Functional Mushrooms are a New Frontier
My bookkeeping team is wondering why I haven’t been in touch. The staff wants to know why I haven’t taken care of certain other administrative items that are lagging. It’s because I am giving birth, folks! Leave me alone!
The last four weeks have been mushroom coffee immersion for me, as we get to the home stretch of launching a new line of products. From finishing and distributing the business plan, to refining the recipe, hosting taste-tests, ordering packaging, designing labels, learning new machinery, establishing a lab, this is what every day has been the last month. Yesterday, we emptied our ‘girl-cave’ in the abbey to make it ready for the stainless-steel tables and conversion to a powder-mixing lab.
Yesterday, the test lab received our samples and now we have two weeks to get the results, and then a week for label-printing, brochure-printing, and we should be ready to ship.
Why are the ‘Sisters of CBD’ getting into the functional mushroom business, you might wonder? Four reasons:
- mushrooms & roots are plants that can be powerful mood stabilizers (similar to CBD, but also very different)
- our CBD products are plant-based, and so is the mushroom coffee
- mushrooms and roots have adaptogen properties (giving you what you need), similar to cannabis compounds
- like cannabis, the mushrooms and roots are full of healing compounds
But why would we choose to take on a whole new plant, when we could be expanding our line of hemp products?
We have tried isolates and we are not fond of the results. Meaning, we have tried powdered, extracted CBD (back in 2016) and it caused headaches. You need the trace amounts of THC for things to work best. We don’t do gummies, because we don’t believe in wrapping vitamins and medicine in candy packages as that calls to children who don’t understand what they are taking. We don’t do ‘pet CBD’ because all our products can be used for people and their pets. We are interested in expanding our line of hemp products where the breeds of the plant work to bring forth the most of one kind of compound, like CBG. And no doubt, we would be there already had the pandemic not happened.
The pandemic changed everything.
Do you remember we were spraying Lysol on our grocery bags before bringing them into the house? Why not just inhale some Monsanto weed killer?
Do you remember believing that this might be it? I remember my older brother calling from Chantilly, Virgina, to say, ‘Jeez, Sis, this is awful, but it was really nice knowing you.’ I remember I could have cried.
When the pandemic hit, there were four of us living here and one sister living nearby. Two of the four that lived here, didn’t make it through the stress of it all. The transitions we had to make were furious and fast. The long discussions on who we would allow on the compound, and who wouldn’t. The long, whispered conversations about who puts who at risk with their behavior. Oh, ick, my stomach starts to turn just as I write about it. No wonder two of four ran away.
Covid began for us in March of 2020, even though we all now know that the virus was here in California four months earlier.
In May, one sister stole a car and ran away. We still don’t know where she is. Good news, though, we thought she had stolen a whole bunch of other things, but over time, we have found that she just stashed things everywhere. Packages that were supposed to be shipped to the other sisterhoods, especially. We recently found a box of veils destined for the Gaia enclave stashed behind a bookshelf. We found other supplies stashed in other places. There was really no logic to it all, and in hindsight, one can simply see that she ‘lost it’, under the pressure of the pandemic.
A second sister retired in secret. Said she sprained her ankle, and while she was off, sold her house and moved to New Jersey. In secret. We still don’t know why all the secrecy. (But to be fair, she left husbands and lovers in the same manner. That was her habit.)
Six months into Covid and I realized that one by one, the pandemic was picking off my sisters. And we are far too small, far too new to afford to lose anyone!
Vacancies don’t usually remain for very long in this place, but because of the pandemic, we were all afraid to make any moves at all.
It was at this time that Sister Quinn and I started getting serious about understanding what we could do, what we could take, to ensure that people keep it together during these seriously frightening times. It was my son who recommended Ashwagandha root.
My son is not a fan of vitamins, just because he understands absorption rates and prefers to get his vitamins from food (sensibly). I was surprised when he made his recommendation and asserted, “It reduces anxiety and stress and boosts brain function”. I loved the sound of that.
We began taking functional mushrooms in two ways, either through our coffee or our smoothies. I did a little both ways each morning, wondering if taking it hot versus cold gives different effects.
Very much like what happened with our CBD topical salves and oils, we reached for one thing and got so much more. With the salve, for example, we reached for joint and muscle pain relief and ended up with migraine-relief, skin-rash ointment, hang-over remedy, remedy for restless leg syndrome or crawling skin affects of chemo. I could go on.
Similarly, while we were reaching for mood-stabilizers, we got that and much more.
See the chart with the 17 health benefits and all the ingredients that contribute to those affects.
In a short period of time, those of us remaining at the enclave and our extended family of employees and contractors became faithful mushroom coffee people. The effects on one’s health after having two cups of mushroom coffee versus two cups of coffee-bean coffee is astounding. For those of us who have our coffee and then go for a walk or go get exercise in some fashion, performance improvements were noticed. Cognitive abilities increased. A sense of calmness, no matter the calamity at hand, reigned over the land.
To be clear, I never gave up coffee. I put approximately 2 ounces of coffee, 4 ounces of hot water, one heaping tablespoon of mushroom coffee, and 2 ounces of whipped oat milk together and create a latte that leaves me craving a second.
We experienced, firsthand, astonishing results.
We began experimenting with taking different mushroom coffees by November of last year and by February of this year, we were plotting the making of our own. A lot of things had to happen. We like doing things by hand, but hand-grinding the black tea (in order to have organic black tea) would take more labor than we have here. Machine-averse, we mastered two machines that powder dried leaf. We learned to operate a pharmaceutical-grade powder-mixer machine, so that we could ensure every tablespoon had all the ingredients. We collected the finest ingredients from around the globe. It was definitely a labor of love.
And as it became clear that we weren’t going to wiped off the planet by this pandemic, we continued and continue to take our mood-stabilizing mushroom coffee. The world is not finished with giving us surprises and transitions, and it is these two things that most knock people off their game. Humans have trouble with change, even if it’s change for the better, we struggle. And we all struggle with surprises. Surprise, it’s a pandemic! Surprise, it came from eating away all the natural corners of the world! Surprise, no it didn’t! Surprise, yes it did. Wuhan, right? No! Yes! You see? How could you understand what is going on and have it NOT make you anxious?
Mood-stabilizing mushroom coffee (and roots, like Ashwagandha) brought harmony and no one else has run away. In fact, Sister Sophia and Sister Luna have joined us.
Coming out of the gate, we will have just three options for purchasing:
- A starter set that includes a frother wand kit and a 10-ounce tin of mushroom coffee (47 servings)
- The 10 ounce tin (47 servings)
- Twenty-ounce (1.25 lb.) bag of mushroom coffee (94 servings of 6-gram size or 1 TBS each)
Just like coffee, if you use too much, make it too strong, it will be bitter. With CBD, you have to find your own dosage. With mushroom coffee, you have to find your own recipe.
Sister Kate’s Recipe
4 oz boiling water frothed with 1 TBS of mushroom coffee and 2 oz of regular coffee
2 oz oat milk, heated separately, then frothed, then added to the mushroom coffee mixture
Sister Sophia’s Recipe
5 oz boiling water frothed with 1 TBS of mushroom coffee and a dollop of Agave syrup
3 oz oat milk, heated separately, frothed, then added to the mushroom coffee mixture
Sister Quinn’s Recipe
5 oz boiling water frothed with 1 TBS of mushroom coffee and a dollop of honey
2 oz almond milk, heated separately, frothed, then added to the mushroom coffee mixture
We were all pleasantly surprised by the calm that descended upon the abbey in the wake of introducing mood-stabilizing ingredients into our diets. Functional mushrooms are a new frontier, however, and we encourage everyone to listen to their bodies, maybe it won’t set well with you, and listen to your doctors.
In this case, and in all cases with the Sisters, we remind our followers and readers that we are not doctors or scientists, we cannot give medical advice.
We are a living example of women who solve problems together, and we share what we learn. And we learn from our customers and look forward to learning from you.
Stress levels are still high. We continue to operate at a loss, like many small businesses and struggle through tough economic times, like many people. At least we don’t have to Lysol our food anymore! But we aren’t out of the woods either. We all need to keep our wits about us. We all need to be physically and cognitively present and at our best, if we are going to be of any use to our families, loved ones, to ourselves and the obligation we have to seek lives of happiness and harmony.