombucharecipe

Bottle your kombucha 

Once you’ve added your flavourings to the bottle, use a funnel to pour in your kombucha (remove the SCOBYs first!). Fill the bottles up to the top, leaving about an inch to ½ inch headspace. Seal the bottles with the lid and set it aside on the counter out of direct sunlight once more.

Allow the bottles to sit and do their second ferment for about two or three days. Then transfer to the fridge to chill before serving!

Allowing your bottled kombucha to sit on the counter for a few days allows it to continue fermenting and helps build carbonation. Putting it in the fridge helps slow the carbonation so it doesn’t get too bubbly.

I recommend chilling it before opening it up, both because cold kombucha (like cold beer) just tastes better, and because I once opened a warm bottle of blackberry kombucha in my friend’s kitchen and it EXPLODED all over their ceiling, walls, clothes… Not my finest hour. 

To be fair, we had been travelling and I had it jumbling around in my backpack, and I’ve never had a problem with chilled kombucha! Still, you might want to open it over the sink (or outside) just in case;)


How to store homemade kombucha

Store kombucha in the fridge. If you store bottled kombucha at room temperature for a long time it will build up a lot of carbonation and could start to leak or even explode all over. Storing it in the fridge will slow the carbonation and keep it longer. 

Kombucha is fermented, so it won’t technically go bad. But once opened, it can lose carbonation within about a week or so.

If left to ferment for too long, it will also start to taste more like vinegar than a refreshing drink. If this happens, simply use it as a base for homemade salad dressing!


Kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (besides water), but storebought kombucha is SO expensive! Learn how to make kombucha at home for a fraction of the price, plus get as creative as you like with custom flavours! Homemade kombucha is healthy, affordable, delicious and easy to make. Here's everything you need to know to get started! #homemadekombucha #howtomakekombucha #kombucharecipe

Is Kombucha safe for kids?

Due to the fermentation process, there is sometimes trace amounts of alcohol in kombucha, but nowhere near enough to cause any sort or effects. Still, this is something you might want to consider when giving kombucha to young children.

I definitely wouldn’t give it to babies under one year old as they are still developing their digestive systems. But our almost five-year-old LOVES kombucha and drinks it regularly (and has been drinking it since she was three). She doesn’t even know to ask for soda, but she asks for kombucha on almost a daily basis!


Storing your SCOBYs in a SCOBY hotel

Every time you brew a new batch of kombucha, a new SCOBY will form. Before long, you’ll no doubt end up with quite a few of them! And they all need a safe place to live when you’re not actively using them to make a fresh batch of kombucha. 

Enter the SCOBY hotel…

SCOBY hotels are essentially just glass jars where you store your SCOBYs along with some of the fermented tea from previous batches of kombucha. I store my SCOBYs in a gallon-sized glass jar and I always add about two cups of starter liquid back to it along with my SCOBYs after I’m finished with my first ferment (before bottling and flavouring). This will keep your SCOBYs alive and healthy until the next time you go to use them.

Store your SCOBY hotel in a dark, room temperature place. I store mine in our pantry. I’ve stored SCOBYs without using them for up to about two months or so before and they’ve always been fine, but to keep them strong and healthy, you should brew a fresh batch at least once a month or so and then add some of the starter liquid from your fresh batch back into your SCOBY hotel so they have more sugar and caffeine to feed on.

If you go too long without “feeding” them some fresh starter liquid, they could starve to death. Although from my own experience, they’re pretty hardy little creatures and seem to survive just fine for quite a long time!


Kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet (besides water), but storebought kombucha is SO expensive! Learn how to make kombucha at home for a fraction of the price, plus get as creative as you like with custom flavours! Homemade kombucha is healthy, affordable, delicious and easy to make. Here's everything you need to know to get started! #homemadekombucha #howtomakekombucha #kombucharecipe

What to do with extra SCOBYs

At some point, you’ll find yourself with more SCOBYs than you need or than you have room for in your SCOBY hotel. Not to mention, SCOBYs do get old and very thick as they continue to grow. Here are some ideas for what to do with extra SCOBYs you no longer need…

  • Sell them (or give them away!)
  • Feed them to your chickens (our chickens LOVE when I chop up a SCOBY or two, and it’s just as healthy for them as it is for us humans!)
  • Compost them 
  • Blend them up and add them to your smoothie (ok, I haven’t personally done this, but I know of people who have, and it’s extra probiotics for you! Yum! ??)


Download your FREE Kombucha eBook!

Once you make homemade kombucha a few times, it’ll likely become second nature. But you’ll probably want to refer back to the instructions a few times when you’re first getting started. To help with this I created a free Kombucha-making eBook that you can download from my Free Resource Library. 

> Sign up here to get access to all of the resources in my (growing) library, and find my How to Make Kombucha At Home step-by-step printable guide under the Kitchen & Pantry Resources section of the library.




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Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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First of all, I just want to say a huge THANK YOU for all of the support during this difficult time.

(See my last post from yesterday if you're not sure what I'm talking about).

Second, despite the lows of the past week, it does bring me joy to announce that I've opened up the doors to my Yes, You CAN! home canning course once again, and for a limited time only, I'm offering an additional $20 discount off the total cost of the course.

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Plus, if you enroll before midnight tomorrow night, you'll also get a free copy of my Herbal Infusions Masterclass and eBook, so you can preserve your herbs by making your own extracts, tinctures, oils and herbal medicines.

I hope you'll join me in putting up the harvest this preserving season.
While we may not have control over most things in life, this is one area where we have complete control, and that's a good and comforting feeling.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to to learn more.

(Remember to use code TAKE20 at checkout to get your discount)

I hope you’ll join me in putting up the harvest this canning season.

While we may not have control over most things in life, this is one area where we have complete control, and that's a good and comforting feeling.

We lost a baby last week.

We’ve now lost 4 pregnancies in a row, and every loss is heart-wrenching.

I still don’t have the words to describe what we’re going through, nor the heart to share everything right now. It’s tough to be a content creator whose job revolves around sharing your life with the world when your own world comes crashing down, over and over again.

While I’m in the very unlucky 1% of women who lose three or more pregnancies in a row, I know I’m not alone and that there are many more grieving mamas with broken hearts and unconditional love for their unborn babies.

We don’t talk enough about pregnancy loss and its impact on families. I hope to change that in my own small way as our own family continues to navigate this journey together, but right now we’re healing.

And today we’re celebrating our beautiful Earth Angel’s 5th birthday. I truly don’t know how or if I’d be able to cope with all of the losses without her, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

I’ll be back with more “regularly scheduled content” tomorrow as I’m opening the doors to my home canning course this week, but if I’m otherwise a bit scarce right now, you know why.

Thanks for being here and for your ongoing support through all of the ups and downs 🙏

I get a lot of questions about how to know if a canning recipe or method is safe.

Often times these messages come from people who have been handed down old canning recipes and cookbooks from their parents and grandparents, or have fond memories of old recipes but want to know if they’re safe to can according to today’s standards.

The fact is, many of the canning recipes and methods that our grandparents and even our parents used are no longer considered safe. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make them safe!

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Plus I’ll be answering your canning questions live at the end of the training!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to to save your seat!

In the meantime, leave your canning questions below👇 in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them all on Saturday!

I hope to see you there 😊

Sometimes when I look at our pantry full of home-canned food, even I find it hard to believe that I started canning just six years ago.

But while I’m 100% confident when it comes to canning food nowadays, I definitely didn’t start out that way.

When I canned my first batch of applesauce, I was so afraid that it would make my baby daughter sick that I refused to feed her a single spoonful, and I ate the rest with my fingers crossed that I’d live to tell the tale!

Then came my first batch of green beans. I hid around the corner as the pressure canner hissed and rattled, afraid it would blow up my kitchen. And after all was said and done, I was so scared to eat the beans that I had lovingly grown from seed and preserved that I ended up tossing every single jar in the garbage. Talk about a waste of food! (Not to mention time and effort).

After A LOT of time spent researching, learning and honing my canning skills, I now can HUNDREDS of jars of food each year, and I do so with absolute confidence knowing that each and every jar is safe to eat.

Nowadays I cringe when I see bad and even downright DANGEROUS canning advice floating around on the Internet (and sadly there’s A LOT of it out there). Because the last thing you want when you’re canning homegrown and/or homemade food for your family is to make them sick… or worse!

Luckily, canning food is 100% safe so long as you know the few simple rules you need to follow.

If you’re ready to start canning your own food at home so that you always have a pantry stocked with healthy, delicious and SAFE home-canned food to feed your family, ai’m hosting a free webinar this Saturday, July 24th where I’ll be teaching you the 6 simple rules for safe home canning, as well as how to safely tweak and adapt canning recipes, and even how you can take a favourite family recipe and make it safe to can.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to save your seat and bring any canning questions you have! I hope to see you there 🙂

You may know him from his popular YouTube channel, @thejustinrhodesshow or like me, you may have first discovered him from his 2018 feature-length documentary, The Great American Farm Tour. Or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to have met him in person at one of the Homesteaders Of America conferences. Either way, odds are if you’ve been part of the modern homesteading world for any length of time, you’ve probably come across Justin Rhodes and his family before. And if you haven’t, then I'm thrilled to be the one to introduce you to the man of the hour!

A self-proclaimed "apron-wearing, permaculture chicken ninja-master," Justin opens up his permaculture homestead to almost one million people every week through his YouTube channel and inspires people to live a more sustainable and abundant life through homesteading, and specifically, through implementing permaculture principles and practices to their own homesteads in order to work smarter, not harder and produce more with less input.

He sat down with me for the permaculture issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine to talk more about his own personal philosophy and approach to homesteading, work and life in general, and to help break down the principles of permaculture into practical steps and concrete examples that anybody can understand and use to lessen their own workload while increasing their yields, and to bring a little bit of permaculture to their own homesteads, no matter how big or small.

Check out the video version of my interview with Justin on YouTube (link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to to watch), OR read the full print interview with Justin, plus get access to even more exclusive content by subscribing to Modern Homesteading Magazine! Link in bio or go to to subscribe for free and get the latest issue delivered straight to your inbox!

Have you ever gleaned food before??⁠

If you're not familiar with gleaning, it's basically the act of harvesting and collecting excess or unwanted crops so that they don’t go to waste. Historically, gleaning was actually considered a human right in parts of Europe and the middle east. In fact, the right to glean was even written into the Old Testament!⁠

It was common practice to leave the excess crops in the field for the poor and peasant class to come glean, and in 18th century England it was the legal right of those without enough land of their own to grow food, to glean the fields of local farms after the majority of the crops were harvested. Similar laws existed in France too at the time.⁠

Nowadays an estimated 96 BILLION pounds of food is left in the fields and wasted before it even gets a chance to make it to market. And up to 50% of fruits and vegetables are discarded for being “ugly” or imperfect looking.⁠

Luckily gleaning is making a comeback in communities across North America and the world, and community food recovery programs are popping up all over to facilitate the process. ⁠

Every summer our family teams up with one of our local food organizations (@lushvalley) to glean unwanted food from around our community. Farmers and private owners will call to say they have crops that they need help harvesting, or a fruit tree or a grapevine that's dropping fruit that they don't want, and then a team will come out to glean it. In the end, the gleaners keep a portion of the food, the owner keeps a portion (if they want it) and the rest goes to local food banks and to those in the community who need it most. ⁠

This is just one of the ways we like to help our community and get a little free food for ourselves without having to grow it on our property. ⁠

To learn more about gleaning and about the other ways to get free organic food (without having to grow it yourself), click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to

I remember being so nervous when I canned my very first batch of applesauce...⁠

It was the first thing I ever canned at home, and I was sure I was going to get botulism and die if I ate it, or worse, that I would feed it to my 6-month old daughter and she would get botulism and die and my life would be over. ⁠

This might sound a little crazy for a seasoned canner who knows what they’re doing, but it’s a legitimate fear for new home canners who don’t yet understand the process. ⁠

In the end I did eat it myself, and lived to tell the tale! But I was too scared to feed it to Evelyn until about a year later when I was confident in what I was doing.⁠

Nowadays we can hundreds of jars of food every year, both with our water bath canner and our pressure canner. But if you're just starting out, water bath canning is the way to go. It's easy, it doesn't require a lot of special equipment, and there are sooo many foods that can be water bath canned and preserved for the winter!⁠

Jams, jellies, pickles, pie fillings, sauces and salsas, fruits and fruit butters... The possibilities aren't exactly endless, but there are enough recipes to keep you going for a long time without ever getting bored.⁠

Now is the time to learn how to can if you haven't yet! I'll be opening the doors to my canning course next week, but in the meantime, click the ink in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to to get started!

🧺 I've heard some horror stories about homemade laundry detergent.

Many people claim that homemade laundry detergents are either bad for your clothes, bad for your washing machine, or both. I’ve read many articles that claim homemade laundry soaps and detergents either don’t work (ie. leave clothes looking and smelling dirty), have discoloured people’s clothes (leaving whites yellow and colours looking dull), or left soap residue in the fibres of clothes. Some say it even ruined their washing machines, specifically front loaders and HE washing machines.

Not to mention the many online sources that claim that if your washing machine goes on the fritz during your warranty period and you’ve been using homemade laundry detergent, your warranty will be void.

On top of all of that, borax -a common ingredient used in homemade laundry detergent- has been called into question for safety reasons, as it can be toxic and even deadly if ingested or used indicated on skin.

It's enough to scare you away from ever trying to make your own laundry detergent at home 😱

However, I’ve been making and using homemade laundry detergent for about 2½ years now, and not only have I never had a problem with the recipe that I use, our clothes are as clean as ever, and our brand new (as of three years ago) Electrolux-brand HE front loader washing machine still runs perfectly well and has no built up soap residue.

Since we started making our own, we’ve easily saved a few hundred dollars on store-bought laundry detergent, which is honestly the biggest reason why we make our own at home.

I've been getting requests from readers for a homemade laundry detergent recipe for years now, but I wanted to find one that I was happy with before sharing. I can say with full confidence that I am very happy with the recipe I'm sharing with you today, but I can only say what has worked for me and my family. I implore you to do some research on the pros and cons of homemade detergent before making your own.

That being said, if you do decide to make your own, this is a great recipe! Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to

I sent a pretty vulnerable email out to my readers last weekend…

(Post 1/2)

I admitted that I spent my Sunday morning “crying in my coffee” because I feel like I’m really struggling in the garden this year; Moreso than any other year.

Our beans have been decimated multiple times by pill bugs (they even outsmarted my Diatomaceous Earth AND peppermint oil applications by resorting to eating the bean sprouts underground before they even had a chance to sprout!). Our cucumbers and squash are growing at a snail’s pace, and I’m still troubleshooting to figure out why. We’ve just overcome blossom end rot on our zucchinis and have yet to even taste one (normally they’re big enough to beat someone over the head with already). And I suspect the heatwave put a stop to our broccoli production, because we’ve got big leafy plants with no offshoots, and heads that were smaller than my fist this year.

We’ve had more plants eaten and ravaged by soil problems, disease and extreme temperature fluctuations than we’ve ever had before. The weeds were worse than they’ve ever been this spring (we finally got those under control with a lot of cardboard and mulch), and we’ve yet to really see a decent harvest from any of our vegetable crops.

BUT, the challenges we’ve faced this year have forced me to grow as a gardener, try new and innovative ways of dealing with problems, learn more about soil health, how to fix the issues we’re dealing with now and how to hopefully prevent these issues from being a problem in the future.

They’ve also made me grateful for what is working and for the crops that have produced. Many nearby farmers and gardeners lost their berry crops in the heatwave this year, but miraculously our strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are doing better this year than even before. Our herbs have done great and will provide us with more than we need for the year. Our peas were slow to start but did well in the end, basil and greens are going strong and we’ve got the most beautiful echinacea flowers in bloom right now from seeds we planted last year.

We also have our own compost for the first time ever.

(Continued in comments).


Congratulations to our winner @suzi.mayhem !!! Check your DMs for a message from me on how to claim your prize!

🍀Are you feeling lucky???

Because it’s time for a GIVEAWAY!!!

To celebrate Modern Homesteading Magazine’s upcoming two-year milestone, and in appreciation of our current sponsor @planttherapy (my favourite essential oils company in the world), we’re giving away a one-year membership level subscription to Modern Homesteading Magazine, which includes unlimited access to our entire digital library of issues, PLUS a 7&7 Set of essential oils from Plant Therapy.

To enter:

✨Like this post
✨Make sure you’re following @thehouseandhomestead and @planttherapy
✨Tag as many friends as you like below who might also be interested in this giveaway (every person you tag = an entry to win!)
✨Share this post to your IG Stories for a bonus entry!

You know the drill 😉

Contest ends Wednesday, July 14th at midnight PST. Winner will be announced on July 15th.

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet subscribed (for free) to receive new issues of Modern Homesteading Magazine straight to your inbox, head to the link in my bio to subscribe OR become a member and get access to all past issues right away! (If you win and you’re already a member, you can either choose to get your next year free once your membership is up for renewal, or you can gift your membership to a loved one:)

And if you wanna get your hands on the 7&7 Set (or any other Plant Therapy set), now is the time because right now you can save 20% on all Plant Therapy sets for a very limited time. Just enter code SETS20 at checkout OR enter code HOMESTEAD to get 10% off everything else site wide!

Links in bio @thehouseandhomestead to check out all of the above ☺️

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour!

🍒 July is synonymous with cherries, and that means CHERRY PIE!!!

But there’s only so much cherry pie one can eat on hot summer days. So instead, why not preserve some cherry pie filling to enjoy all year long!

This recipe for cherry pie filling includes full waterbath canning instructions so you can have your pie and eat it too, at any time of year!

Recipe link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to

Summer pie season (and canning season) has officially arrived 😉

🍔 It took me 33 years to try making my own hamburgers from scratch.

I know, I know… I preach about making everything from scratch, and burger patties are like, entry level.

But if I’m being really honest, I never liked homemade burgers patties growing up. They were always dry and flavourless. My mom would bulk hers up with breads crumbs and huge chunks of onion, hardly any seasoning and then she’d cook them until they were charred and very well done. So when I grew up I found a grocery store brand that I liked and we always just bought those, along with some store-bought buns and called it good.

But as I started making my own mayo and BBQ sauce and pickles and relish and started topping our burgers with homegrown tomatoes and lettuce, I just couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I was using store-bought buns and patties.

Now, don’t get me wrong: we use store-bought burgers as they’re good in a pinch, but we’ve also perfected our homemade burger game, from the patties to the buns to the condiments and everything else in between!

The secret to our homemade patties is using grass fed beef and BACON. And no extra filler, other than seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and Worcestershire sauce).

But what really makes these next level are freshly made homemade hamburger buns! There is nothing like homemade bread of any kind, and hamburger buns are no exception. Plus they’re quicker and easier than you might think to whip together!

Click the link in my bio to get the full recipes for both my homemade Beef & Bacon Burger Patties AND my Homemade Hamburger Buns. You’ll also find links to my Homemade Mayo and Homemade Rhubarbecue Sauce to top your burgers with:)

To BBQ season! And to replacing store-bought everything, one simple recipe at a time;)

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