Green Riders Doing Good Deeds Across Europe- Week 3

This is a guest blog by Suzie Roberts from the Green Riders.

I was recently contemplating why being apart of the Green Riders Europe tour was so important to me.

In the summer of 2016 I was on my first cycling tour solo. I met a friend named Marc living in Arcata, California. He invited me to volunteer at Food Not Bombs, an anarchist group who feeds anyone who is hungry for free. At the time Marc was living at a community called The Spoon House. Twice a week they hosted the cooking for Food Not Bombs in their kitchen. We hooked up bike trailers to our bikes and went around to grocery stores to collect the food that otherwise would have gone to the landfill. These grocery stores were expecting the food pick ups as they had this arrangement for a long time. The grocery stores loaded us up with rescued food. We brought the food back to the community and cooked a big meal that fed around 70 people in the Arcata Plaza. 

I absolutely loved the experience. We got to feed a lot of people and have a fun time doing so. Marc said that if I enjoyed doing that and I cycle then I should consider attending the Green Riders tour. He showed me a couple of Rob’s YouTube videos. I remember being so inspired when I saw a food mandala made of rescued dumpster food with Rob and Cheryl smiling inside of it. 

I am literally crying as I’m writing this because of how much Marc’s invite changed my life. It’s very rare I shed more than a tear, especially in a public place. Right now I’m sitting on a bench in Switzerland that has charging outlets and free WiFi with a view of Rhine Falls. 

The thought of cycling across the country, dumpster diving, and learning more about sustainability highly interested me. I attended the Earthship Academy in 2016 and continued to explore more natural building methods such as using bamboo the following year in India. I used Mason jars to buy bulk food and wanted to help the planet as much as I could. The idea of connecting with others who also wanted a sustainable and minimalistic lifestyle intrigued me. I wanted to learn more to be able to help more. My thoughts were that others who also wanted to do this would be pretty interesting people to meet. I didn’t realize that they would become my tribe, my family.

Me, Yoshi, and Jonathan radiating love!

The reason I decided to come back to the Green Riders Europe tour was not for the same reasons as the first. The reason I came back this year is because of the genuine human connection I am fortunate to have with these incredible humans I am honored to share life with. They are my chosen family and I know we will continue to gather, whether we are cycling or not.

One of the longest studies done by Harvard University on human happiness found that close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives. Many of us on this tour and on this planet have had struggle, trauma, discontent, etc. It’s often the human connection that keeps us persevering through life. Coming from an authentic place while connecting with another human, no matter if we are happy or disgruntled, allows us to further bond. Being inclusive, we come from many different backgrounds and have a variety of beliefs and ideals. It’s often having discussion of different beliefs that allows us to broaden our perspective. Pedaling across beautiful landscapes is wonderful, but coming all together at group stops to commune, share, and selflessly give ourselves to those who could use our help is what brings me the greatest joy on the tour. 

 

The more we share and know, the more we care and grow.

 

By understanding and connecting with our fellow humans we can increase compassion for humans and all life forms. We are capable of detrimental harm to this planet, but we as a species also contain the knowledge to reverse our damage and allow this planet to thrive as well. For example, mycelium took hundreds of millions of years to learn how to break down lignin, a structural polymer that trees consist of. Plastic has existed for less than a hundred years, yet humans have trained mycelium to break down plastic. So mycelium has now stored this ability in their collective consciousness. We have the technology to never need to use fossil fuels again. I believe technological information is withheld and possibilities are denied because of greed. Would the monetarily elite feel the desire to hoard the majority of resources for themselves if they had experienced the camaraderie the Green Riders have created along this journey?

We experience many highs and lows across our journey. We laugh hysterically and occasionally cry during exhausting moments. We’ve always got someone on our team to lend a helping hand when we get a flat tire or listen to our feelings. Having this connection with others literally allows us to pedal thousands of kilometers. 

Helping Green Rider Jay with their flat tire

We have deep bonds within our group and we also experience welcoming generosity from our hosts. Strangers along the way that we meet briefly that help with directions, share a smile, or spontaneously open their home upon meeting constantly reminds and restores faith in the human spirit. 

I recently camped solo at a truck stop and when I awoke a trucker offered me coffee and I said yes. He also brought over bread, chocolate spread, jam and honey. He said meeting me and hearing my stories was the best day of his month. It’s beautiful that our travels gift others happiness. 

I also met a couple just before a rainstorm in the city and they offered to take me into their home. I let them know I would be leaving around 6 AM to start cycling. They woke up before I left and prepared me breakfast. They made me muesli with peanut butter, yoghurt, apples and bananas. 

Breakfast I was gifted at the truck stop

Green Riders sharing an amazing dinner with our generous and inspirational hosts Morena and Dorothea

These kind gestures I experience while cycle touring with the Green Riders constantly remind me how exceptionally beautiful humans are. Sometimes humans are scared of other humans. While telling some people I sleep outside or hitchhike I see them become worried and they tell me it is dangerous.  However, I am constantly shown kindness and compassion that continues to strengthen my faith in humans. For a while it was restoring my faith, but now it is my constant belief that the majority of people are innately good.

So, the reason I am here this year is to continue deepening my connection with incredible humans who are willing to cycle a great distance together while doing good deeds. All of the group stops along the way are similar to family reunions. My absolute favorite parts of the trip are when we all come together sometimes after days of cycling apart from each other. We arrive to the host in small groups or individually then get to share stories of our travels, which really vary widely from group to group or person to person. Recently we stayed at a lovely farm we found from WarmShowers. We volunteered on their farm where they bake bread from the wheat they grow and have a goal of growing most of their food. They open their community to all cyclists traveling through and have a workshop dedicated to repairing bikes. After communal dinner the children who lived on the farm put on an adorable acrobatic show for us. Their energy was so infectious that several Green Riders started doing acrobatics of their own. We shared so much laughter that night. All of these memories from cycling and volunteering are so meaningful to me and I am extremely pleased and grateful to be a part of this Green Rider Tribe.

*Green Riders call Oooooohooh*

The Green Riders thank everyone who donated to our cause to make Doing Good Deeds possible. Our seeds and select fruit trees are funded by the Live Like Ally Foundation via The Free Seed Project and Community Fruit Trees. We cannot thank them enough and encourage you to read more about these great initiatives. 

Green Riders Visit and Volunteer at the Community of Troglobal

This is a guest blog by Maya Madjar from the Green Riders.

On June 3, 2019, the Green Riders arrived to our very first project location near Grezille, France. After being received and treated so well by our first two hosts, we were all in good spirits for our third day of riding. I was in the group of the first Green Riders to arrive thanks to a sneaky shortcut we scoped out after lunch. Manoocha, a woman of boundless energy, welcomed us warmly and gave us a tour of the community that would soon catch everyone by surprise; the entire commune consisted of caves. Each varied in its color, shape, and size, yet they all carried the central theme of a dreamy and eclectic multi-cave house. Included in the layout was a library, communal kitchen, shower, and several hostel-like sleeping rooms alongside a private room with a greenhouse at the top. This may seem like a first-draft introduction to a fantasy book about a family living in caves with stained glass windows surrounded by fields of poppies. However, I am not here to fool you, and this is an actual place called “Troglobal.”

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Growing and Foraging 100% of my Food- Documented in Photos

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.

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Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food – Day 200 Video Update

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.

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Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food – Day 111 Video Update

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 of a cookie or sip of beer at a party for an entire year!

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.

I am so excited to share this video with you. I am about 1/3rd of the way through the project and this is the first video I’m releasing in documenting the year. It serves as both an introduction to the project and a day 111 update.

Green Riders Good Deeds On Bikes- Europe Tour 2019

The Green Riders are back at it again. This time, cycling across Europe!

I am so elated to see the good deeds continuing on. I won’t personally be on this tour, but I will be there in spirit and supporting from home. The following is an announcement of the 2019 tour and all the details one would need to get involved, written by the Green Riders team.

-Rob Greenfield

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Tiny House FAQ

Take my new video tour of my tiny house homestead where I live simply and sustainably!

If you are here, it’s probably because you have questions about my life at my tiny house in Orlando, Florida. On this page you’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please ask in the comments below and I will answer the questions that are most asked.
Make sure you watch my videos because they cover most of the basics.

Also, subscribe to my Youtube channel so you know when I put out more videos!

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What is My Heart’s Deepest Desire?

At the end one of my recent talks I was asked a question that nobody has ever asked before. It was a simple question.

“What is your heart’s deepest desire.”

I am rarely caught off guard by a question. I rarely have to say that I can’t give an answer right now. But this question was one that I didn’t have an instant answer to. Luckily, I was speaking again the next night, so I simply requested that he ask me again and that I would be certain to have an answer.

I had twenty-four hours to contemplate my heart’s deepest desire.

But it only took me three minutes…

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