Jimm Stack

100th Monkey Mushroom Farm: Spreading Fungal Enthusiasm and Combatting Mycophobia One Mushroom Kit at a Time

Jimm Stack and mushroomsJimm Stack, who co-founded 100th Monkey Mushrooms, has a crystal-clear memory of the moment he decided to take the leap of faith to become a mushroom farmer. He chose to leave behind his 15-year career as a schoolteacher—the stability, the safety net, set holidays, and health insurance—and take a leap into an unknown entrepreneurial abyss. At that moment, though he had some trepidation, he also had a strong sense that the leap was necessary and that something was there to catch him. That something turned out to be an intricate web of mushroom mycelium.

At 100th Monkey, Jimm wears many hats. He’s a scientist, a carpenter, a businessman, a salesman, a marketer, a video editor, and obviously a dedicated mushroom farmer, fungi fanatic, and evangelist. Jimm explains his fungal enthusiasm: “For some reason, I’m drawn to the fungal kingdom. It’s everywhere, but you’ll never get to the bottom of it and you could spend your whole life trying to figure it out.” Jimm’s interest in growing mushrooms was sparked by listening to talks by Paul Stamets, mushroom-growing guru and author of several books, including Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. From Stamets’s talks, Jimm began to understand the potential of the fungal kingdom for food and medicine, and even for things like soil remediation and the purification of dirty water. Jimm wanted in, and he eventually journeyed to Washington State to study under Stamets before launching 100th Monkey. Continue reading 100th Monkey Mushroom Farm: Spreading Fungal Enthusiasm and Combatting Mycophobia One Mushroom Kit at a Time

Karen and Jim at Plantables

Plantables: Seeding Opportunity, Growing Pollinator-Friendly Flowers and Herbs, and Building a Triple Bottom Line Business

Karen and Jim at Plantables - Growing Pollinator-Friendly Flowers and HerbsJim Schreiber was a special-education teacher for 23 years before he retired to start Plantables with his biology professor wife Karen Klyczek in 2013. Based in Hudson, Wisconsin, Plantables is a manufacturing business—but that’s just part of the story. The company’s products were developed with two things in mind: the needs of his former students and the needs of the environment. Jim and his team are tackling social and environmental issues with a successful business model and unique pollinator-friendly products.

As a special-ed teacher, Jim worked with K–12 children with moderate to severe physical and cognitive disabilities. In that role, he worked to prepare his students for employment after graduation. Unfortunately, employment proved elusive and none of his students landed jobs; this unmet need provided the spark that grew into Plantables. Continue reading Plantables: Seeding Opportunity, Growing Pollinator-Friendly Flowers and Herbs, and Building a Triple Bottom Line Business

Sara Berchoz @Peter McEwen

Roost Books: Bringing Cooking, Creativity, Nature, Beauty, and Upliftedness Into Our Lives

Sara Berchoz @Peter McEwenShambhala Publications was founded in 1969 in Berkeley, California, by Samuel Bercholz. From the start, Sam’s vision was to create a publishing house that focused on bringing “an enlightened approach to every aspect of life”; religion and philosophy were key components of the Shambhala publishing program. Then, in 2012, Sam’s daughter Sara Bercholz launched a new lifestyle imprint: Roost Books. While Roost Books focuses on different topics, the vision of encouraging an enlightened approach to life remains the same.

Continue reading Roost Books: Bringing Cooking, Creativity, Nature, Beauty, and Upliftedness Into Our Lives

AJ Wentworth - The Chocolate Conspiracy

The Chocolate Conspiracy: Conspiring to Bring you Organic, Honey-Sweetened, Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

AJ Wentworth - making bean-to-bar chocolateIn 2009, a 24-year-old AJ Wentworth decided he wanted to make and sell bean-to-bar chocolate based on two simple, high-quality ingredients—organic cacao beans and local unprocessed honey. A raw food chef and a holistic health counselor, he wanted to create a sweet treat that was luscious and outrageously delicious, but not overloaded with sugar.

AJ explains that, until two or three years ago, other chocolatiers didn’t take him seriously. Many seasoned chocolate makers he met had told him, “You can’t use raw cacao. You can’t peel beans by hand. You can’t make chocolate with honey.” Turns out they were wrong. AJ explains, “The Chocolate Conspiracy is one of the few companies in the United States that makes honey-sweetened chocolate. A lot of chocolate makers are blown away by the fact that I use honey because it is so difficult. There’s no equipment made for using honey—it’s a really sticky, moist, humid product and the water content in honey makes it difficult to combine with the fat in the chocolate.” AJ highlights three things that set his products apart:

Continue reading The Chocolate Conspiracy: Conspiring to Bring you Organic, Honey-Sweetened, Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Kraut Source In Use

Kraut Source: Making it Easy Peasy to Create Small-Batch Fermented Masterpieces at Home

Kraut Source In UseKaren Diggs, the San Francisco–based founder of Kraut Source, is an entrepreneur, chef, nutritionist, and author of Happy Foods: Over 100 Mood-Boosting Recipes.

The Hawaiian native began her career as a classically trained chef; she can make pâtés, soufflés—the whole shebang. She got her start in Hong Kong, where she spent seven years as a chef at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel before starting two restaurants. In all her culinary training, fermentation really never came up, even among the old-style European chefs she studied under. Continue reading Kraut Source: Making it Easy Peasy to Create Small-Batch Fermented Masterpieces at Home

Claudia 1400

Claudia Lucero: DIY Cheese Kit Queen of Portland, Author, and Inspiration

Claudia Lucero - DIY Cheese Kit Queen In 2006, Claudia Lucero moved from her lifelong home in San Diego, California, to the “maker” capital of the country: Portland, Oregon. It wasn’t long before she started making pickles, sauerkraut, butter, yogurt, and eventually cheese. Her cheesemaking began with Paneer and ricotta, then she moved on to goat cheese and mozzarella, and she was totally hooked. She was in the midst of a personal transformation that included a deep desire to know the sources of her food and focus on quality over quantity in many aspects of her life.

Inspired by cheesemaking recipes in books and a homesteading magazine from the 1970s, Claudia found cheese recipes that called for 5 to 50 gallons of milk at a time—not exactly practical for a casual cheesemaker in the city. But that didn’t stop her. She started tweaking and experimenting with those recipes to make them work for the small-scale urban cheesemaker with no more than a gallon of milk. From this philosophy, Urban Cheesecraft was born.

Continue reading Claudia Lucero: DIY Cheese Kit Queen of Portland, Author, and Inspiration

Faith Rodgers

Meet Faith Rodgers: Herbalist, Entrepreneur, and Creator of Beautiful Bath and Body-Care Products

Faith Rodgers - the Little Herbal ApothecaryIf Faith Rodgers were a medicinal herb, she says she’d be chamomile because it’s balancing, calming, and grounding—qualities she works hard to maintain while running her business and taking care of her three children. Rodgers, a certified herbalist with a deep passion for making medicine and skincare, opened The Little Herbal Apothecary in Lafayette, Colorado, in 2015. It began as a blog where Faith shared recipes and do-it-yourself tips with her sisters and mom, and it’s grown into a locally popular herbal-products destination. Faith’s mission is to provide resources, information, classes, and clean, organic products to people who are looking for healthy options. Continue reading Meet Faith Rodgers: Herbalist, Entrepreneur, and Creator of Beautiful Bath and Body-Care Products

Cheesemaking Tips from Gianaclis Caldwell, Author of Mastering Basic Cheesemaking

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

shutterstock_157102289

Meet Gianaclis (Gee-on-a-klees) Caldwell. She lives in Southern Oregon on land her parents bought in the 1940s, where she was raised to be self-sufficient—not because it was cool but because it was necessary. Her family grew much of their own food, and they had cows for milk and dairy products. She explains, “My mom canned all summer. She knew exactly how many quarts of string beans, how many quarts of tomatoes we needed to make it through the winter.” Though Gianaclis moved away from the land for nearly 23 years and enjoyed a succession of careers including as a nurse and an installation artist, she returned to the property with her husband and daughters in 2005 to build Pholia Farm. Continue reading Cheesemaking Tips from Gianaclis Caldwell, Author of Mastering Basic Cheesemaking

Cheese Therapy and the Art of Buying Curd with Jessica Beer of Cured

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

Jessica Beer, Cured

Meats, cheeses, carefully chosen wines, chocolates, pickles, and goodies from local farms—these are some of the beautiful things you’ll find at Cured, a small specialty shop in Boulder, Colorado. Just visiting the shop is a treat in itself, and I’ve been doing so for years. I was delighted to sit down with Jessica Beer, cheesemonger, cheese buyer, and the store’s general manager, to learn a bit more about how to be an informed cheese consumer.

Jessica began her cheesemonger journey at the young age of 15 in northwest Philadelphia. Told by her parents that it was time for her to get a job, Jessica knew exactly what she wanted to do. So she walked into her local cheese shop, The Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, which had been operating since the early ‘70s and had a 60-pound log of provolone hanging from the ceiling, and boldly asked for a job. To her delight, they complied and she began working weekends and after school for the next seven years. She speaks more fondly of the experience than most do about their first job, saying, “I worked there all the time and I just fell in love with the smells and the tastes and the stories and talking to people.” And while Jessica has explored other passions over the years, four years ago when she moved to Colorado, she returned to the world of cheese, first at Whole Foods as a cheese specialist, and then at Cured. Continue reading Cheese Therapy and the Art of Buying Curd with Jessica Beer of Cured

Pearls of Wisdom for the Aspiring Cheesemaker from Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft
Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft in her kitchen

In her own words, Claudia Lucero wants cheesemaking to be “easy, accessible, and empowering for everyone.” Claudia, a California native, lives in Portland, Oregon, and is the founder of Urban Cheesecraft, a thriving company that grew out of her own discovery that cheesemaking sits squarely at the intersection of creativity, science, and community.

When she first moved to Portland, Claudia lived in a small apartment that didn’t have a yard for growing veggies, so she joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) group through which she received a fresh, diverse box of locally grown goodies every week. Fairly quickly, the beans and cabbage began to roll in by the bushel, so Claudia needed to find some creative things to do with them. After a bit of research on the Internets, she was armed with creative recipes for pickles, jams, and various ferments. Then she started whipping up yogurt and butter, fermenting with whey, and before long—crafting cheese! She started with simpler cheeses like paneer and ricotta, then graduated to goat cheeses and mozzarella, and soon she was creating first-class fromage. She was totally hooked. And so were her friends with whom she generously and enthusiastically shared her delicacies. Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom for the Aspiring Cheesemaker from Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft