As I tend my scoby, I reflect on the ethics of relationships between people and the land.

Image for post
Image for post
A collection of the author’s home-brewed kombucha flavours. (Photo by Jessica Johns)

I was sitting at my auntie’s kitchen table with a stomachache, when she gave me my first glass of homemade ginger kombucha two years ago. She doted on me as if I were a child. Even though I was almost 30, I relished this care. I finished the glass and lay on her couch. She tucked me in and packed me a kombucha-making starter kit: a scoby in a glass jar, some Red Rose tea bags, and four bottles (three empty, one full of kombucha).

I was unsure how my baby scoby — a weird, discy blob — would make fermented tea, so I used my aunt’s texted instructions and did research to start my first batch. As I steeped the tea, added sugar, and observed it fermenting over two weeks, I thought how akin to the treaty process kombucha-making was. …


Jessica Johns

Jessica Johns is a nehiyaw-english-irish aunty and a member of Sucker Creek FN in Treaty 8 Territory in Northern Alberta and the managing editor for Room.