You mentioned having a composting project in NY-
that is amazing, what was that like?
Around the time I started my relationship with Katja, I was still searching for my career path and felt that there were much more to be done than the entertainment industry path I was on at the time. I started researching people who were trying to slow down climate change, and soon I started meeting with rooftop farms around Brooklyn. When I'd ask them what they needed the most, they said, "compost." So, around Occupy Wall Street times, I started a bicycle-powered compost pick-up service called New York Compost with a friend from Oberlin College. We spent a lot of time researching bike-towing options and methods to compost in a city as dense as New York. We eventually procured big e-trikes that could pull 1000 pounds of organic matter. However, once we started to get in deeper with the Unions, the Department of Sanitation, and the still dicey Multi-national Trash industry, it became clear my time and hard work on this project wasn't going to push the needle at all. I soon parlayed that compost research into a job at a plant shop, Sprout Home in Brooklyn. During that time, I was delivering flowers, terrariums, and installing gardens on people's balcony's and terraces. It was during that time as a flowery delivery guy that became the original inspirations for High Maintenance.
We love that you pickle your own vegetables, wow that’s the best.. Any favorite recipes?
Random life hacks?
Pickled brussell sprouts are up there with my favorites. You've got to cut a little X in the bottom of each sprout to let the juice seep in, but I'd say a little mustard seed and coriander added to your pickling brine make for (*chef's kiss)
Here's a life hack for the Bartender's Hiccup Cure: Douse a lemon wedge with Angostura Bitters, and sugar if you can't handle the bitter taste. Eat it or chew on it for a minute or so, and no more hiccups.
If you can imagine a personal utopia, how would you describe it?
A communal homestead set in a natural setting near a body of water where my life-long friends all have a places within walking distance, and we all share big ticket items like pontoon boats and professional culinary kitchens.
what are you reading or what have you loved reading?
I have been reading the short stories of the Israeli writer Etgar Keret of late. His new collection Fly Already, has some wonderfully concise gems.
where or when or how do you find the most joy?
Uncontrollable laughing, or as my friend Jess calls it "getting stuck in the giggle patch," seems to be what I equate with true joy. But I also appreciate awe that sneaks up on you — spontaneous profundity, I guess. Lately, my mornings alone in my apartment, listening to podcast and eating breakfast for three hours has been wildly satisfying.
do you take or recommend any herbs, potions or elixirs?
Early this year I took took a daily powder called the Ultimate Elixir to stay alkaline. And I used to put Maca Root, Collagen, and Bulletproof MCT oil in my coffee. But now, it's pretty much just Everyday Oil when I'm right out of the shower and my own cold-brewed coffee.
do you have any favorite sayings or passages or quotes?
Fast, Cheap, and Good: pick two.
If you were to move out of ny, where do you think you might want to go?
I have felt like a stranger in a strange land and have been attracted to travel, but I have only ever lived out of the US for about six months at a stretch, and I'd like to spend at least a year away. I have big hope of spending July through December 2020 in a van, traveling along the mediterranean coast from Portugal to Beirut.
what practices or environments make you feel whole?
Dancing centers me a lot. I love to go limp in the surf, letting the waves toss me around as if I were dead. Looking up at the undersides of the leaves from a hammock can also put me at ease.
How do you use Everyday Oil? Tell us everything :)
Right out of the shower after a brief toweling off. I start with my shoulders and arms, and then my legs, then my body, and I finish it off in my beard. Then I get compliments on my smell until the afternoon, when my true body odor again dominates.
THANK YOU BEN WE LOVE YOU