One Man’s Search for a Healthier, More Sustainable Life

| 5/12/2016 11:31:00 AM

Tags: healthy living, food therapy, nutrition, beginning gardening, John Fred, Kentucky,


My interest in farming and the outdoors began when I was about 8 years old, helping my grandma in her garden. I remember she asked me to get some peanuts, but when I went down to the garden, all I could find were tomatoes and squash.

“You have to dig them up!” she said. That was the beginning of my education. I also remember seeing my Uncle Fred garden when I was 4 years old, growing all kinds of great vegetables. My father is a huge pepper nut — he grows the most amazing hot peppers and cans them with my mom and grandma.

Growing Up to Grow a Sustainable Life

In 2002, two women who lived in a bungalow on the edge of my family's property passed away, and I took over the land. I started to build a home in a sustainable way, reusing and repurposing furniture and other objects found around the property. My grandfather collected antique furniture since he was 12 years old, and seeing all of his stuff growing up, I never wanted to buy furniture at one of the big stores. I love reusing old pieces that have great history and that don’t leave a big carbon footprint.

My lifestyle started to change around 2011. I was eating tons of fast food, and drinking tons of soft drinks. I started noticing that I was overweight and that I didn’t feel well, and something clicked. I decided I needed a change and started researching and discovering people like Daniel Vitalis and David Wolfe. I became inspired by the concept of “ReWilding,” eating raw foods, and blending. My wife and I started exploring this together, and that’s when we started our own garden.

I found an old book called The Farmer’s Almanac. My father always talked about it, but I never gave a second thought to it before. We bought some non-GMO heirloom seeds and tried to do everything totally natural.

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