Tag Archives: farmers market

Marcus McCauley and his son fermented cabbage

Fermenting, Farming, and Family: Meet Marcus McCauley of Picaflor and McCauley Family Farm

Marcus McCauley and his son fermenting kimchiMarcus McCauley named his brand Picaflor, the Spanish word for hummingbird. This flittering, pointy-nosed pollinator is believed to represent playfulness, enjoyment of life, resiliency, and in some cultures a bridge between the past and the future because of its unique ability to fly both backwards and forward. Given Picaflor’s origins and Marcus’s intentions, the hummingbird seems an apt mascot. Picaflor, which crafts and sells fermented hot sauces and pepper flakes, was born from a fortuitous event on Marcus’ farm.

As the story goes, a local farmer approached Marcus and said, “I’ve got a ton of peppers. If you can do something with them, you can have them.” Marcus recalls that there were at least 2,000 pounds of peppers. He accepted the bounty and the challenge, and started fermenting and experimenting. Before long, his garage was filled with overflowing, bubbling buckets of fermenting deliciousness. The first hot sauce he crafted was a sriracha that immediately gained a dedicated local following of his friends and family. He was now the hot sauce guy, and there was no turning back. Continue reading Fermenting, Farming, and Family: Meet Marcus McCauley of Picaflor and McCauley Family Farm

Meet Kirsten K. and Christopher Shockey: Authors, Educators, and Fermentation Evangelists

Kirsten & Christopher ShockeyKirsten Shockey and her husband Christopher are the founders and co-owners of Ferment Works, a fermentation education company in Oregon. Their goals at Ferment Works are to help people learn to ferment, teach them how to create great flavors, and (most importantly) help them feel comfortable enough to do it at home alone or with friends and family.

Kirsten and Christopher live on a 40-acre farm in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon. As homesteaders, they’ve raised and homeschooled four children, grown fruit trees and gardens, nurtured animals, and fermented thousands of pounds of vegetables and other plants. Kirsten and Christopher work, write books, and teach classes and workshops together. They’re also working to build an online community gathering space for those who are passionate about fermentation. Continue reading Meet Kirsten K. and Christopher Shockey: Authors, Educators, and Fermentation Evangelists

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

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

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}

Abuzz About Bees: Sourcing Honey, Bonding with Bees, and Caring for the Planet

Probably anyone who’s been to Boulder, Colorado’s farmers market knows Tim Brod, owner of Highland Honey Bees. He lends his larger-than-life personality to the cause of the bee and doles out sweet dollops of honey and wisdom to the passersby. He’s a lover of bees, with a lifetime of experience, and very clear ideas about how to properly care for buzzing beauties and their honey. I caught up with Tim over herbal tea (with lots of honey) and a shot of moonshine at his honey-processing headquarters in Longmont, Colorado. I asked about his passion and tried to gain some wisdom about how to buy great honey and what we can all do to protect and nurture the essential honeybee.

Meet the Beekeeper
A beekeeper since he was a child, Tim explains, “I was one of those kids whose greatest joy was to be outdoors. I grew up with a love of people and a love of animals and a love of the interactions between them. I loved looking at systems.” He grew up in the 1960s in semirural Connecticut, and it was his grandfather’s brother, Crozier, who first connected him with the industrious buzzer. Back then, learning to be a beekeeper was easy, according to Tim. “Until 20 years ago, you really didn’t have to do much for bees. The world was a lot different then. Strategies that worked for millions of years haven’t for the past 15.” Continue reading Abuzz About Bees: Sourcing Honey, Bonding with Bees, and Caring for the Planet

Homemade Ice Pops: Tricks & Tips from our Interview with Big Top Pops

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

On a recent summer evening in Boulder, Colorado, I met with Gina Latimer and Sarah Robertson from Big Top Pops. This small local business makes gourmet popsicles and sells them at farmers markets, select stores, and restaurants in

Big Top PopsBoulder. I wanted to learn more about this innovative company and the art of making ice pops, so I contacted the women to get the scoop.

When we met, Gina and Sarah were on their way to their industrial kitchen to don their aprons and start making ice pops—long into the night. As so many entrepreneurs do, the Big Top Pops ladies shoehorn their work in whenever they can, between full-time jobs and mom duty.

In Gina’s words, “Big Top Pops is a gourmet pop stand based out of the Boulder County Farmers Market, and inspired by it as well.” Longtime friends, college roommates at the University of Colorado (CU), Boulder, and fellow CU art majors, Sarah and Gina started Big Top Pops because they loved the beautiful produce and strong sense of community at the farmers market, and they wanted to be a part of it. Continue reading Homemade Ice Pops: Tricks & Tips from our Interview with Big Top Pops