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Do the next thing.

Best advice I have heard in order to cope with times like these.

I have not even had time to write at all because I have been so very busy making kombucha for the last year. Business has exceeded my wildest expectations. I feel that making kombucha is one of my main purposes on this earth- especially now in the times we find ourselves. I pray that each and every sip makes each body stronger and healthier. So I continue brewing and fermenting, mixing fruits and herbs to taste amazing, at the same time bringing the amazing beneficial powers of herbs and tea to each brew.

I love what I do!

It hasn’t been easy, I will admit. Some of my restaurants and stores are closed. Orders are way down. But I am just not going to give up! I have a wonderful and timely, healthful and delicious beverage to make and deliver to YOU! I have to take extra time and energy to sanitize the kitchen and put extra effort into watching over the entire process, but I will keep going as long as possible!

I am doing home deliveries, finding places to do POP-UP pours, piggy-backing with farm CSA orders. ( and offering farm pick-up. Contact me for more info or to place orders and find out prices.

I am just going to do keep doing the next thing! Even when I don’t have orders…what’s next?! Today, it’s write a blog article. Tomorrow, maybe weed the gardens or experiment or research herbs. I am a loyal list maker and LOVE crossing things off the to-do list. This is how I’m coping. Would love to hear how you are staying sane.

Bodie says “hellooooo”!

Stay sane and healthy and drink your booch today!

Love to all,


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Detox and kombucha

I was recently asked the best flavor for doing a detox and this is why:

Lemon Thyme kombucha is your best bet for a detox

#1 The benefits of green tea. Click this link for lots and lots of proven science of this amazing drink. I always use the best organic green tea I can find.

#2 The benefits of kombucha for detoxing Read this article to know what to expect in a kombucha detox and why its so good for your body, especially your liver.

# 3 The benefits of thyme – Most herbs contain many trace minerals and thyme tea is no slouch in this department. I grow this herb here and it is completely and utterly organic.

#4 The benefits of lemon balm– Also grown here on the farm using organic practices, meaning I fertilize the soil with my own compost and I never spray any pesticides on these herbs.

Also, the probiotics and digestive enzymes in kombucha seem to help absorb the beneficial compounds in these herbs. This is my experience and hopefully can be backed by more scientific study very soon!

I recommend starting s l o w l y with a detox using kombucha, especially if you dont drink it regularly. You want slow detox, not rapid, which is uncomfortable if you get my meaning. So start with a few ounces, see how that goes and work your way up to 8 ounces in the am and 8 ounces at lunch.

Booch on!

Liz the kombucha lady

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Sugars in Kombucha

We are working extra hard on a new label!! I am so excited for the day I get to post the picture of the new, 16 ounce Grab-n-Guzzle bottle of The Kombucha Lady brew.

It will look something like this but with a ROCKIN label design by a local artist!

This new flavor is rolling out soon, too!

Now to my point.

I am also going to include nutrition panels that will have the amount of sugars in each brew. HOWEVER , I have had the most frustrating time with nailing down the right numbers of grams of sugar. Fermented products produce acetic acid which will throw off the reading with the tools I use.

Kevita label

So I am going with my numbers for now of between 10-12 grams of sugars per serving. BUT, I tested GTs similar flavors with the same equipment, and they show half those grams in sugars. They have very expensive labs and equipment to get truer readings.

My point is that, I totally care about the grams of sugars I consume and know many of you do, also. I give you my best number and promise to you, I will work my hardest to get those numbers down.

Keep in mind, that we use delicious fruits to flavor the booch, and those fruits have natural sweetness that is good for you, along with amazing vitamins and minerals your body needs. This will bump that sugar number up, as well.

A bit of sciency stuff:

When we ferment the kombucha, most of that sugar is consumed in the fermentation process, as the sugar is converted to CO2 and ethanol by the yeasts, then the probiotics consume those to produce the amino acids, vitamins and minerals that made kombucha famous.

At The Kombucha Lady, we brew the small batches for about 1 week, mostly in one gallon glass jars, until it is tangy, bubbly and mostly sugar free. Any longer and it would be so acidic, it would burn the back of your throat. NOT pleasant or tasty.

Second ferment

The second ferment is when I add the fruits, herbs and spices and then that magic happens as the flavors develop into something AAAAhmazing. I taste every single batch to make sure it is right ON.

Sooooo, please let this article be a caveat to that nutrition panel’s grams of sugars. I will be doing my due diligence to keep it the best kombucha you ever tasted!

Booch on my friends! The Kombucha Lady

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What’s different about our kombucha?

Different– or maybe exciting?  Surely not boring!

Whoa buddy! calm down.


I try so hard to make it all taste the same.

But it’s a living and growing THING. So each batch is different, even of the same flavors. Sometimes it’s warmer in the fermenting closet, so I get a more tart kombucha.  When it’s cooler, more sweet.  Not to mention each SCOBY is different in its make up of beneficial bacteria and yeasts.

And then there’s the teas that I use.  I like to use crazy different , always organic teas.  I like to brew it strong, so my kombucha blends are stronger and bolder.  A dab will do ya.  Sometimes when I want to guzzle, I dilute half seltzer  to half kombucha.


Organic White Peony used in the Ginger Lime flavor


The fruit.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It’s in the jar? Crazy.  And sometimes a bit slimy, huh? That’s different and maybe, weird.  The longer those fruits or herbs are in that jar, the more goodness and flavor is infused in your brew.  So do what The Kombucha Lady does, and just fork it off or strain it out, then enjoy!

Organic blackberries in Blackberry Sage


Local. I live in Rocky Ridge and brew in a church kitchen in Thurmont.  Today, I am running over to Smithsburg to get peaches from a small family run orchard.  That’s how I roll.  Those leaves of herbs like sage or rosemary?  I picked them from my herb garden the morning we bottled.

We?  Well mostly just me, maybe a helper sometimes.  Small business as small can get. 

Now, there’s a difference from the big boys of kombucha!

Enjoy! I made it for you with love.

The Kombucha Lady


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So this happened…and for it, I am thankful. Fall 2017

This is my story of an event that almost put The Kombucha Lady out of business.  Read on…

I believe in naturopathic medicine and would rather take herbal supplements than prescription meds from a doctor that is beholden to big pharma, but…

This summer.

I went to a local naturopath who sounded really good online for some hormonal issues.  She ran blood tests.  I liked that.  But always get a second opinion and learn from my mistake.  She diagnosed me with several serious diseases and gave me 5 prescription meds and about 7 other supplements and tinctures, most of which you could, of course, order from her website.  arg. wake up!  What was i thinking?  Well, turns out I wasn’t thinking at all.   (Read about antigens vs. antibodies).

About 3 weeks into the whole program, I started feeling raunchy.  Nauseous, headaches, extreme fatigue, abdominal pain.  I couldn’t eat or do much of anything. I asked family and friends to help me keep the kombucha going or I was going to lose this dream.

About 2 weeks later, I couldn’t go like this any longer so i went to my regular doc.  The PA immediately ran blood tests and found my liver was shutting down.  The doctor persuaded me to go to the ER, it was that bad.  They thought I had a blocked bile duct, perhaps.  Then something showed up in the CAT scan, maybe a mass on the liver or pancreas. Very scary.  The word cancer was mentioned.  Down to Hopkins for an exploratory procedure.  I had the “talk” with close family members.  Didn’t really know if I was coming back from this.

When I woke up from the procedure, the doc said, “You’re good to go home!  We didn’t find anything at all!”  I was pretty shocked, elated, but confused.  I was still sick.  My liver enzymes were dropping lower (good) but still extremely high.  I searched for a liver specialist and found a highly rated doc.  She came to our area once a month, so I called.  The sweet lady that I spoke to was alarmed at the liver numbers and asked if I could make it down to Sibley the next day.  Yes.

The liver doc did a very thorough exam and diagnosed me with DILI.   Drug Induced Liver Injury.  Who ever heard of such a thing?  Looks like we Americans have been popping herbal supplements that are very strong medicine without really knowing how hard they can be on the liver.  She asked me to stop all those supplements immediately ( I already had weeks ago ) and get blood work done every week.  Each week those numbers came down.  I also did Epsom salt baths, ate a vegan diet, juiced, applied Castor oil packs, drank much water, rested and downed at least a quart of kombucha daily and had green tea and bone broth as much as possible.

What the liver doc predicted would take a year to recover, came in 2 months!  From being on the verge of needing a liver transplant to completely recovered!  My liver is completely functional.

A very close call, my friends.  I tell you this to warn you of two things:

Get a second opinion!

Beware and respect the herbs!

Read, research thoroughly and ask  a trusted medical doctor. ( The liver doc said Black Cohosh is the biggest problem and some ladies have needed liver transplants from taking this herb!)

I am very very overjoyed to be alive.  Grateful.  Amazingly grateful for:

Family, friends, my pup

My business..The Kombucha Lady

Flowers, herbs, seafood, beer, music

my cows, my garden, peace and quiet on the porch

time on the hammock with my grandchildren, time at the beach with anybody

the smell of the ocean, the feel of the sunshine

seasons and colors in nature.


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What the heck is floating in that jar?


My unique twist of keeping that fruit in the jar was done with great fear and trembling.  Would it freak people out to see floaties?  But, I can tell you, the risk was worth it!  The overwhelming response has been amazing.  They love it.  I think mostly because it proves my product is authentic.  Kombucha is a crazy living and active community of beneficial bacteria and yeast.  A bit unpredictable, too.  So don’t expect every single jar to taste exactly the same.  I just cannot control those lil buggars, sometimes.

Here’s some reasons I keep the fruit, herbs and spices in your jar of booch:

  1. The kombucha continues to draw the goodness and flavors out of the fruit in your refrigerator  for days.  The fruit is keeping those lil guys happy!
  2.   The taste keeps improving with the slow fermentation.  Even the color gets prettier with time.
  3. It’s authentic!  You will see lil SCOBYs (the culture in kombucha) forming.  Don’t be grossed out, please.  They tell you that what you are drinking in the real deal and your gut will thank you for it! Just take a fork and lift it out, maybe chase someone around with it first. LOL!

Some tips:

~Strain your kombucha into your glass for a beautiful presentation.  Garnish with fresh fruit, mint or a sprinkle of ginger.

~The spent fruit will be sour, so not so great to eat BUT you can add to smoothies.

~Cold slows the ferment way down, so if your booch is not bubbly you can leave out overnight or add extra fruit and seal tightly.

~ Use a straw and bypass the floaties.



Cheers to your healthly gut!

Liz The Kombucha Lady


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The best kombucha you ever tasted?

“This is the best kombucha I ever tasted!” I just love the quote above, and I hear it a lot.  It amazes me every time.  I have tested the other brands of kombucha and very few live up to The Kombucha Lady and I am not just braggin’.  I have done some testing and research and I can explain to you why it tastes so so deeelicious. It’s mainly chemistry.  Like when you meet that person and you just click.  Sometimes even love happens, but there has to be chemistry.  The following combo of chemistry just happened to come together perfectly.   Love at first taste. #1 Reason:  Water source.  Our commercial kitchen has well water that is fed from the Catoctin Mountian aquifers.  This water is from way, way down, full of minerals, clean and hard.  The bacteria in my kombucha cultures just LOVE it!

#2  Culture: I grow amazing SCOBYs!  These are my special hybrid super race, perfectly balanced bacteria and yeast colonies.  I keep them super clean and fresh to produce consistently lovely ferments.

#3 Tea: only the absolute best organic teas.  I am constantly experimenting with different teas.  Every brew ferments differently. I absolutely LOVE experimenting and trying new combinations of herbs and all forms of tea. There are infinite possibilities. I have the best job ever.

#4  Temperature: Just so happens the fermenting closet is the exact perfect temperature.  This is classified information. Let’s just say it wasn’t what i wanted or expected, but it worked.

#5 Time:  We have the process down to a science.  Each kind of brew takes different time to ferment.  This is where experience has been the teacher.

#6 Testing:  Each kind of  fruit, herb or spice combo has been taste tested over and over to find the perfect taste pairing.  Oh that you were a taste tester at our house!  It’s always interesting let me say.  But certain herbs, say mint for one, may seem to be a great idea but ferment up rather gross or medicine-like in a final ferment.

#7 Tasting:  I really do taste test every single gallon I ferment.  And each gallon is tested as far a ph goes, which will affect taste.  This is the beauty of small batch local food and drink! Tea, Time, Taste, Test, Temperature…  .

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Spring on the farm!


Last year we planted 100s of berry plants so more of your kombucha can have our own farm raised fruit to infuse all the organic goodness.

How wonderful to see them peeking up and starting to flower.  Sorry about the bad photography but I am a farmer, yknow.

I planted strawberry plants all around the blueberries and it seems to be a agreeable arrangement for both.


Here are the tender new grape leaves unfurling on our Concord grapevines.


This is the new blackberry garden.  These plants are from an uncle who’s father-in-law created a new variety down at the University of Maryland.  It’s all a big secret but I have some of the plants!  BIG and bursting with blackberry flavor!  See all that wonderful compost from our happy cows?  Now THAT is organic growing and the basis of healthy fruit, veggies and herbs from Dodson’s Promised Land farm.

I planted strawberries in the asparagus bed last spring!  We will see how that goes, but so far so good!

And a peek at my gardening buddies Bodie and Curry!


Enjoy the outdoors!  It will lift your spirits!

The Kombucha Lady

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Organic? What’s in a name?


I do understand the need to feed our families nutritional, healthful foods free from chemicals and additives.  I am a believer in “organic”.  I also have seen a troubling trend in the last few years to place a trust in the wrong place.  Your trust should be in your farmer, your supplier, or your own garden, for Pete’s sake, not a label or an ad that has been “allowed” by the USDA.

Organic, as in organic food, is not even defined in Webster’s dictionary.  I think it’s defined so very loosely in the farm to table world.  Meaning, this food is safe from nasty chemicals and grown in fertile soil?  So we have come to trust the government to decide for us who meets their criteria for safe?  Does anyone see a problem here?

I do.

Just a teeny tiny little point from my perspective to make you think.  I have 30+ years of experience in growing, 2 years of vocational horticulture and a year of the Institute of Applied Agriculture, to back my opinion.

Hate to burst your bubble, but certified organic by the USDA doesn’t mean they don’t spray your fruit and veggies with chemicals.  They probably do spray less?  Here’s a good article to read about that issue.

I believe the healthiest food you could possibly obtain is from your own garden, or your local farmer who can show you exactly how they grow, or raise their animals. Small farmers and gardeners do not have the funds to use chemicals because they are expensive!  I also want to passionately plead with you that the SOIL is the important issue, not necessarily the chemicals used.

Healthy soil, full of good bacteria that break down the nutrients for the plant’s roots produce delicious and healthful fruit and veggies that will even survive a couple attacks from a beetle.  So the attention paid to what chemicals are used may be misplaced in my opinion,  when the bigger deal is the way a crop is grown.  Big production farms, organic or not, can’t love on the soil like I can in my little garden space.

The berries, herbs and veggies we grow here at Dodson’s Promised Land Farm are not certified organic by the USDA. I just don’t have the time or money right now to obtain this stamp of government approval.  But they are the healthiest, most amazing fruits and veggies I have ever eaten!  Homegrown at the PLF.  You can trust that certification.

Would love your opinion!

Liz  the kombucha lady