About Colleen

Hello there! I’m Colleen Codekas, the creator and main person behind the scenes at Grow Forage Cook Ferment. My life partner Joel pops in from time to time to share his ideas as a permaculture expert, and I have a small team of like-minded women that help my blog look beautiful and run smoothly. I strive to inspire you to live seasonally, become more self-sufficient, and to protect your health naturally!

Grow Forage Cook Ferment offers simple recipes, tutorials, and guides that are straightforward and easy to follow. You will find information on foraging and wildcrafting, fermenting and preserving, cooking whole foods from scratch, permaculture and regenerative gardening, along with making herbal remedies and skin care products. That is just the beginning of what you will find to nourish, replenish, and make you well!

Visit my Start Here page to learn more about what I write about and be sure to sign up for my newsletter and free email herbalism and foraging course!

Currently, I live in Vermont with Joel and our rapidly growing young son. We shuttled our little family of 3 on an adventurous, fun, and duly challenging (with a little one in tow) cross-country road trip that led us away from our last home in Southern Oregon. We said goodbye to our hard earned naturally grown mini food forest and permaculture paradise in OR, and 2 months later we said hello to our new home in beautiful Vermont where we anticipate we will learn, grow roots, and thrive.

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It has always been deeply embedded in me to live close to nature, and I began learning about plants, herbs, and flowers over 20 years ago. In 2002, I earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biology from the University of Oregon. This gave me an opportunity to travel to Ecuador and study plants and animals in the beautiful rainforest, which fueled my love of travel and nature discovery.

Joel and I lived and worked in Yosemite National Park for 10 years in the high elevation paradise of Tuolumne Meadows. Those years living in a protected nature area inspired and solidified our yearning to be surrounded by nature and its healing properties daily. Learning to identify wild plants, particularly those that are edible and medicinal, became our passionate hobby while living in the wilderness. Now that we have come down off the mountains of Yosemite, and adjusted to living a more “traditional” life, our love of the ways of the wilderness and foraging wild plants is how we continue to connect ourselves and teach our son to connect to the earth.

While I consider myself a mostly self-taught herbalist and forager, in recent years, I completed several herbalism courses through the Herbal Academy and Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.

The work of this blog is my lifelong love, passions, and expertise all summed up on one website. It’s truly a labor of what I believe, how I live, and who I am. When I am not pouring myself into this work of art, science, and winging-it you see here, I spend my time foraging for wild edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms, making mead, growing a ridiculous amount of edible and medicinal plants, and making all kinds of herbal goodness in jars. I also love hiking in the woods, cooking delicious whole foods, drinking wine, and taking trips big and small. 

In addition to Grow Forage Cook Ferment as a blog, I am the author of the traditionally published book Healing Herbal Infusions, and three ebooks: Wildcrafting Weeds, Healing Kitchen Herbs, and Simple Mead Making. I have also created an online foraging course, gather + root.