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444 Discovers an Abundance of Functional Food at Alta Vista Botanical Gardens

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Danielle Keogh, co-founder, 444, LLC, a business passionate about the culinary art of functional beverage and expert mixology, continues a nationwide tour interviewing sustainable businesses within the food and beverage industry. While exploring the U.S.'s southwest, Keogh discovered Alta Vista Botanical Gardens (AVBG), a treasure trove of plant medicine.

Naomi Stein, vice president, AVBG, welcomed Keogh with open arms and applauds the devotion of Alta Vista's volunteer board members who have worked to create such a wonderful space.

"The functional ingredient movement is alive and well here," she says.

In 1999, the city of Vista, California opened this 14-acre property to the public with a mission to bring people, nature and art together and they're doing just that and more.

AVBG plans to celebrate Earth Day by offering the community a free event where they can connect with nature on an artistic level. Vic Moraga will be live on guitar, while children can conjure recycled art, and families can discover numerous gardens with functional ingredients.

Edible delights can be found throughout. The medicinal herb garden has aloe vera, white sage, horehound, ginkgo trees, chaste trees, jojoba trees, tabebuia trees and more.

In the culinary garden, herb adventurers will find a rich variety that includes everything from spearmint, the caper bush, fennel, lemon verbena and lemongrass to hops, oregano, Thai basil, several varieties of sage, ginger, bay leaf tree, rosemary and thyme.

The children's garden is an ideal place for the younger set to learn about rare fruit trees such as Cherimoya, Loquat, pomegranate, several varieties of banana and dragon fruit.

Nancy Jones, a retired elementary teacher, also known as "Farmer Jones," gives a monthly class for AVBG members and their children. She teaches them how to garden and also heads a cleanup group, Loser's Litter, where participants help to keep the community free of debris. Additionally, she'll be overseeing the Earth Day Festival.

Other functional food events are happening all over in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.


Who: Nancy Jones/Alta Vista Botanical Gardens
What: Earth Day Festival
Where: Vista, CA, 1270 Vale Terrace Drive Vista
When: Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Who: Rose Walker/Le Jardin Verde Garden
What: Tree Care
Where: Albuquerque, NM, 538 Utah St. NE
When: Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Who: Cole Daeschel/Cedar Grove Greenhouse, Nursery and Farm
What: Santa Fe Farmers' Markets | Santa Fe Railyard
Where: Santa Fe, NM, 1607 Paseo De Peralta
When: Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Who: Dirk Hermann/Planet Mushrooms
What: Calabasas Farmers' Market
Where: Calabasas, CA, 23504 Calabasas Rd
When: Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Who: Creation Family Farms
What: Brentwood Farmers Market
Where: Brentwood, CA, Oak St and, 1st St
When: Sundays from 9:00 1:00 p.m.

Who: Roberto Ramirez/Mountain Meadow Mushroom Farm
What: Free Mushroom Compost Pickup
Where: Escondido, CA, 26948 N Broadway
When: Every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Two other options include a free 15-minute consultation with LA Garden Supply owner Leonard Song on how to grow sustainably indoors or discover delicious concoctions of plant medicine at the Realm of 52 Remedies in San Diego that will evoke your senses.

About 444 (4 Forty 4):

444, LLC is dedicated to discovering ways to learn, grow, and collaborate to capture healthy, exciting, unique options for beverages. By partnering with and supporting small businesses throughout the U.S. within the functional ingredients and sustainable farming sectors, 444 is committed to providing current information about the industry.


Anyone interested in sharing their or others' stories, can visit:

Explore Midwest farmers at:

For more information about AVBG:


*VIDEO (YouTube)

Video caption: Alta Vista Botanical Gardens | Earth Day 2022 | Vista, California.

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Business, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles

444 Spotlights Movers and Shakers in the Sustainable Living Sector

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Danielle Keogh, co-founder, 444, LLC, launched a nationwide tour where she interviewed businesses within the functional ingredient sector. She says that Brandon Pitcher continues to carve the path for sustainable living. Among many, leading change agent in the Midwest, Pitcher, co-founder of Blue Circle Farms and founder of 5 Kingdoms Development, has dedicated his life's work to providing sustainability and renewability coaching. In 2010, he was the Green Entrepreneur of the year.

As the functional ingredient and sustainability movement continues to charge on in the Midwest, Pitcher is joined by agricultural solution-based companies, small-scale sustainable farmers, and organic merchants that have also stepped up to the plate to nurture the heart of America.

Several events are planned this spring to showcase Pitcher and other sustainability leaders and to feature some incredible, nutrient-dense foods. These events are scheduled to take place this spring in Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

Pitcher has traveled to more than 50 countries and given more than 600 lectures on business, inspired by nature and societal development at Universities like MIT and Yale. Networking people and facilitating fun education to share big concepts is Pitcher's approach to making the world a better place.

He's hosting a series of 5 Kingdoms Dinners across the U.S., collaborating with prominent chefs like Donna Merton, and Farm Eats District Food Truck Eats. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts will staff these events and Merton and Pitcher are in the process of creating a cookbook too.

5 Kingdoms' dinners are designed to educate and entertain people around a new type of diet.

"I guess you'd call it a different way of living and eating where bacteria, algae, plants, animals and fungus are present and representative of your local ecosystems," Pitcher says.

These events host roughly 100 to 200 people and it's an exciting way to enjoy music and mingle with artists. As opposed to shopping on Amazon, visiting local organic stores allows for unique opportunities to build relationships with like-minded individuals looking for natural ways to improve health. As a result, retail businesses have made strides to provide communities with organic, holistic ingredients.

He believes that "when it comes to our survival and functionality of nature," fungi are "probably the most important kingdom on earth."

Partaking in the remaining four kingdoms, algae, bacteria, plant and animal, can be equally enjoyable and boasts tremendous benefits. Unfortunately, according to "U.S. News," Americans consume ultra-processed foods at an extreme rate, putting people at a greater risk for chronic diseases. The common thought is that the poor 21st Century diet could "be the key driver of the obesity epidemic" (*see citation). It's crucial for society to do its part to support health beyond simply basic nutrition and to build up natural immune systems.

Who: Brandon Pitcher, Blue Circle Farms

What: 5 Kingdom Dinners

Where: Boulder, CO

When: May 21, 2022

Other movers and shakers include Nuka Anue who has two African Naturals stores in St. Louis, MO; and Eric Rose, owner of River Valley Market. African Naturals offers unique, high-quality holistic goods sourced mainly from Africa; and Rose farms most of his products and believes that people are growing more aware of functional mushrooms and their nutritional value.


Who: Nuka Anue of Blue African Naturals

What: 31st Annual St. Louis African Arts Festival

Where: 2022 World's Fair Pavilion Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

When: Saturday, May 28, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, May 29, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and Monday, May 30, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Who: Eric Rose of River Valley Market

What: Spring Wine Stroll

Where: Chicago, Illinois

Choose from four routes:

When: Thursday, April 28, 2022, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Eastern Market in Detroit also hosts the following Midwest sustainable farmers: Carolyn Leadly and Jack VanDyke, Rising Pheasant Farms; Ron Stadler, Stadler Farms; Vincent Sanna, Give and Grow Mushrooms; and Bob Jentzen, Jentzen Farms. Location: 2934 Russell Street, every Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Who: Brandon and Jordan Krystowski, Erie Shore Seeds and Spores

What: The Lake Saint Louis Farmers and Artists Market

Where: 4040 Riverview Road, Peninsula, OH

When: Opens May 7, every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Who: Chef John Gelineau, Mushroom Naturally

What: Countryside Farmers Market

Where: Meadows Circle Drive, St. Louis, MO

When: Every Saturday from 8:00 12:00 p.m.

Who: Nicola Macpherson, Ozark Forest Mushrooms

What: Tower Grove Farmers' Market

Where: 4256 Magnolia Ave, St. Louis, MO

When: Every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Whether produce is grown organically or organically certified, more and more of the nation's farmers dedicate resources to providing the healthiest options to their local communities. Some farmers have weekly scheduled pick-ups, others offer deliveries, while most tend to post up at farmer's markets. As expected, the fees involved in establishing and maintaining the organic certification increase prices. Consequently, "organically certified" may not be available at every stand, but the majority of products meet the specifications.

About 444 (4 Forty 4)

444, LLC will incorporate 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 information about the industry.


Anyone interested in sharing their or others' stories, can visit:

Explore Midwest farmers at:

For more information about Brandon Pitcher:


* VIDEO (YouTube)

Video caption: Brandon Pitcher Co-Hosting 5 Kingdoms Dinner Boulder Colorado May 21, 2022

* LOGO 72dpi:


* Preidt, R. (2021, October 15). Americans are eating more ultra-processed foods | health ... US News. Retrieved April 4, 2022, from

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This news story was published by the Neotrope® News Network - all rights reserved.