Jessica knows food. She understands how food can affect your health, as well as the joy that food can bring to the world as well. Jessica believes that food that is great for one person, is not necessarily great for the next. I think that is so insightful, and she recomend some great books to learn more about how to incorporate the right foods into your diet.

Who is Jessica. Food, health, nutrition, sustainability and the planet are her passion which is why she’s been working on those fields for 20+ years now. During her 20s she had a culinary certificate after getting her training at the Natural Gourmet in New York which focuses on food, health and environment.  She went back to the bay as a chef which allowed her to be more creative as she’s working in an art center. She prepares food for resident artists who stays for a period of time and also in charge of preparing food if there’s a public program. So depending on a given night, she’s expected to serve from 10 to 100 people.  She was so amazed with the experience of food in the context of community which became a core interest for Jessica – “How do we rebuild a community in a society that doesn’t really know how to be in a community, and isn’t good at it?”. There’s not a lot of grounding in our society as people move from place to place and she believes that food is one of the cornerstone of a community experience.

 Full Moon Feast.She created New Moon Newsletter, which is like a blog but instead, she writes and sends it out every month. She would take the name of a moon from a traditional calendar, she would write and send it out to those on her list, which became bigger. So by the time she started the Full Moon Feast, she has like a thousand on her list.

She did the feast at a church’s basement as she was intimately connected with that community.

She was doing the Full Moon Feast while she was writing the book, Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection, and the book also grew from the New Moon Newsletter. The book was structured in a way that each chapter represents a moon - she started on February, going around all months of the year represented by a different moon.

After leaving her job she continues to offer dinners thru the Full Moon Feast for at least 80 people. She would come up with her own theme, she would source local foods and put on family-style meals, followed by a conversation with a farmer where the food came from. Eating the food and getting connected to where that food came from and filling the sense of “Somebody actually grows this food and harvested and brings it to the city”

Three Stone Hearth. She got with her colleagues and started a business plan for Three Stone Hearth. Launching Three Stone Hearth, they moved the Full Moon Feast into their own kitchen. They were able to do the feast monthly for 2 years before moving onto a different location. After moving, they decided to stop the Full Moon Feast as they encountered a lot of challenges and so they can also focus on other tasks.

They focused on prepared food placed on mason jars for the larger community.

They take local and sustainable ingredients and turn them into prepared food and pack them on returnable mason jars. When people buy the food, they pay a deposit for the mason jars, which will be given back once they give the jars back.

Three Hearth Stones. Three Stone Hearth has three hearth stones – health, earth and heart.

The focus of their business is that cycle of return. Trying to get food out of this hyper-convenience oriented, hyper-wasteful relationship. They offer a limited weekly menu. They send the menu every Thursday night thru email, they have an online ordering system where customers can pick and choose what they’re offering for that week and per-order those foods.

They closely monitor those numbers to eliminate waste and only make the right amount needed each week. They still create extras for customers who don’t pre-order but just come in and shop, while some pre-order but realizes they needed two of something and ends up ordering more. It’s also this time where people bring back their jars from their previous week order.

Their food is designed to be healing and even medicinal in quality. They cook within the context of relationship. They are passionate about the values of what the food carries.

Their food is designed to rebuild digestion. There’s an epidemic of poor digestion in the country, so they prepare a lot of probiotic foods, fermented foods and a lot of broth-based soups and stews. Almost everything they make is a direct expression of their approach to nutrition

 Menu. Their menu is created with the help of their chefs, nutritionists, food knowledge as well as the community that gives them feedback. They also are in an educated community where many of whom are on healing diets for various reasons and often these people are referred to their business by healthcare practitioners.  So their menu also comes off from what people want, and what people need.

A lot of us people are on a healing journey and that’s where they want to help - create food that contributes to that healing.

Get started. Either pastured chicken bones, grass fed beef bones or pastured pork bones are low simmered for a long period with nothing but just a bit of apple cider vinegar.              This helps pull the calcium and other minerals from the bones while the low temperature helps dissolve the gelatin to get this really nice clean, clear broth. No vegetables or herbs added. They put it on mason jars. Give an ice bath to cool it fast which helps preserve the food.

Classes. They offer classes that helps people understand why they do what they do and the nutritional components that goes on with food.

Their focus is on traditional diet - what food have  kept people healthy for thousands of years. Jessica often asks the question, “Have millions of people been eating this for thousands of years and has it been nourishing to them?” where the answer should be yes before she decides to eat it.

They have a lot of information about foods that sustains life and creates vibrant good health.

They have how-to classes with some guest teachers who come in occasionally – Snacks for Vitality, Dairy Class, etc.

They have a nutritionist who also gives specific information about what food contributes to cleansing and goes into the physiology of how it works.

Book recommendations.

Nourishing Traditions. It gives an overview of traditional diets and what has kept people healthy for a long time.

Sandor Katz’ books about orienting people on the probiotics and fermenting food, to name a few, Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation.

The Healthy Bones Book. How to build your bones with a bunch of recipes and dietary suggestions

Gut and Psychology Syndrome. About GAPS and what it heals.

Jessica also gave a reminder that “We know a lot more than we think we know. Our body gives us a huge amount of feedback when we eat something and you need to listen to it”.

How to learn more about Jessica

Hours and Location: 1581 University Avenue in Berkeley (between Sacramento and California Streets)   

*Free parking is available in the lot on the east side of the building, with metered parking along the street.

* We are open for order pickup and in-store shopping: Wednesday 5-7pm ; Thursday 10am- 4pm ; Saturday 9am–                                                                                   2pm