Food Systems

How to make a simple hooch

How to make a simple hooch

Hooch is a homemade alcoholic beverage and in this blog I’m going to explain how to make it.

For thousands of years humans have been fermenting for recreational, spiritual and medicinal uses. Fermentation allowed humans to store and use ingredients they’d harvested later in the year. Although hooch is an alcoholic beverage, it can also be brewed for medicinal purposes.

Gardening and Permaculture practices at the Ranch

Gardening and Permaculture practices at the Ranch

Here at the Ranch the year long apprentices have various roles and functions that support the Ranch community. By taking on responsibilities and managing certain areas we the chance to learn and experience those areas on a deeper level . Part of the educational model created by the ranch team is a monthly rotation of these so called life skills. Each apprentice transitions their life skill to the next apprentice, passing on all of the relevant information to their colleague in order to complete the various tasks associated with each life skill.

Vegetables & Greens that Thrive in the Tropical Rainy Season

Vegetables & Greens that Thrive in the Tropical Rainy Season

When the rainy season arrived, it started with a sense of relief - dry season went on longer than expected and our trees and plants were scorching in the heat. For myself the cooler air was welcome comfort, and the rains a reminder of home and getting cozy. Mornings were beautiful with the sight of the sun rising through the dewy mist.

From Tree to Bar: How to Process Raw Cacao

From Tree to Bar:  How to Process Raw Cacao

Living in the tropics I found myself surrounded by cocoa trees, which was something you’d dream about as a kid. “Chocolate trees” But like so many things we’re used to consuming we don’t have the knowledge of how to process a raw material into something we can use, within the society we live convenience has removed us from the source. A simple act of making something gives us a connection to our environment.

Dairy Diaries: How I Make Dairy Kefir

Dairy Diaries: How I Make Dairy Kefir

 My name is Ryan and I'm part of the apprentice team at Rancho Mastatal for 2019. I've been navigating my lactose-intolerance since I was a child and gluten-intolerance since I identified it approximately five years ago. In this and the following installments of Dairy Diaries. I'll be exploring dairy kefir, in my personal effort to find ways to make dairy products I enjoy healthier, more digestible and more delicious.

How to Make a Simple Woven Basket

How to Make a Simple Woven Basket

One of my favorite hobbies is working with natural fibers. Soon after arriving here at the ranch as a new apprentice, I was eager to experiment with weaving a simple basket. The Ranch has an existing collection of beautiful baskets, which play an important role in storing food, while maintaining necessary airflow in this hot, humid climate.