Montana Mud was began around the year 1988 when its founder, Jimbo, really needed a caffeine fix but couldn’t find anything strong enough to kick his caffeine headache. He was an alcoholic wanting to kick the booze, so was drinking way too much caffeine. So much so that he’d get headaches if he didn’t get what he needed. So, after a fruitless search through the gathering for caffeine, he got mad and sat down in the trail. Eventually someone brought him a canning pot–the kind that holds 8 canning jars. Later on, someone brought him some water. He dumped half of a Folger’s coffee can into the pot, then let it sit there for an hour until the coffee grounds started to soak through. Then he let it sit there another half hour, until he when he poked it, the grounds suddenly dropped.
It made such a strong, acidic version of caffeine that he called it “mud.” The smallest amount seemed to wire people up and get them moving. That very same year Jimbo found himself a family, found himself away from drinking, and found himself moving to Montana. The next year, with a man named Deacon, declared the name of their kitchen Montana Mud.
Many people have carried the kitchen over the ensuing years, and though ‘respectable’ in many ways, they never had much of a ‘silver tongue.’ In fact, the kitchen was often called “Agro-Mud.” But that didn’t stop it from being of service and helping out the family where needed. Also, Montana Mud prides itself on being a sober detox kitchen, a safe place for anyone in recovery.
Like most long-standing kitchens, Montana Mud has developed over the years. In the words of Useless, one of the focalizers, they’re now trying “to spiral up and manifest beautiful, vibrant souls to help raise these roofs for the rest of time.” Useless would like to see it become big enough, that if ever some travesty happened in the gathering, Montana Mud would be able to feed the whole gathering.
Historically only a mud kitchen, this year in Oregon 2017 they had their first ovens and fed hundreds of people pizza and other baked goods for weeks on end. They also had sweet song circles and other night time fare. But beware–if you ever go into Montana Mud and ask for “coffee” you may find yourself surprised by the response. Montana Mud only serves “Mud.”
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