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.
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.
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…
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.
“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.
So many of our leaders and role models today are influenced deeply by money and corporations. So many of our politicians put corporate interests over what’s best for the people they are elected to serve. Celebrities are paid vast sums of money to sell their fans on stuff they don’t really need. Social media “influencers” have pages that are as much about products as they are about their life or what their page claims to be about.
We live in a world where we are constantly inundated with ads to buy, buy, buy. We are told that we’ll be happier with more stuff. We’ll be happier with luxurious items. Love, sex, and success will come to us if we can attain a certain image through material items.
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.
Don’t tell me about how you are sleeping with other women behind your partner’s back.