We’ve been fans of sustainable brand Rudy Jude for a long time—their passionate commitment to Mother Earth is evident in every step of their design and manufacturing process, from their organic fabric to their use of natural, plant-based dyes. Julie O’Rourke, the founder of Rudy Jude, carries this love of Mother Earth in everything she does, from her cold water plunges to her wild foraging. We spent a few moments with her recently, and came away with an even greater appreciation for this wonderful woman, mama, and designer.
What do you do to unwind?
I like to take short swims in very cold water! The ocean temp in Maine averages about 60 degrees at its warmest and hovers around 45 this time of year. I run in and run out (sometimes in a wetsuit) but in the depth of the summer I’ll stay in and float for a while. The vitamin D from the sun and the minerals from the ocean make a perfect tonic for me, and man, do I crave it in the winter time.
We’ve noticed that you’ve been cooking and baking a lot—where do you get your recipes from?
This is a really special time of year in Maine when it comes to food. We spend the winter existing mostly on root vegetables and squash and anything we thought to dry or preserve. Then at the beginning of May we get a glimmer of hope with our farmers markets opening back up. We have micro greens, we have spinach, and then we get to start seeing things pop up in our yard and our woods and that’s when summer really starts. Right now we’re finding violets for tea and syrup, ramps (wild onions) for pasta and pesto, and fiddleheads to saute in butter. We’re lucky enough to have Anthony’s Dad’s old collection of cookbooks and we’ve been finding ourselves cooking our way through Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse: Pasta, Pizza and Calzone. We’ve been adapting recipes with all of our foraged stuff and anything we find fresh from the market. Alice Waters’ simple recipes with fresh ingredients are always such a hit with us..
How do you honor Mother Earth?
We live everyday with the rhythm of the seasons, we are blessed to be able to see the full spectrum of what Mother Nature has to offer here in Maine and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Everything we eat, create, build, celebrate is rooted in appreciation for the planet and we strive to tread as lightly as possible every single day.