When I decided I was going to grow and forage 100% of my food for a year, I really didn’t know what my meals were going to be like. Heck, I barely had any practice with growing or foraging food! My first step was to figure out what grew well and what I could abundantly harvest from my surroundings to meet my basic needs. I had to figure out the calories, nutrients, vitamins, fats, proteins… you name it. Today is day 210 of my yearlong project and I’m here right now to show you what I’ve been eating. I’m well over half way into the year and have had hundreds of hours in the kitchen to share with you. In this blog I’m going to focus on my most common meals and the staple foods that I depend on to create them. I have grown over 100 foods and foraged over 80 foods to date. While this blog certainly doesn’t cover it all, it will give you a really good idea of what my meals have been looking like.
If you want to see my daily log of what I’m seeing you can find that here and if you’d like to see a list of each food that I’ve grown and foraged you can see that here.
For one year I am growing and foraging 100% of my food. That means no grocery stores, no restaurants and not even taking a nibble from a friends garden or pantry!
You might imagine me in the countryside living off the land or on a farm. On the contrary, I live in the urban environment of Orlando, Florida, in a 100 square foot tiny house that I built with repurposed materials. With no land of my own, I garden the front yards of people in my neighborhood and share the bounty with them. I take trips to nature to harvest salt from the ocean, coconuts to make coconut oil, wild yams bigger than my head and dozens of other wild foods. I also forage for food all over the city, where people walk by every single day, without ever noticing the abundance around them.
Food Freedom began November 11th 2018 and will go until November 11th 2019. This video was filmed on day 200 and released on day 208 of the project.
One of my longterm goals has been to transition away from plastic clothes and switch to 100% natural fiber clothing. I love the idea of being able to lose my shirt in the woods and know it’ll become soil in a relatively short period of time. I love the idea of being able to compost my clothes once they are too worn out. I really love the idea of dying in my clothes in nature and to not be littering in the process.
I definitely get dirty A LOT, whether it’s in the garden or just constantly spilling stuff on myself, but as you might have noticed in my photos and videos I also try to keep pretty clean. At the same time, I do my best to keep clean in a way that doesn’t pollute our home.
Living the simple life in a tiny house isn’t all easy.
Here are 11 challenges of living simply and sustainably in my tiny house.
Last summer I had a film team from South America come to shoot a documentary about my life for TV in Latin America. They offered to pay me $5,000 to spend a week with me. I explained that I don’t accept any payments from media but that they can donate $5,000 to a nonprofit to do good work with. I chose the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and together we’d plant 100 fruit trees.
Quite a few of you have asked about the reusable bags that I store food in.
They are called Neat-os! They are a very small company owned by a friend of mine, and they are made in the USA. I’ve used Neat-os since my first bike ride across the USA in 2013.
These are a great tool for shopping package free and reducing the amount of trash that I make. Whether it’s these bags, or something else, it’s an absolute must for me to have my refillable containers. Besides the environmental benefit, this also helps me to eat whole foods rather than packaged and processed food, which tend to be less healthy than whole foods. Bulk foods also save me a lot of money, as they tend to be far cheaper than packaged, processed foods. Using reusable bags like this can help prevent thousands of plastic bags and packaging from being created. Most of us are using reusable shopping bags already, but many of us can step up our game in reducing packaged foods.
Right now, I’m 156 days into my yearlong project of growing and foraging 100% of my food for a year.
I was told by quite a few people that garlic doesn’t grow in Central Florida and that it’s not worth the time. My circumstances called for trying anyway, because if I can’t grow it or harvest it from the wild for the year, then I can’t eat it. And garlic is all too important to me to not see for myself. It’s one of my most important medicinals and something I hold dearly for good healthy life.
For most gardeners here, it probably makes sense to just buy organic garlic from the store as needed. It’s pretty inexpensive and then there’s no need to attempt something that is likely not to turn out alright. But not me!