Update on my health:
Two weeks ago I wrote that I thought I was feeling deficient in something.
Yesterday I met with a new friend in my neighborhood Pam Legowski, a registered Dietitian Nutritionist and her partner. She is part of my new launched Community Compost Program and offered to help me. We discussed my diet and lifestyle and we went over my labs that I had done at the beginning of this project and discussed what labs it would make sense to do now to check for a deficiency.
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.
Guest blog by Ella Diamond of Food Waste 4 Thought
Have you ever tossed out a mushy, old head of lettuce, thinking that it’ll break down
within a few days or a week? It’s only lettuce, you think to yourself. It’s natural, so it must not
take too long to decompose. Shockingly, landfill excavations have found instances of it taking 25 entire years for a head of lettuce to decompose! When food gets dumped in landfills, it tries to break down, but it doesn’t have the available oxygen, causing it not only to remain intact, but also to release methane gas
into the atmosphere. This greenhouse gas, more potent than carbon dioxide, makes food
waste a main contributor to climate change as it accounts for the largest source of municipal
waste in landfills. Meanwhile, a staggering one third of food produced worldwide is wasted when this
food could be feeding all of the world’s food insecure individuals.
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.
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!
We think that life is better with fresh food grown right in our own yards. We want to help people who are dreaming of this, but don’t have the money or the ability to make this happen. That’s why Rob Greenfield and the Live Like Ally Foundation are excited to launch Gardens for the People!