Pure Earth Superfoods

by | Oct 4, 2018 | Food + Drink

Lauren Elbe and Sheldon Lawrie are the real deal who live like the food they make – wild, natural and as close to the earth as possible.

The partners in life and in business own Pure Earth Superfoods, which specializes in fermented foods like sauerkrauts, pickles and juices made from vegetables sourced from local farmer friends and the land they live on in Lillooet. Elbe got her start as a personal trainer and studied holistic nutrition, but she felt like her clients weren’t really getting healthier due to food options on the grocery shelf. “When you look around at the horizon of the grocery store, most things either have crazy ingredients, are pasteurized, hyper processed and dead,” said Elbe. “I saw that and I felt like I could be of service and be in a position where I could actually make the food that people needed because a lot of people don’t have time or know-how to make food every day.”
Lauren Elbe and Sheldon Lawrie of Pure Earth Superfoods. Photo: Abby Wiseman / Small Batch Vancouver

Elbe herself wasn’t feeling her best, so she and Lawrie started to explore life outside the city more, which is how they found Hippy Rick and his farmstead.

The two were exploring Lillooet on a camping trip and went up a winding road into the mountain where they came across a farmstead and Hippy Rick, who specializes in growing garlic.

“He told us that he’s been manifesting a couple to come up to help them out and be an extra set of hands on the farm,” said Elbe. “He’s an amazing mentor because he’s like an expert plant person.”

Elbe and Lawrie live rustic on the property with only a solar panel for electricity and a wood burning oven to keep them warm. Going through their Instagram feed paints a picture of idyllic rural living that will make you want to leave city life for a simpler existence.

“I started realizing that the closer I am to earth and life force – meaning plants, people, community – the happier and the healthier I was,” said Elbe. “It was all just like a scheme to like figure out how I could physically get my body closer to life force energy and further away from fluorescent lights and fake air and plastic and not real things like the computers.”

Not that she, nor Lawrie who is an art director, don’t ever use computers.

From left: Garlic Spade Sauerkraut, Spicy Carrot, Tumeric and Ginger, Jalapeno Sauerkraut.  Photo: Abby Wiseman / Small Batch Vancouver
Elbe and Lawrie travel into the city a couple days a week to do take care of business, attend a farmers market and check on their ferments. Elbe also runs another food company called Nuez Nutmylk, which is also based out of Nectar Juicery on W. 7th in Mt. Pleasant.  They source all their organic ingredients, especially cabbage, from local farmers in the Pemberton Valley and the Fraser Valley and use Hippy Rick’s garlic whenever possible. They come up with concoctions like spicy carrot, tumeric and ginger, or jalapeno sauerkraut, or garlic spade sauerkraut (our favourite) using Hippy Ricks farm. Each batch is made with ingredients picked at the height of their season, reflecting the flavours of that harvest. “Fermented foods are definitely one of those like magical foods that are mysterious and alluring in that you don’t really understand what it is or what they will be. I’m not completely in charge of the scenario, and I really do feel like I’m like co-creating with organisms, and potentially some people would say with spirit.” Whether it’s spirits or microbes, eating Pure Earth Superfood’s ferments do make you feel like you are tasting a little bit of the simple life Elbe and Lawrie have created for themselves. 

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Excellent work. Well done you. Bravo.

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