Scoby snacks: culturing kombucha from farmer’s market produce

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Margarita Smith of Mud Creek Ranch in Santa Paula is bringing her jujube, a red Chinese date, to the farmer’s market in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara. Photo by Gillian Ferguson.

Market correspondent Gillian Ferguson catches up with former Onda chef Balo Orozco and Jacqui Harning, who are behind Sunset Culture, which uses seasonal farmer’s market fruit and starts with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast called a “scoby” in their kombucha production. They’re using elderberry, plum, and jujube to save the season in a bottle. Next, Margarita Smith describes the fresh jujube which comes from the apple family with a pit in the middle. With the nickname of “Chinese date,” it can be dried and fermented and has been used for centuries as a digestive and sleep aid.



Evan Kleiman