Specialties: Running, Hiking, Farming, Grand Canyon, Nutrition, Cooking/Fermentation, Conflict Resolution, Farm School Education
Jesse is the inspiration and a Lead Designer of WeatherWool's forthcoming Runner Shirt.
Biographical information, as written by Jesse:
As one of my heroes, Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka says, part of a natural way of living is to trek deep into mountains, to find oneself within wilderness where all five of our physical senses become that of the forest, the rock, the sky. I have always envied the mountain goat, for where they tread paradise lives.
The only way to get to such places is to walk or to run, with only what you are wearing and what you carry with you. Through these principles, somehow, I found WeatherWool. WeatherWool to me is freedom, the ability to access remote places and always be safe from natural elements.
Where I live, in Southeast Arizona, between the Dragoon Mountains and the Chiricahua Mountains, the abundance of natural beauty is nearly overwhelming. You want pristine pine forests, we got them. You want rock formations that rival anything Southern Utah has to offer, we have that too. You want snow covered peaks to snow shoe in, yes we also have that. Not to mention oak forests, natural pools, sunrise skies that know no boundary of what colors are allowed, and the phantom, yet always present, jaguar.
I am an organic farmer that leans far closer to natural farming. I use only hand tools and grow food that first and foremost will benefit the soil for the future, and secondly to grow food that I actually want to eat; I became a farmer because I wanted to know where all my food comes from. I would not be able to reach such remote and distant places without a deep understanding of how to grow clean food, that most mimics nature. From farming, my interests branched out to nutrition, natural medicines, and then to minimalist footwear. For both farming and treks in the mountains, whether running or hiking, I only wear footwear that has no heel, no arch, and a wide toe box. In fact, I run only in sandals, the soles made by Luna Sandals, and the straps leather I lace myself.
I suppose the moment I knew WeatherWool fabric was unlike anything else available was on a trek up Mount Wrightson (9,970 ft elevation / 3040 meters) in the Santa Rita Mountains (Southern Arizona). At about 7,000 feet (2134 meters), the sweat was leaving through the fabric, beading up and steaming outward. Wool that still behaves like it's on the sheep.
This Spring, for the Grand Canyon Triple Rimmer [ ... from one rim to the other, and back ... about 50 miles (80 km) and 20,000 feet (6100 meters) down and up on Jesse's route], I wore only the MidWeight Fabric with nothing underneath. The temperature variation was from below freezing to 80 degrees Fahrenheit [27C] over a 21 hour period. There was never a moment that I was uncomfortable, and was even glad to have the protection from the sun when the day warmed at meridian. This shirt, the first I have ever sewed, has become the basis for the Runner, something I never thought possible when I first received the fabric and began cutting it then hand stitching every seam. The idea is to have the amazing fabric, but a lighter version of the anorak. My version is that of an amateur, the one WeatherWool is creating, will be made by master tailors.
With the recent events in our world, I find the skill, strength, and knowledge it takes to reach remote places to be crucial, for in the mountains and forests are all the natural materials we need to make medicines. WeatherWool makes all this possible. Thank you to the DiMeo family for their devotion and vision. I now welcome a hail storm far away from any civilization, deep in the mountains, where humans are meant to wander.
In the photo at left, Jesse wears the WeatherWool Shirt he made and dyed himself. The photos below show the shoes Jesse mentions. --- Ralph
3 April 2020