Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food for a Year


Man Displaying Healthy Grain Bowl 

I sit here in my tiny house, tucked away in a backyard just a few miles from downtown Orlando, Florida. As I type I see ocean water boiling away on my firepit to produce my salt. I see honeybees glistening in the afternoon sun, coming and going from their hive, stocking me up with honey. I see hickory nut shells scattered on the ground, the aftermath of making morning hickory nut milk.

Today is day 111 of growing and foraging one hundred percent of my food. When I say one hundred percent, I truly mean it. No exceptions whatsoever — no gifts of food, no purchasing food from the local farmers market, not even a drop of craft brew from a friend. And of course, coffee and chocolate don’t grow here in Central Florida. I have embarked on a deeply immersive experience in food, from the calories, to the fats and proteins, to the sugar and oil, down to every last nutrient my body will need.

When one imagines a self-sufficient life like this, one would typically imagine it happening on a farm in the countryside. Perhaps something like Barbara Kingsolver experienced and shared with us through her book, Animal, Vegetable Miracle. I sit here with helicopters flying overhead and surrounded by neighbors not even a shout away.

I don’t have any land of my own. Instead, I am growing my food in the front yards of about a half dozen people I have met in the neighborhood. The gardens have been abundant so far, and the homeowners are welcome to eat as much as they’d like. I have set up a 100-square-foot tiny house that I built for under $1,500 with secondhand and repurposed materials.

I do a work exchange to allow me to have this simple abode. In this little nook, I have everything I need. To my left and behind me are shelves for storing dried herbs, and beans, foraged fruit, jars of honey, ferments and more. To my right sits my deep chest freezer packed full of the abundance of my gardens and my trips to collect the earth’s bounty. On my bed a few dozen coconuts currently lay out to turn into coconut oil. The storage under my bed is where I tuck things away when the place is too cluttered. It’s a small space for all this food, but so far it has done the job.

3/6/2019 11:28:23 AM

Thinking of your books; is there 1 or 2 that are you main go to resources? If so can you share which one(s)?

3/6/2019 8:13:33 AM

Wonderful. Just in case you haven't heard of it. Todmorden, UK. Keep it up. We don't need massive monocultures to feed the world, just a different mindset. Love it!

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