Jake Plummer’s mushroom journey shares many similarities with the growth of fungi. Both start with a spreading spore — in Plummer’s case, it was an interest in medicinal mushrooms. Then, connections have to be made, and under-the-surface growth happens. For mushrooms, it’s a woven network of mycelia.
Still, for the former National Football League quarterback, the connections came first from life as a professional athlete, an advocate, and the need for expansion.
Plummer’s NFL career saw him travel from being a collegiate star at Arizona State to the starting quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals and then the Denver Broncos. In this later role, Plummer took his team to the AFC championship game, just one win away from Super Sunday.
Jake Plummer stepped into advocacy after his days as a former NFL QB. Knowing the damage that the sport can have on bodies and brains, he began campaigning for the league to make changes to its policies around hemp and CBD products. The journey into non-Westernized medicine brought him new insights, especially around functional and medicinal mushrooms.
Plummer is a long-time resident of Boulder, CO, an area that is not shy about admitting the potential benefits of mushrooms. In 2019, neighboring Denver became the first city in the country to decriminalize psilocybin.
And while the former Broncos leader has full-body wellness in mind, his focus goes beyond the realm of psychedelics.
“For me, it’s also almost like a preventative medicine,” he told Westword. The sentiment goes along with this belief in the mental health benefits of functional mushrooms.
“As a preventative, I’m making sure that I don’t even think about what could be, therefore, I’m not even creating those thoughts that could become reality.”
Referring to functional mushroom supplements when speaking to USA Today, Plummer explains the benefits he’s experienced, “I started taking them, and I just felt I believed in it. This is good. I feel good. I’m sleeping better.” Knowing the wear and tear that NFL players endure, Plummer’s belief is edifying. “Even after all the abuse, my body feels great,” he said.
Plummer’s humbleness about the whole project may be most telling. He continued to USA Today:
“It’s not like we discovered this new mushroom,” Plummer said. “These have been around forever, so we’re just figuring out ways to grow them efficiently, extract them, so they’re very potent, and then make them available for people that are interested in their health and wellness…”
“I’m not doing this to make a bunch of money. I’m doing this because it’s helped me, and I figure I have a chance to spread that word.”
Plummer’s first foray into the world of mushrooms came on the heels of a shared endeavor called Umbo, a mushroom supplement company that Plummer began with UFC fighter Rashad Evans and CBD advocate Del Jolly.
However, following supply chain issues that developed during the pandemic, Plummer stepped into the role of a mushroom farmer, opening the Fort Lupton, Colorado-based MyCoLove farm. These days, his teammates aren’t dressed in pads and helmets.
Alongside MyCoLove co-founders Leo Pollio, Michael Heim, and Shane Schoolman, the mushroom farm operates by selling a wide range of products. MyColove goes beyond supplements, offering fresh fruiting body varieties of culinary mushrooms like lion’s mane, chestnut, and black king trumpets. And like a strong fungus, this operation is determined to spread.
MyColove is currently in the process of introducing a full line of dried fruit products made from reishi, cordyceps, and turkey tail. Along with that, the team runs 2-day mushroom cultivation workshops, where you can join intensive sessions to discover the fungal kingdom’s ins and outs.
Jake Plummer may be pretty far from his days throwing a football, but it’s pretty clear that he still knows how to read the field. As the need for functional medicine continues to grow, we’re glad that MyCoLove farm provides an example of a way to sprout right along with it.