Category: Tricks & Tips

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

7 Kombucha-Flavoring Fundamentals From Hannah Crum At Kombucha Kamp

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

Hannah Crum and SCOBY
From The Big Book of Kombucha (c) Hannah Crum (c) Alex LaGory. Used with permission of Storey Publishing. Photo credit: Matt Armendariz Photography

As a girl who grew up drinking pickle juice, Hannah Crum fell in love with kombucha at first sip. A sophisticated upgrade to the vinegary liquid of preserved cucumbers, kombucha inspired Hannah to become The Kombucha Mamma, and co-founder of Kombucha Kamp, and co-author of The Big Book of Kombucha with her husband and partner, Alex LaGory.

Hannah has done a ton to elevate kombucha, build the industry, and inspire everyday people to overcome their fears and brew their own fermented-tea concoctions. Making kombucha at home is fun and easy, but flavoring it is where the real magic happens; that’s when things get creative, messy, sticky, and colorful, and the possibilities are seemingly endless.

We invited Hannah to share some of her flavoring wisdom. If Hannah herself were a kombucha flavor, she says she’d be Love Potion, a mix of blueberries, lavender, and rose. Why? “It’s just so floral, and it’s deep, and purple, and rich,” she says.

Maybe it’s time you found your flavor! Here are seven tips from The Kombucha Mamma herself to get you started. Continue reading 7 Kombucha-Flavoring Fundamentals From Hannah Crum At Kombucha Kamp

Upstart Kombucha

5 Tips For The Budding Kombucha Brewer from Caleb Hanson at Upstart Kombucha

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

Upstart Kombucha

Meet Caleb Hanson, he’s 33.3% of the Upstart Kombucha founding team and a self-proclaimed tech nerd and product guy who lives in Boulder, Colorado.Caleb Hanson

Upstart Kombucha is dedicated to elegant simplicity. The company launched in 2013, and even as it has grown, it continues to produce just four flavors. This deliberate choice allows Upstart to craft-brew each flavor separately, starting with choosing the right tea, sweetener, herbs, and fruit to create the perfect combo. Their Rose Bud flavor is made with white tea, their Berry Black with black tea, and both Mint Green and Lemon Ginger are made with green tea.

We asked Caleb to share a few tips for budding brewers. Here goes!

5 Tips for Brewing Delicious Kombucha

Tip #1: Experiment With Flavors First

Caleb recommends starting with a flavor experiment. First, select your base tea (black, green, white, oolong, or mate). Next, add a teaspoon (or one tea bag) of the base tea to five mugs. Now, here’s the fun part: Select five different herb and/or fruit combinations and add a different combo to each of the five mugs. For example, mix basil with strawberries, lemon with ginger, or lavender with raspberries. Continue reading 5 Tips For The Budding Kombucha Brewer from Caleb Hanson at Upstart Kombucha

Choosing Safe and Healthy Skincare Products and Making Them at Home: Helpful Tips and Herbal Allies {homemade baby wipe instructions}

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch LabHomemade skincare products

Skin, our largest organ, does so much to protect what lies beneath it, but it’s not impermeable. Indeed, many of the products we put on it are designed not to be absorbed, but some ingredients manage to navigate through all three regions of the dermis, and into the bloodstream. Can you imagine slathering heavily perfumed lotion inside your body? How about using chemically laden baby wipes to clean up a few internal organs? No way! Why risk it?

Even as more people are waking up to the importance of what they put into their bodies, they don’t always think carefully about what goes onto their bodies. What can we do to stay informed about the ingredients in skincare products and make careful choices about what we rub, spray, and wipe on our bodies? How about taking it one step further and making some of the products at home?

We recently spoke with our friend and herbalist extraordinaire Faith Rodgers to gather guidance so we can each chart the path that’s right for us and our families. Continue reading Choosing Safe and Healthy Skincare Products and Making Them at Home: Helpful Tips and Herbal Allies {homemade baby wipe instructions}

Setting a High Bar: Chocolate’s Flavors, Farmers, and Magic {cardamom honey truffle recipe}

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

Zohara Drying Cacao Beans in Peru
Zohara Drying Cacao Beans in Peru
In response to several curious questions from our readers about chocolate making, we found an expert to inspire us, help us all understand the process a little better, and hopefully launch the brave among us on our own chocolate-making journeys. Meet Zohara Mapes Bediz, chocolate maker and research and development whiz at TCHO, in Berkeley, California. Don’t be confused by this chocolate company’s name—it’s just the phonetic spelling of the first syllable in “chocolate” (and we all know how to say chocolate). Read on for Zohara’s chocolate tales and tips, from truffles to TCHO and the exotic locales in between. Continue reading Setting a High Bar: Chocolate’s Flavors, Farmers, and Magic {cardamom honey truffle recipe}

Simmering Broth

Medicinal Bone Broth: Herbs, Fungi, and Sea Vegetables, Oh My {bone broth recipe}

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

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Bone broth is nothing new. In fact, it is so far from new that it was part of our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ regular menu. Though it’s been around for a very long time, with its fairly recent surge of popularity (dare I say trendiness) and the claimed (and often disputed) health benefits, it’s hard to resist experimenting with the stuff. What we want to know is, how can we step up our bone broth game?

Herbalist and author Briana Wiles says one way to get more out of your liquid gold is to toss in medicinal herbs, mushrooms, and sea vegetables that add calcium, vitamins, and minerals to the mix. We enlisted her to share some tips about which herbs to use and how to integrate them into bone broth. Continue reading Medicinal Bone Broth: Herbs, Fungi, and Sea Vegetables, Oh My {bone broth recipe}

Rot your Food Right with Airlocks for Small-Batch Fermenting: Gather the Facts, Know Your Options {recipe below}


By Kirsten K. Shockey & Mara Rose

airlocks2What do a ceramicist, a classically trained chef and nutritionist, a former ad sales exec, and a reformed business analyst have in common? They are all working hard to make it easy for the rest of us to ferment our own food and drinks. Each of them has created a smart system to make it safe and stress-free to ferment small batches of food in Mason jars; these systems are called airlocks.

New to the home-fermenting scene and wondering what an airlock is? It’s a special system that allows carbon dioxide to escape from your container, while keeping oxygen out. Fermentation is a process that is ancient, very low tech, and forgiving. So, while an airlock isn’t necessary, using one takes some of the babysitting out of the fermentation process and allows you to “forget” about your little jar while the good bacteria process your veggies. Continue reading Rot your Food Right with Airlocks for Small-Batch Fermenting: Gather the Facts, Know Your Options {recipe below}