By Brendan Coyne.
Jim Watkins, proprietor of Nurcha Foods in Fall River, Massachusetts, has a simple mantra: “the healthier you eat, the better quality of life you will have.” That has been the goal of the founding of Nurcha Foods, LLC, a company that grows and brings the best products to the market that provide the most nutrition: microgreens, various types of mushrooms, and tempeh, a fermented bean patty, that is native to Indonesia all of which help patrons achieve a better quality of life through clean, fresh food, which results in a lifelong pursuit of clean living.
In a journey to pursue clean living, Jim became an avid gardener in the early 2000s and started to grow microgreens. He later found out, that these little greens, pack quite a large flavor-filled peppery punch. “Microgreens have wonderful, terrific flavor, are incredibly nutritious, and pack an enormous palate punch in such a small package. A little microgreens really goes a long way!” Microgreens are a living product and are sold fresh, so once microgreens are cut they should be used in 2-3 days; if you buy them with the roots intact, they will last about 1 week in the fridge and can be refreshed with water if they dry out. To boost the phytonutrients, put them in the sunlight 30 minutes before you are about to eat them.
While becoming more and more interested in gardening, and the ecosystems that support a healthy garden, Jim noticed that quite often he would find various types of native mushrooms in or around the periphery of the garden. After identifying a few different types, and being rather intrigued, researching mushrooms became a new hobby. Later Jim ran a makerspace living systems lab where they grew different types of mushrooms, raised crops using aquaponics, and held workshops on topics including fermented foods. He came to fully understand and appreciate mushrooms from the open-source mushroom community, which loves sharing tips and tricks on how to grow them better. Jim offers lion’s mane, oyster mushrooms, shiitakes, pioppinno, chestnut, and beech mushrooms which are grown on supplemented sawdust blocks.
Jim’s most popular mushroom is the lion’s mane, and he recommends stir-frying it in butter or your favorite cooking oil until it is dark brown!
Jim will be hosting an education and outreach workshop at Kilburn Mills in New Bedford on growing mushrooms at home on April 2nd, 2023: for more information, please check out:
Tempeh is a bean patty, fermented food native to Indonesian cuisine, also known as “tofu’s meaty cousin.” Typically, it is made from various types of beans including, winged, soy, fava, and other beans that are then pressed into a mold, fermented, and sold as Tempeh press cake. There’s research evidence showing Tempeh increases good bacteria and depresses bad bacteria in your gut. During COVID, Jim hired a professional from Indonesia to become his mentor and train him on how to correctly make Tempeh. For Jim’s Tempeh, he uses a combination of organic black beans and hemp hearts for a very wholesome product.
Jim decided to pursue this rabbit hole for personal reasons: he had undesirable effects after eating dairy, though he loved it, however, after two days after eating Tempeh, he claims all of those undesirable effects went away – a dramatic change to his body chemistry in such a short time. He had never had food work so quickly to improve his relationship with dairy.
Find and say hello to Jim at the winter New Bedford Farmer’s Market from 10 am-2 pm on Saturdays through May 2023!
Nurcha Foods, LLC
385 Columbia St
Fall River, MA 02721