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.
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.
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.
It has been 4 months since I announced my “Food Freedom” project, where I will grow and forage 100% of my food for one year, while living in the city of Orlando, Florida.
It’s now time to share an update with you!
Rob Greenfield and IDEAS for Us have partnered to launch a micro-grant program to incubate new projects that will have a positive impact in the Orlando, Florida community both environmentally and socially. We are launching the program by offering three micro-grants of $1,000 this spring. Throughout the upcoming years more grants will be offered.
We simply want to make our community a happier, healthier and more sustainable place. We think that empowering our neighbors who have great ideas, but lack the funds to implement them, is one of the greatest ways that we can do this. With dedication and a little ingenuity we know that $1,000 can go a long way in launching a new initiative that can ultimately grow into something very impactful. Along with the micro-grant, the project will also receive advice from Rob Greenfield as well as promotion through social media through a network of over 10 million people.
Welcome to the Free Seed Project!
Now that you have received your seeds, or will be receiving them soon, it’s time to figure out how to turn these seeds into vegetables, herbs and flowers!
(NOTE: For beginner gardeners that are not a part of the Free Seed Project, you are still in a good place. This guide is designed to help you start growing food and be successful at it).
Here at the Free Seed Project, we don’t want to just give out free seeds. We want to support you in becoming a successful gardener for yourself and your community.
In this article we have created a resource guide and FAQs to help you. This guide is geared largely toward beginner and first-time gardeners because well, experienced gardeners don’t need our help as much! Our goal with this guide is to get you started successfully and get you past the parts you may be nervous about. We want to empower you and activate you into growing your own food and sharing it with your community. And once your confidence level has risen and you feel like you’ve got the hang of it, we’re confident that you can figure out the rest!
So again, this guide focuses on the basics of growing food and provides a general rule of thumb with ideas. We believe we’ve covered mostly everything here to get you past the hard parts.