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If you ever wondered what former Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer is doing now, wonder no longer: Plummer is a co-founder of Mycolove Farm, which has been selling locally grown medicinal and culinary mushrooms and mushroom extracts 30 miles outside Denver since 2021.
"It’s not like we discovered this new mushroom," Plummer told USA Today's Parker Gabriel. "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 and preventative maintenance and that are sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Mycolove makes around $8,000 a month in revenue, according to USA Today, by selling mushrooms mostly found in North America that can take up to six months to grow. The extraction process reportedly takes six weeks.
Plummer, 47, first learned about the medicinal properties of mushroom extracts while working for a CBD company for years after his NFL career ended in 2007. He said the supplements helped him feel better and sleep better and eventually co-founded Umbo to make and sell mushroom bars and supplements with two others, including former UFC champion Rashad Evans.
But that company faltered during the COVID-19 pandemic because of supply chain issues, which prompted Plummer to explore farming the mushrooms. That led Plummer to Mycolove Farm where his co-founders Shane Schoolman, Leo Pollio and Michael Heim opened on Oct. 8, 2021.
"It was 16 years ago when I was that guy that would lead a team down the field, and I’ve changed tremendously since then and evolved and grown, but it’s still part of me," Plummer said. "It doesn’t define me, but it’s part of me. It allows for me to reach more people than just a small audience where I live. ... 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.
“This is past the experimental stage. We experimented for a few months and now we know we can do it,” Plummer added. “Now it’s just phasing into that whole big step up as a business and a start-up. We’ve got to have a good product, get people to take it, get it into all the local places we can get it to. Then comes the obvious start-up conundrums, scaling, finding investors, finding bigger space, more employees, possibly, as we go.
“How far this goes, we don’t know yet.”
Plummer's belief in alternative medicine
Plummer has been an advocate for non-Western medicine since retiring from the NFL in 2007 after 10 years. Following his retirement, Plummer said he found solace in alternative medicine and pushed for the NFL to consider CBD and hemp products over painkillers in 2016. That endeavor didn't work out, but Plummer eventually discovered mushrooms as an even better option for treatment.
“For me, my grandpa had Alzheimer’s and, also doing what I did for a living, I’m trying to do anything that can help me re-grow nerves and help get me back to square, which is what I’m feeling,” Plummer said. “Everybody wants to live a long life, I would think. I do. Longevity, vitality, not just a long life but living a good life, not just in a wheelchair until you’re 120. I plan to be 110 and still active. That’s my goal.”
Plummer spent his final four seasons in the NFL with the Broncos, where he took Denver to the AFC championship game in 2005. He was replaced by rookie Jay Cutler during the 2006 season. Before that, Plummer was a second-round pick in 1997 by the Cardinals. He finished his NFL career with 29,253 passing yards, a 57.1 completion percentage, 161 touchdowns and 161 interceptions in 10 seasons.