Welcome to Eat Between the Lines, a Culinary Farmstead newsletter. I'm Jess Lewis, founder of Culinary Farmstead and an advocate for regenerative agriculture, food sustainability, permaculture, and herbal healing. As a farmsteader, culinary creator, and herbalist, I'm dedicated to promoting sustainable cooking practices that nourish the land and the people who depend on it. In this weekly newsletter, you'll find tips and ideas for growing your own food, cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and how to incorporate herbal medicine into a healthy lifestyle.
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I hope this newsletter finds you in good health and enjoying this beautiful spring. Today, I want to share some important updates about Culinary Farmstead and our journey together as we continue to celebrate the love of food, plants, and the land. This is hard for me but I feel that transparency is key to trust. I may lose some of you after sharing this but I sincerely hope you’ll stay and get deeper understanding about what is happening to some folks through reading about my experience.
As some of you may already know, I have been dealing with Long Covid, which has unfortunately led to a more permanent and completely unexpected issue called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). This condition has resulted in numerous food and environmental allergies, affecting many ingredients that I love and use the most - no more tomatoes, aged cheeses (like parm), wine 😩 or delicious ferments that you all know that I adore — the list goes on, unfortunately. This new situation initially left me feeling incredibly frustrated. In fact, I considered completely pulling the plug on Culinary Farmstead. While this diagnosis has presented challenges in teaching my cooking and preserving classes, it has also given me an opportunity to reflect on my path and rethink the direction of Culinary Farmstead.
Over the next few months, I will be focusing on my healing, spending time on the farmstead, and exploring new ways to share my passion for cooking, farmsteading, herbalism with all of you. During this period, I will be taking a break from teaching cooking classes to prioritize my health and recovery. However, our herbalist classes will continue as planned, offering you unique and engaging experiences in the world of natural remedies and plant-based wellness. Especially as I navigate new health challenges, I’ll explore how my experience with biochemistry and herbs can help me (and, hopefully, others) through mast cell issues. Honestly, I’ve been neglecting my Materia Medica, so it’s probably a good time to update it with everything new I’ve been learning.
I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for your understanding and unwavering support during this challenging time. As I navigate these changes, you can expect some adjustments in our offerings and activities. Please stay tuned for further updates, and know that I am always open to your feedback and suggestions.
While I may be taking a temporary hiatus from teaching cooking classes, I am confident that this journey will ultimately enrich our shared culinary, farmsteading, and herbal experiences. I am eager to embark on this new chapter with you and look forward to the many delicious and enlightening adventures that lie ahead.
Thank you once again for your incredible support. It really means the world to me, especially right now.
Here’s to healing.
More to come.
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Return to natural state. Your external world is only evidence of how you feel inside. You are strong, optimal and creative. So will your externals be. Healing peace & love be upon you now. ❤️