Food Freedom – A Year of Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food
For the last year, I grew and foraged 100% of my food.
No grocery stores, no restaurants, not even a drink at a bar!
Nature has been my garden, my pantry and my pharmacy.
You might imagine me in the countryside living off the land or on a farm. I lived 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 grew food in the front yards of people in my neighborhood and shared the bounty with them. I grew more than 100 different foods in my gardens and foraged over 200 foods from nature, including my medicine and vitamins. I also worked in my community to empower others to grow their own food, too and take back their health. I built gardens for 15 other people through my Gardens for the People program, planted over 200 Community Fruit Trees, sent out over 5,000 free seed packs to help people grow their own organic, healthy food and I taught free gardening classes to the people in my community. I also created a Guide to Gardening for Beginners in Orlando, Florida and, for those not in my region, created this Gardening Guide for Beginners.
I’ve been exploring food for nearly a decade and I believe the globalized, industrialized food system is broken. This was a personal quest to see whether I could step away from Big Ag and grow and forage every bite of my own food. It’s one year later. I did it and I feel healthier and happier today than when I started.
But I’ll be honest … I do have an agenda. I want you to question your food. Where does it come from? How does it get to you? How did it impact the earth, other species and the people that grew it? And if you don’t like the answers you find, I want to empower you to change them. The good news is that you don’t need to go for 100%. You can start where you are. You can grow a little bit of your own food, an herb garden in your windowsill, some tomatoes on your balcony, or a raised bed in your front yard. If you have no space at all, you can join a community garden.
You can source your food locally and purchase from local farmers and gardeners. The farmer’s market is a great place to start.
You can buy whole foods and cook more, rather than packaged processed foods that leave trash behind.
You can make healthy foods for people in need, grow a garden for your elderly neighbor, or start a grassroots organization to harvest the fruit trees in your community to distribute to others.
This needn’t be a lonely journey. For most of us, food is at the center of our lives and we can do this together in our communities.
The solutions are here and they are delicious and nutritious and part of a happier, healthier and more sustainable life!
To read the guidelines behind this project visit: The Guidelines Behind Growing and Foraging 100% of my Food for a Year.
To read about the purpose of this project read: Why I’m Growing and Foraging 100% of my Food for a Year.
To learn about all the foods that I ate visit: Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food – All 300 Foods I Ate.
To read a log of what I ate each day visit: Growing and Foraging 100% of my Food – Daily Food Journal.
To see photos of my meals and foods visit: Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food – Documented in Photos.
Cover photo by Sierra Ford Photography