SEATTLE, Wash., June 2, 2022 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Interviewing sustainable food and beverage businesses across the U.S. is Danielle Keogh’s, co-founder, of 444, LLC, passion. On the latest tour of the northwest U.S. Keogh learned that mushroom cultivation and usage are advancing.

At Papa Lee’s CBD Convections, she met a 12-year proud Veteran U.S. Army Ranger, chef Papa Lee Warren, who partnered with ex-semi pro baseball player, Bob Giggin, to create functional food and beverage products. Contributing proceeds from these products go towards raising awareness about military sexual assault trauma and helping victims battle PTSD, depression, and anxiety using natural remedies.

Giggin and Warren curate gummies, teas, honey, and tinctures using organic hemp and herbs. They’re also exploring recipes using medicinal mushrooms. “We’re jumping into the mushroom field now and we’re finding that the Lion’s Mane and other mushrooms restructure the system. And, when they’re done in micro-dosing, they help to rebuild cells and regain life,” Lee says. “We’re using fungi to fight the good fight.”

The Grow Network believes it’s vital to “use ancient, time-tested knowledge to nurture health through powerful, medicinal herbs.”

Marjory Wildcraft

So, returning to the garden is the future of functional ingredients where consumers or experienced chefs, like Papa Lee, create food that is medicine. A podcast, “Wounded Not Broken,” launches on July 5, 2022, and will feature survivors of military sexual trauma. To join the fight, consider this Go Fund Me campaign.

In her travels, Keogh’s also met many fungi farmers. A few are organically certified and most use sustainable, organic practices. Now, while organic certification is comforting to see, it comes with a price. Often the extra cost shoppers pay for the accreditation isn’t going to the farmer; it’s going to taxes. So, many farmers like Brody Ferguson, Mark Rickard, Sundown Hazen, and Jonathan Garrett operate organically but keep consumer costs down by not paying the extra certification taxes.


Who: Brody Ferguson/Ferg’s Fabulous Farm
What: Boise Farmers Market
Where: 1500 Shoreline Dr, Boise, ID 83702
When: Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Who: Mark Rickard/Skagit Gourmet Mushrooms
What: Everett Farmers Market
Where: Hewitt and Wetmore Avenues, Everett, WA 98201
When: Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Who: Sundown Hazen & Jonathan Garrett/Chesed Farms
What: Downtown Walla Walla Farmers Market
Where: 106 W Main St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
When: Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Some farmers are making big transitions. For example, in 2020, Oregon State passed Measure 109 which states that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) can regulate psilocybin manufacturing, delivery, purchasing, and consumption. Manufacturing licenses will be issued by OHA at the beginning of 2023.

The Oregon Psilocybin Society believes that psilocybin-assisted therapy can help alleviate the mental health crisis in Oregon “by addressing costly epidemics like suicide, treatment-resistant depression and anxiety, PTSD, and addiction to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine.” At Portland, Oregon’s, Pal’s Mushrooms, Chris Peircean and Jeremiah McCoy are getting into growing gourmet and medicinal psilocybin mushrooms.

Overall, Keogh says farmers across the U.S. are supporting each other through consultation, equipment, and supplies. For example, Rebecca Minna of Prospore, in Shelton, Washington, is turning her mushroom farm into a substrate production facility. By fall 2022, it will supply northwest commercial mushroom growers with superior substrate blocks.

Minna has also teamed up with Mica Rehnquist, owner of The Outdoor Farmer, who’s constructed mushroom growing pods, “Boom Rooms,” made for commercial farmers. These pods offer a perfectly-controlled, cultivation environment.

For those seeking in-person fungi farming training, Fungaia’s, Paul Hamilton-Pennel, is hosting training featuring Fungi Academy in Walla Walla, Washington, September 3-11, 2022.

And finally, Blaine Alexandr-Heins, chief design officer and head of curation at i3x, looks to outer space art to sustain planet Earth. i3x will send satellites funded by asset-backed nonfungible tokens (NFT) to the stars this September. Be on the lookout for i3x NFT space launches.

i3x’s focus is off-grid food sourcing, revenue for local and indigenous farmers, and internal crypto-based monetary solutions. These solutions allow eco-farm communities to remain self-sufficient and provide lucrative local farming revenue channels. “With technologies like this, the functional mushroom industry remains uncapped. Literally, the sky is the limit for the future of fungi,” Keogh says.

About 444, LLC (4-Forty-4):
444 incorporates the culinary art of functional beverage and expert mixology to manufacture functional beverage mixers. By partnering with and supporting small businesses throughout the U.S. within the functional ingredients and sustainable farming sectors, 444 is dedicated to providing current industry information.


Anyone interested in sharing their or others’ stories:

Discover northwest fungi farmers and chefs:


*Photo link for media:

Photo Caption: Papa Lee Warren and Bob Giggin develop plant medicine convections.

*VIDEO (YouTube)

Video caption: Blaine Alexandr-Hein | The Future of Plant Medicine | i3x


Danielle Keogh

of 444, LLC