Somersaults are a scrumptious, healthy snack baked with sunflower seeds and toasted grains. 
Sunflower seeds are the #1 ingredient in Somersaults. They are a nutritionally dense food, power packed with antioxidants, protein, vitamin E, minerals and healthy fats.
Somersaults also have the same protein but half the fat of almonds and 95% less sugar than an energy bar. One serving of these seeds have 4x more antioxidants than blueberries, more fiber than an apple, and 50% more protein than almonds! 

Somersaults has 5 flavors: 

  • Pacific Sea Salt
  • Cinnamon Crunch
  • Salty Pepper
  • Dutch Cocoa
  • Santa Fe Salsa
They have a 2oz. sampler pack and a 6oz. sampler pack which lets you try all their flavors in a conventional multipack.  

"Love crunchy, salty, pepper, vegan, high protein and addictive all in one snack? Give our savory Salty Pepper snack, made with a touch of garlic and onion, a whirl! Enjoy at the movies, on your next bike ride or snack on while studying. Even better, serve at your next 
dinner party as a nut-free snack your guests are sure to enjoy."

The salty pepper has it all– a bit of spice, a bit of salt, and lots of nutty goodness. These are great for snacking!

Santa Fe Salsa "Toasted sunflower seeds and grains baked with chili pepper, cilantro, a touch of jalapeno and a dash of lime give this nugget a delicious zesty bite. A perfect snack for your next backyard barbeque, beach bonfire or fiesta. OlĂ©!"

The Santa Fe Salsa is slightly spicy, with nice hints of jalapeno and chili!

"When we began our quest to make scrumptious, healthy snacks out of seeds, we developed our original flavor, Pacific Sea Salt. The touch of sea salt on these crunchy nuggets is sourced right here in our own backyard, the San Francisco Bay, and highlights the nutty taste of sunflower and sesame seeds. Pacific Sea Salt is sure to twirl your taste buds."

Delicious and satisfying! The texture of the Somersaults is great with a touch of sea salt.

"Cinnamon Crunch bakes warm cinnamon into our whole wheat dough to create a delightful yet healthy treat. A little sprinkle of sweetness makes this perfect crunchy snack a coffee pairing delight! With just 7g of sugar (that's 42% less than a granola bar!), this treat is a good-for-you twist on Grandma's home baked cinnamon rolls."

The cinnamon crunch tastes great! The heartiness of the seeds adds so much texture to the sweetness of the cinnamon.  

"Hailed as the perfect pick-me-up snack with just a touch of cocoa sweetness, our Dutch Cocoa pairs perfectly with your afternoon latte. Dutch Cocoa has just as much protein as a serving of almonds but has less fat and fewer calories. You are sure to satisfy your chocolate chip cookie craving and keep on going until dinner time."

The dutch cocoa is delicious and has the right amount of chocolate. It satisfies your sweet tooth and makes a tasty treat! 

These are great and very delicious snacks. Every piece of these sunflower seeds cookies are full of flavor. We highly recommend Somersaults!



Element Bars Giveaway!

Element Bars has generously offered to gift one reader with a box of custom bars! ElementBars.com lets users design their own custom wholefood bar by selecting organic and conventional ingredients and then personalize the label.

Element Bars are amazing. Each energy bar is hand made, packaged and then labeled with its custom bar name and nutritional information. At Element Bars, they use unprocessed or minimally processed elements in each bar to retain the most nutritional value. Element bars are delicious too!

How to win:

*Write 'Element Bars Giveaway' on the Subject Line

*Contest is open to US addresses only

Give away closes on April 21 at 11:59 pm and winner will be chosen at random.



Element Bars

"ElementBars.com lets users design their own custom wholefood bar by selecting organic and conventional ingredients and then personalize the label. Users who want proven taste and nutrition can customize a "popular bar" that has received the most positive reviews by other users of ElementBars.com.
Each energy bar is hand made, packaged, and then labeled with its custom bar name and nutritional information. Element Bars is committed to using unprocessed or minimally processed elements in each bar to retain the most nutritional value." - Jonathan Miller, Founder.
You may view our interview with the founder here

What we think: Element Bars taste AMAZING. One of the most important things is taste, and Element Bars exceed expectations! Element Bars do not have an over-packed protein bar taste and they are moist and flavorful. They taste fresh and come in a sealed plastic package with an expiration date. 
These bars are packed with nutrients. From natural ingredients, with organic choices, and boosts such as whey protein, and omega-3, you know what you are getting the best nutrients in your bar. Plus, each bar has nutrition information on the back of the packaging. 
For those that want proven taste and nutrition you can customize a "popular bar" that has received the most reviews by other users of ElementBars.com. Or, you can build your own bar from scratch, selecting ingredients from the following categories:

  • Core (chewy: peanut butter/ almond butter, crispy: peanut butter/ almond butter, oatey, fruit and nut, datey)
  • Fruits (cherries, cranberries, prunes, raisins, blueberries, apricots, bananas, coconut, apples)
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds, flaxseeds, soynuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds)
  • Sweets (brown rice syrup, agave syrup, honey, maple syrup, fiber syrup, chocolate chips, sundrops, pumpkin spice, cinnamon) 
  • Boosts (egg white protein, whey protein, soy protein, immunity, omega - 3, fiber)
We customized it to having: a chewy core with almond butter, blueberries, cashews, chocolate chips, omega-3 boost and coconut. It was absolutely delicious! We recommend this combination.

Element Bars has a taste guarantee. They guarantee the bar will be to your liking by :
- warning you if there are incompatible ingredients when you are designing your bar
- if you get your bars and don't like the way it tastes they will work to make it right. If not, they will refund your money. 

Element Bars also has a short quiz on their website you can take to find a bar that fits your lifestyle, ability to search by ingredient for a specific health benefit (brain/ memory, heart, muscle/ strength, antioxidant, GI health), and the option to save the bar you created. You can even give it a name for future ordering and for purchase by other customers!

These bars are part of the Element Endurance Variety Pack. 

Don’t let the delicious taste fool you. This chewy bar tastes like a guilty treat, but gives your body exactly what it needs for post-workout recovery. Every protein-packed bite is filled with delicious peanut butter, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and soy protein.

Cran-covery is sweet and slightly tart, absolutely delicious. Great taste and crunch!

Protein never tasted so good. This peanut butter rich bar is made with the delicious blend of real, whole blueberries and almonds. When your muscles ache from a grueling workout, give it the protein it needs…your body (and your taste buds) will thank you.

PB Power has a nice nutty flavor. Great tasting and gives you energy!

Made with a unique blend of carbohydrates, protein and fat to aid performance before and during your workout. It is made with cherries and cashews to give you a delicious all natural taste with a subtle nutty flavor.

Cherry Charge is the perfect blend of cherries and cashews. Gives you energy and leaves you satisfied!
This bar is rich in protein and potassium to help rebuild your muscles. After working your body hard, you need to replenish and reward it. This delicious bar loaded with bananas and dark chocolate is just what your trainer ordered.

Banana Repair has the perfect combination of banana and dark chocolate.

Element Bars is a great company with delicious and nutritious products. At Element Bars, they believe that it should all come from food you can find in your pantry. No unpronounceable words. 


Interview with Jonathan Miller: Founder of Element Bars

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers about yourself? How did you get into the business?
Jonathan Miller: It started with raisins . . or more accurately without raisins. I was enjoying one of the energy bars I had baked in my own kitchen when a friend said “That’s really neat. I would have my bar with almonds and raisins”. I hate raisins and that that sparked an idea – why not put the power back into the customer’s hands and let them pick the ingredients they want in their custom bars.

Sarah Velasco: What does your average day look like for you? What does your job entail? 
Jonathan Miller: I start the morning by picking 3 bars from the previous days. I sample 2 of them and then each the 3rd one for breakfast. If I like the bar, I’ll email the customer and thank them for breakfast and if I think there is an issue with the bar, I’ll email the customer and make sure they liked the recipe (since we do have a taste guarantee). Next, I probably be working with different ingredient suppliers – trying new ingredients and seeing how they interact with other ingredients..from chia seeds to egg white protein. We also do contract manufacturing (sometimes calls private label) where we produce bars for other bar companies, retail outlets, or corporate events. I’ll often spend time with customers on the phone making sure they design the right bar for their target audience.

Sarah Velasco: What makes your bars so unique? 
Jonathan Miller: ElementBars.com lets users design their own custom wholefood bar by selecting organic and conventional ingredients and then personalize the label. Users who want proven taste and nutrition can customize a "popular bar" that has received the most positive reviews by other users of ElementBars.com.
Each energy bar is hand made, packaged, and then labeled with its custom bar name and nutritional information. Element Bars is committed to using unprocessed or minimally processed elements in each bar to retain the most nutritional value.

Sarah Velasco: How can readers purchase Element Bars? 
Jonathan Miller: We have 2 main types of bars – popular and custom bars. Custom bars are built from scratch – starting with the core (chewy, crispy, oaty, datey) and then adding fruits, nuts, sweets, and boosts. Our popular bars have been voted on by our customers as the best balance of taste and nutrition and are sold at a discount of $1.99 per bar (vs $2.99 for the custom bars). We also offer our popular bars in variety packs so you can get a sampling of 4 different bars.

Sarah Velasco: What would your favorite bar contain? 
Jonathan Miller: As discussed above, my favorite bar is the one I pick from the previous day’s production so it is really changes day to day. If I had to pick, I would probably go with the chewy core with 1 fruit and 1 nut (maybe cherries and almonds).

Sarah Velasco: What are the most popular build-a -bar combinations? What do customers include in their bar most frequently? 
Jonathan Miller: Cherries and blueberries are some of the most popular ingredients because you don’t often find them in other mass market bars. Cherries and blueberries are actually very expensive, but we feel strongly at Element Bars that flavors should come from ingredients, not bottles (i.e. natural flavors) so we spend the extra money on premium ingredients.

Sarah Velasco: Are there any "donts" when creating your own bar?
Jonathan Miller: We have a system that will automatically tell you if you put 2 ingredients together and warn you before checking out. An example is agave in the oaty core – it is just too thin and the bar tends to fall apart.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about your experience with Shark Tank ? What was that like? 
Jonathan Miller: On the September 13th episode of ABC’s Shark Tank, founder Jonathan Miller successfully negotiated a deal with infomercial king Kevin Harrington. Watched by over 5 million households, the national spotlight has significantly accelerated Element Bar’s growth: from being the 3rd most searched term on Google that night to a 24-hour sales volume that surpassed the previous 6 months. I look back and watch it sometimes and am amazed at the answers I gave. That being said, I prepared for weeks with lists of frequently asked questions and that, along with a passion to see the business succeed, allowed me to be confident enough to take on the sharks.

Sarah Velasco: Are there any common misconceptions about whole food bars? 
Jonathan Miller: Everyone throws around the term all natural very loosely. At Element Bars, we believe it should all come from food that you can find in your pantry. No unpronounceable words.




"There's a new corn nut in town. 7x softer CRUNCH lets you REDISCOVER corn nut snacks. Poplets® are satisfying little NUGGETS of corn kernel goodness with far less fat and more fiber, so you can CRUNCH away fear-free! Poplets®: The LITTLE crunch with BIG flavor."

Available in: 


  • Gluten Free
  • Non-GMO Kernels
  • Natural
  • Whole Grain
  • Nut Free
  • Super-convection baked, never fried
Price: 2.7 oz bags pack of 8 $12

What we think: Poplets are a great snack! They have a tasty, chewy, crunch that invigorate your mouth. When you open the bag, poplets reminds you of something similar to half popped popcorn pieces. They are in between a popcorn and corn nut. 
Poplets are corn kernels popped but not all the way so they do not become popcorn.  These little, crunchy pieces are amazing. They are way better than corn nuts and not as hard on your teeth! Poplets make a great on the go snack. 

Interview with Karen Bradley, CEO of Front Range Snacks

Karen is the President and CEO of Front Range Snacks, the parent corporation of the Open Road Snacks family of brands. She has spent more than 25 years in marketing and graphic design, including the creation of a profitable graphic design/marketing agency in New York. Karen left New York to pursue her outdoor passions in Colorado’s famously sunny climate. When she’s not in the office or out finding new better-for-you snacks to bring into the Open Road family,you’ll find Karen on her road bike or on skis.

Sarah Velasco: How did Open Road Snacks get started?
Karen Bradley: There was a time when finding a great-tasting, “better-for-you” snack was difficult. That time is long gone. Since rising from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the 1980s, Rocky Mountain Popcorn® has grown from a respected and popular local snack option to a national crunchy craze.
In 2007, Rocky Mountain Popcorn was born. And, in 2013, we evolved into Open Road Snacks™ as the brand turned its focus toward pioneering the concept of healthy snacking. But the natural, whole-grain roots remained the same, and as sales grew 12-fold, the simple principle of small batch, convenient, delicious and healthy snacking expanded into other brands. Two years ago, we launched our innovative crunchy corn snack Poplets®, a healthy new twist on an old favorite. Now in more than 30,000 travel and convenience stores across the country, including smallgrocery, specialty and club, Open Road Snacks™ is a national leader of great-tasting, small-batch craft snacks. Better for you never tasted so good.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us a little bit about how Open Road Snacks protects the planet?

Karen Bradley: Open Road’s Snacks production facilities are 100% wind powered, as a result, last year alone we:
  • Saved enough electricity for 200,000 homes/year 
  • 89,000 gallons of gasoline 
  • 4,600 gallons of oil 
  • We are also part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative 
  • Saved 3,298 mature trees 
  • Waste reduction saved landfill covering 6 soccer fields 
  • Our everyday popcorn caddys and master cases are made with recyclable paperboard packaging.
  • And of course, we reduce, reuse and recycle in our sales and marketing office.

Sarah Velasco: What kinds products do you carry?
Karen Bradley: We manufacture and distribute craft snacks with a small-batch taste, on a go-anywhere scale. The 3 product lines that we currently produce are :
Rocky Mountain Popcorn - a prominent brand in convenience and travel centers nationwide. All 5 RMP items outperform all popcorn competitor items in sales velocity. It is the fastest moving popcorn brand (according to IRI data weeks ending 10/24/13). And only RMP has the bold flavors, the vast array of varieties, the quality ingredients and tremendous customer convenience that are worthy of the Rocky Mountain name. It’s HUGE.
POPLETS - Rediscover corn nut snacks with POPLETS… the LITTLE CRUNCH with BIG FLAVOR. Poplets, the newest innovation and addition to ORS, are a twist on the legacy corn nut. Poplets are satisfying little nuggets of corn kernel goodness. They have a delightful and delicious crunch that is 7x softer than corn nuts, and because they contain far less fat and more fiber, yet BIG taste, are proving to be a big hit with c-store customers.
And Diego’s Chips - Meet Diego’s Chips: the bold, hot and spicy chip that’s positively brimming with the authentic flavors of the Southwest. HOT is HOT!! With popular ethnic favorites of Habanero and Red Chile flavors, Diego’s Chips are a must-have addition to every convenience chip set. Hot enough to make your taste buds represent—with a fiery spice blend that redefines the borders of great taste. Caution: their contents are hot AND flavorful!

Sarah Velasco: How are they different from other ones on the market?

Karen Bradley: Simply put….TASTE; Open Road Snacks takes great pride in creating snacks that are “craft snacks”: high quality, all natural and the best tasting competitive snacks in the market. For most products, Open Road Snacks items are considered “Better For You” without sacrificing flavor. All of our products are all natural, gluten free and nut free and use non-gmo corn kernels.

Sarah Velasco: Do you have any gluten-free products?
Karen Bradley: All of our products are all natural, gluten free and nut free and use non-gmo corn kernels.

Sarah Velasco: For readers that have never tried these, what three products would you recommend for them to first try?
Karen Bradley: That’s a tough question, they are all delicious. Sea Salt &Butter Poplets, Jalapeno Popcorn, and our Diego’s Habanero Chips

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers find these products?
Karen Bradley: Past marketing strategy has put an emphasis on smaller packaging and the convenience and drug channel: AM/PM, Chevron, Circle K, Pilot, Sunoco, Hess, Walgreens. Current change in marketing strategy is to expand into larger packaging and larger format stores. Currently available at King Soopers/Kroger in the Denver area. And of course direct from our website and Amazon.com


Grow Your Own Mushrooms! 100th Monkey Mushrooms

"... buying gourmet mushrooms on a regular basis is cost prohibitive for many people, we developed grow-your-own kits to make gourmet mushrooms accessible and affordable for everyone. As an added benefit, growing mushrooms is fun and informative, and our customers quickly become as enthusiastic about mushrooms as we are! " - Heather Ralston, 100th Monkey Mushrooms. 

We recently did an interview with Heather, where she shared her expertise with us. You may view the informative interview here

Price: $22 

About: "This variety grows in clusters of beautiful, blue-gray mushrooms with a rich, savory flavor. The blue oyster mushroom kit is a must-have for those who want to grow a specialty mushroom not commonly found in stores. Easy to grow, reliable, and kid-friendly, the blue oyster kit comes in an attractive grow box: perfect for the first time grower or for a gift. Kit includes small blue oyster mushroom block, grow box, mister, humidity tent, and instructions."

What we think: A great experience with delicious results! This is a great eco-friendly gardening project for the kitchen counter. This kit produces 3/4- 1 1/2 lbs of blue-grey mushrooms and has a total of 1-3 flushes.  
The directions are simple and are provided with the kit. In 3-14 days mushrooms will begin to form and they will grow rapidly. It is incredible how quickly the mushrooms start growing. One day they are tiny, the next day they are huge!

Day 4

Day 6

So easy to grow and you are left with an all-natural, nutritious, and sustainable product. The 100th Monkey Mushroom kit is a clever concept and makes a fun gift! Having the mushroom kit will inspire you to learn more about the health benefits and nutrients of mushrooms. They are also a great learning experience. 

100th Monkey Mushrooms website also has great recipes to make wonderful dishes!


Interview with Heather Ralston, 100th Monkey Mushroom Farm

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers about yourself? How did you get started in the business?
Heather Ralston: After more than 15 years each teaching in public and private schools, we (Heather Ralston and Jimm Stack, a husband and wife team) wanted to combine our passion for growing mushrooms with our love of teaching. We saw the tremendous amount of interest people had in wanting to grow their own mushrooms and the lack of understanding about how to do so. So, we created 100th Monkey Mushroom Farm to be “teaching mushroom farmers”, so to speak. We specialize in teaching people, from the novice to the experienced, how to grow mushrooms sustainably so everyone can have access to the incredible health benefits (both medicinal and nutritional) of gourmet mushrooms.

Sarah Velasco: What is your average day like? What does your job entail?
Heather Ralston: Jimm is the principal mushroom grower who oversees the production of our mushroom kit products, ones that will eventually blossom gourmet mushrooms in in someone’s kitchen, yard or garden in some part of the country. Jimm is continually experimenting with different strains of mushrooms and different growing substrates so we can expand our product line to accommodate more people (such as the recent addition of the Aspen Oyster and Phoenix Oyster Mushroom Log Kit, which will grow mushrooms on aspens, cottonwoods, and some pine trees). Since education is our priority and focus, we spent a great deal of time making free educational videos for people (which we post on our YouTube channel) and creating informative blogs. Heather is the principal business manager; her days are packed with marketing, sales, accounting, managing our online store, etc. Both Heather and Jimm work together on product development. 

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about 100th Monkey Mushrooms? 
Heather Ralston: Because buying gourmet mushrooms on a regular basis is cost prohibitive for many people, we developed grow-your-own kits to make gourmet mushrooms accessible and affordable for everyone. As an added benefit, growing mushrooms is fun and informative, and our customers quickly become as enthusiastic about mushrooms as we are! 

Sarah Velasco: How did the name come about? 
Heather Ralston: 100th Monkey refers to a widespread change in behavior. According to the legend, once the 100th monkey masters a new behavior, the behavior spreads rapidly throughout the population. By making the knowledge of growing these superfoods accessible, we are creating the 100th monkey.

Sarah Velasco: By creating 100th Monkey Mushrooms, what is your mission? 
Heather Ralston: Our mission is to create a large-scale awareness of sustainable growing techniques, the extraordinary health benefits of mushrooms, and the increasing role fungi play in the healing of our ecosystem.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers a few things they may not know about mushrooms? 
Heather Ralston: Although mushrooms are nutritious from a conventional point of view (i.e. high in protein, high in many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, D, and riboflavin, contains no fat or cholesterol, and contains very few calories), this is not their most beneficial role in human health. There are now thousands of studies attesting to the dramatic effect mushrooms have on the human immune system. For example, the turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor) is known for its strong antiviral, antimicrobial and antitumor properties. These properties are attributed to two polysaccharides, PSK and PSP. The Japanese government approved the use of PSK for treating several types of cancer and is currently used along with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Another gourmet edible mushroom commonly known as Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceous) has also shown to be effective at neural regeneration. (See some of our blogs for some additional research on mushrooms… or I can send you some more articles, if you want).

Sarah Velasco: Are there common misconceptions about mushrooms?
Heather Ralston: Compared to other parts of the world such as Asia and Europe, Americans have a high rate of mycophobia (fear of mushrooms). Yes, there are some very toxic mushrooms, but other cultures haven’t seen this as a reason to not consume mushrooms. They just learn to identify mushrooms instead. They have viewed mushrooms as a highly beneficial (for good reason) addition to their diets and have passed on the traditions of mushroom hunting and identification for many generations. Much of this has been lost in our culture. Also, from an aesthetic point of view, mushrooms growing in the front lawn are often seen as ugly and undesirable when in fact they are an indicator of microbial health and the essential decomposition of organic matter. The most significant misconception, however, is that mushrooms are “filler” food. People are just starting to become aware of the power medicinal benefits of mushrooms and are realizing the importance of including mushrooms as a regular part of a healthy diet. We are working on a book that compiles all of the peer-reviewed research worldwide done on the medicinal effects (and the biochemical mechanisms responsible for these effects) of gourmet mushrooms, and the results are astounding.

Sarah Velasco: What types of mushrooms can you grow? 
Heather Ralston: We offer a variety of what are called saprophytic mushrooms (found in nature growing only on dead wood). The saprophytes, in particular, seem to be highly medicinal. We offer kits to grow shiitake, lion’s mane, reishi, turkey tail, elm oyster, blue oyster, aspen oyster, and phoenix fir oyster—and we have more varieties on the way!

Sarah Velasco: How do you grow your own mushrooms? Does different care need to be done for the different types? 
Heather Ralston: We created a product line that allows the customer to affordably grow gourmet mushrooms at home, in the city or in the country, indoors and outdoors, and year-round! We have three types of products that we sell in stores: Mushroom Garden Kit, Mushroom Log Kit, and Mushroom Box Kit. On our online store, customers can also purchase Shiitake or Reishi Mushroom Blocks (bigger versions of Mushroom Box Kits, and without the box).

Our indoor/outdoor Mushroom Garden Kit rapidly produces gourmet oyster mushrooms when mixed with pasteurized straw, sawdust, coffee grounds, and 200 other substrates. The mushrooms can be harvested year-round and they can be grown anywhere: in pots on an apartment patio, in a garden bed, or inside the house in baskets or burlap bags. One Mushroom Garden Kit will inoculate 5 gallons of substrate, producing 2-3 lbs. of mushrooms on the first flush… but here’s the cool part: after the first round of mushrooms have been harvested from, for instance, a 5-gallon bucket of substrate, this substrate is now colonized and can potentially be used to inoculate (or plant) FIVE more 5-gallon buckets of substrate! This can be done twice, maybe three times, before the mycelium weakens and doesn’t produce any more mushrooms, but if a person were to even get two rounds out of their kit, that is equivalent to 10-15 lbs. of gourmet mushrooms from ONE kit! This is exactly what we mean when we say that we are trying to make such a healthy superfood accessible and affordable to everyone (as we know, purchasing organic gourmet mushrooms at a store is too cost prohibitive for most people to do on a regular basis). 

Our outdoor shiitake Mushroom Log Kit makes it possible to grow the world’s most popular mushroom simply by inserting a mycelium-covered plug into a hardwood log. While these mushrooms take longer to colonize than the straw kits, they can produce coveted shiitake mushrooms for years. We also offer Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Elm Oyster, Blue Oyster, Aspen Oyster and Phoenix Fir Oyster species in the Mushroom Log Kit.

Finally, our ready-made indoor Mushroom Box Kit is easy and convenient. With a little daily misting, the delicious elm oyster mushrooms are ready to harvest in as little as one week.

Sarah Velasco: What are gourmet and organic mushrooms? 
Heather Ralston: Gourmet is a class of mushrooms of high quality, special presentation, or high sophistication, but are most notable for their intense and distinct flavor. Organic mushrooms utilize mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are not allowed. 

Note: Why Eat Gourmet Mushrooms? See http://www.100thmonkeymushrooms.com/health-2/why-gourmet-mushrooms/ 

Note: Why Eat Organically Grown? See http://www.100thmonkeymushrooms.com/health-2/why-grow-organic-mushrooms/ 

Sarah Velasco: How long do these mushroom kits last? 
Heather Ralston: The life of the mushroom kit depends foremost on the type of kit. The Box Kit with produce 2-3 cycles of mushrooms before the energy is expended. (However, on our YouTube channel we have video tutorials that show how the lives of the kits can be extended by being used to inoculate another substrate.) The Log Kits can produce for multiples years from the dense hardwood logs. A properly cared for Garden Kit on woodchips can be kept productive for multiple seasons also if replenished with fresh chips each year.

Sarah Velasco: Where can we purchase 100th Monkey Mushroom products?
Heather Ralston: All of our products are available online at www.100thMonkeyMushrooms.com and we are rapidly expanding into retail stores throughout the nation.

Sarah Velasco: Anything else readers should know? 
Heather Ralston: The use of mushrooms as a food source is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential benefits of fungal kingdom. The field of mycology is exploding with findings, such as the mycoremediation techniques involving the use of mushroom mycelium (roots) to mitigate toxins in soils (heavy metals and petroleum) or to filter water contaminated with harmful toxins like Ecoli. Also, 90% of all plants have a symbiotic relationship with a fungal species in their root zone, which promote nutrient and water uptake to the plant or tree and help prevent disease. Farmers are now beginning to plant their crops with mycorrhizal fungi spores to organically increase crop yield.
We also want the readers to become aware of the tremendous health benefits of gourmet mushrooms- not just nutritionally but more importantly, medicinally. Interested readers can find valuable information about the health-promoting properties of mushrooms on our site and on our blog (look under HEALTH or BLOG). This fall, we will coming out with a book that compiles all of the peer-reviewed research about the medicinal properties of gourmet mushrooms conducted worldwide within the last three years- so stay tuned!