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Share Your Hop Joy: Meet Steve!

I’m excited to share more and honored to be included in this. 

A little more backstory on my passions.  I have 4 kiddos; 2 girls and 2 boys So most of my time and effort is dedicated to my family.  I used to have passion and love for things like playing sports and going to concerts. Now my focus and passion has shifted over to caring for the family.  Most of the hobbies and passions I have are things I can do at home which is where these come in to play. 

 I have always loved hoppy beer since before I was legally allowed to do so lol. And for me It was never about getting drunk or partying, I really truly love the hop aroma and flavor but with a big family and all these kids I don’t drink much beer anymore.  I have made a focus on being more health conscious and not drinking my calories. As much as I enjoy a good hoppy double ipa, obviously alcohol isn’t the best thing for your body. And frankly I need to be around for my family. A few years ago I came across the different variations on hop centered beverages with no alcohol. Stopped into a Whole Foods and came across HopTea and it is by far my favorite. I love tea and I love hops and with HopTea I can still experiment my taste buds on differing hop strains and tea types (still think an oolong with an earthy dank type of hop would be a very pleasant combination). With my wife staying home while the kids are little and 4 kiddos, money is always tight. So I treat myself with HopTea as a little enjoyment after a long day. Totally worth it! 

The other passion I have recently came across within the last year is mycology. I don’t have much outdoor space in our townhome. I grow some Carolina Reaper peppers (hot sauce/peppers is another little passion of mine, but that can be saved for another day) and tomato plants every year, but with not a lot of space to grow much else and it being it’s a summer/fall hobby I wanted something else to get into. In looking for something else to capture my interest I came across an article about the health benefits of certain types of mushrooms. Watched a few videos and a documentary about them and from there I went down the rabbit hole into the world of mycology and mushrooms. Honestly, I was never even a big fan of the taste of mushrooms. I liked them but could go with or without them. But now I am hooked. The life cycle, the environmental impact, the heath benefits. It’s all just so interesting to me and there is so much to learn about them. I especially have a personal interest in Lions Mane mushrooms

A few years ago (on my birthday, which was a bummer) my grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s dementia. My mom cared for her for 9 long years as we watched her brain deteriorate and betray her. So in my deep dives into the world of mushrooms I found some good articles and promising potential benefits and improvements to cognitive function that can be made from consuming Lions Mane. So I decided to give a shot to growing them myself. I started growing from some pre-colonized kits of lions mane and oyster and have since moved on to colonize my own grow bags and grow both culinary (button, oyster) and medicinal mushrooms like Lions mane. I am also drying and encapsulating the lions mane to take as a supplement. I am hoping with any potential genetic predisposition for me to develop dementia as I age can be prevented or reduced by this little fungus I never knew about for 38 years of life. The more I read the more I learn and want to grow other types of mushrooms like turkey tail that have anti-cancer properties and other types with different health benefits ranging from improvement in mood and cognition to overall energy and gut health. I just harvested a round of lions mane.

I’m sure my kids and wife are sick of hearing about dang mushrooms so it’s been nice to throw it all out there on here for you lol. 
Again thanks so much for doing this. It’s really cool of you guys to continue to do things like this for your customers to keep us engaged in different ways with the company. It’s been really fun! If you need anything else from me let me know! 

Wanna learn more about these passions, here are some links recommended by Steve. 

Fantastic Fungi is the name of the documentary everyone should check out
And Paul Stamets renowned mycologist has good info: Paul Stamets - Mycologist 
Alzheimer’s association for information on Alzheimer’s : Home | Alzheimers Association 
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