As I write these words, I am thirty-four days into my yearlong project of growing and foraging 100% of my food. That is thirty-four days of knowing the source of every food that I consume. Thirty-four days of connecting with every morsel that nourishes my body. Thirty-four days of using my hands to harvest every single bite I will take. It is no doubt an immersive experience, and one that I think most of us can’t fully fathom because of the intricate web of the globalized, industrialized food system that we have found ourselves weaved so deeply into.
People ask me all the time about how I purify my rainwater and also come to me seeking advice on how they can purify their own water. So, here’s my answer!
I simply collect the rainwater that falls onto the roof of my tiny house with a gutter that directs the rainwater into food grade 55-gallon drums. These I purchased on Craigslist used for $25 each. Rainwater harvesting is as simple as putting a bucket under your downspout or the roof drip line and letting the rainwater fall into the buckets. Truly that simple.
“Are you vegan?”
That is a very common question that I receive, and I believe that it deserves a very thorough response. It’s a simple question, but typically there is a whole lot behind that three-word question.
The simple answer is no, I’m not vegan. Throughout my life, my diet has changed quite a bit, as it does for most people. In 2011, I started to wake up to the problems with our globalized industrialized food system and started to change what I was eating. Documentaries like Food Inc. and Earthlings taught me the truth about where the meat I was eating was coming from and the harm it was doing to the world, humanity, other species, and my own body. I was appalled by factory farming and resolved to remove it from my life. I didn’t do it over night, but over the next few years I transitioned to a more plant-based diet.
I am not running for office. I don’t work for the government. But I do consider myself a public servant. I have designed my life to be of service to the people of my nation and the people of the world. As an American citizen, I am dedicated to using my life to improve the lives of those around me. I’ve watched our “public servants” over the last couple of decades, and I’ve learned a lot. From some, I have learned who I want to be. From others, I have learned who I don’t want to be.
I have put countless hours of thought into how I can mold myself to be of best service to my country and the world. And I have put far more hours into solid action, becoming the human I want to be, and leading by a positive example to truly be of service.
I feel today, just before midterm elections 2018, is a timely day to share my personal commitments as a public servant to my nation and the world.
Before launching into the guide on how to grow your own food, I want to share the resources on how you can get involved with growing food with me here in Orlando.
Join my Facebook group where I post volunteer opportunities, educational opportunities, hangouts, etc. in Florida that are open for you to join!
No classes currently scheduled.
Gardens for Single Moms. We have built five gardens for single moms in Audubon Park. We welcome you to join us in the gardens on a volunteer day. We post volunteer opportunities in the Facebook group.
My events and speaking schedule lists talks that I’m giving in the area and other events.
Free Seeds. If you are interested in free seeds, you can get them at:
My free gardening for beginners classes or sometimes at Orlando Permaculture Meetings held at Audubon Park Covenant Church the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00-9:00.
Get involved with Community Fruit Trees
Get involved with Free Seed Project
How I built my tiny house for under $1,500 using nearly 100% repurposed materials while creating only 30 pounds of trash.
The tiny house movement has caught on like a wildfire over the last decade, and there’s a lot of positivity coming out if it. I’m very excited about tiny houses and see them as a very useful tool in working towards a more sustainable and just world. I lived in a 50 sq. ft. tiny house in San Diego in 2015-2016. I’ve produced videos about tiny houses to spread the movement through my social media. I’ve visited tiny houses around the United States and in a few countries, and I have even been to a tiny house festival. I’ve made friends with the creators of some of the biggest tiny house pages. Now, I’ve built my first tiny house. Needless to say, I really love tiny houses and am very excited about them. And I’ve become fairly knowledgeable on them.
What is plant it forward? Plant-it-forward is a movement to encourage more people to plant in the backyard. Similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge, participants will plant 3 seeds (or plants), then call out three friends on social media to do the same. It doesn’t matter if they are vegetables, sunflowers, flowers, or big trees – be as creative as you wish. The goal: MORE PLANTING!
The bamboo bike auction is over and the bike has found a new home.
Tonia Howick won the bike for $700, all of which will be used to buy bikes for kids living in low-income scenarios.
Tonia teaches rhetoric at UF in Gainesville and has wanted to start commuting by bike for quite some time. She read my book this year and was inspired to get a bamboo bike. She wanted to purchase a used bike because she tries to buy used and not purchase new, but she was unable to find one. Then my auction popped up in her newsfeed! Today she came down from Gainesville to pick it up and she even brought me a lovely gift of homemade blueberry jam and a hand-knit dish cloth.
I’m so excited for this bike to go to her because this is going to help her start a new chapter of riding her bike to work.
The goodness of the bike will live on. I should be able to get bikes for about seven kids with these funds. And with the funds raised when this bike was stolen and returned, that will bring the total up to about 57 bikes for kids!
Talk about a bike that keeps on giving!
I may not have a whole lot of money, but I’ve got a whole lot of pumpkins!
I am absolutely enamored by the power of the seed. Allow me to share this experience with you.
In January I had dinner with my friend Terry Meer. He made me pumpkin from his garden. This is not just a typical pumpkin you’d find at the grocery store though. This is the fantastic Seminole Pumpkin. I desperately wanted to grow it myself, so I scooped the seeds out of the three pumpkins we cut open, and I took the seeds home with me. In a few months when the time was right I planted them into my gardens.
This was my favorite moment of my foraging trip in South Florida.
We spotted a house with two coconut trees absolutely loaded with coconuts. I took an educated guess that they were not harvesting the trees, as a vast majority of trees are never harvested.
So we stopped the car and knocked on the front door. Sure enough I was right.
The trees had hundreds of fallen coconuts around them, likely a few year’s worth. They were very happy for us to harvest the trees, so we got right to it.