The Chaga Co-operative began in 2018 to explore the north and bring its natural bounties to the public.
We harvest Chaga in a sustainable manner and educate the public on it and other edible species from the forest.
Alaska is highly abundant in foods and natural medicines of all kinds, our mission is to make them more available at fair rates and build a foraging collective spanning villages, towns, and eventually many countries.
This will support students and young entrepreneurs like ourselves, to create the resources we need to build better communities.
The Chaga Co-operative also wants to protect and promote awareness of Alaska’s incredible natural resources, which are threatened by a rapidly changing climate that we experience exponentially more in the North. Expect this site to grow along with our journey.
Who we are
Callen Christensen studied geological engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks after receiving the full-ride tier Alaska Performance Scholarship. He then left UAF with a desire to learn a wider variety of skills hands-on. He has worked with elder tradesmen of many trades, and continues to diversify his skill set through self-education and entrepreneurship. Callen is fascinated with natural medicine and keenly adverse to the many toxins of modern industrial culture. Among many goals and interests, including healing, psychology, music, and farming, education remains his highest ideal and intends to share wisdom through an economically viable sustainable trade school in rural Alaska. He has been drinking chaga for 4+ years and only got sick once.
Kelly May is a psychology student at UAF. He is currently interested in music, education, and nutrition. He has 7+ years work experience in science labs at University of Alaska Museum of the North. He is currently the Directing Teacher for Young Native Fiddlers and an instructor for Dancing with the Spirit. He has 6+ years experience with working in rural communities in Alaska. He believes that there is a large market for chaga in rural communities where colonization has caused a dramatic loss of traditional knowledge for nutrition and health. A goal that he would like to see fulfilled is standardizing nutrition education with cultural values in villages.
Joshua Brewster is a former psych undergrad at UAF, and studied engineering and computer science as well with 6 years cumulative college education. He is a former NASA intern at Armstrong Flight Research Center. 2+ years of self-studies in systems and business organization among other interdisciplinary practices give him the ability to apply this knowledge to the real world. He freelances mainly with rural small businesses as a jack of all trades, and hopes to help Alaska create a more integrated and progressive social, economic, and academic environment for its people. This includes many other projects which will all tie in.