How an Activist Lived Off Food From His Yard

"I want to inspire [people] to question their food and then to change their diets." For a year, environmental activist Rob Greenfield lived off what he grew in his backyard — could you?

Simple and Sustainable Living

Greenfield survived for a full year without ever buying food or medicine. But he didn't live in the woods. He did it all in a backyard in Orlando. Greenfield wanted to prove that natural food is available all around us even in urban spaces. When he wasn't growing his own food, Greenfield foraged fruits and vegetables growing across the city or preserved them for the future. Greenfield says he used to have a regular life running a company in San Diego. But since 2013, he has been on a mission to prove that we can live well with much less.

“For the last year I’ve been growing and foraging 100% of my food. No grocery stores, no restaurants, no beer at a bar. All of my food has to either come from my garden, or that I foraged from nature. So, when I moved here, this abundant garden was just a lawn like that. Which could be going to the ocean to collect my own salt, going fishing or collecting fruit from trees. So, nature has been my garden, has been my pantry and it’s been my pharmacy,” Rob Greenfield tells Brut.

He crossed the U.S. on a bamboo bike during which time he never turned on a single light. He only washed himself in rivers, lakes, and leaking fire hydrants. He wore his own trash for 30 days. He dumpster dived to expose the thousands of dollars worth of food that are wasted every day. He says he is not in it for the money. His income in the year before this experiment was $5,000 based on data from National Geographic. And he's not trying to convince everyone to go off the grid. Instead, he says he wants people to think more carefully about where their food comes from.


11/16/2019 12:57 PM


  • Cristy F.
    04/27/2021 01:09

    How to be u po??!!

  • Ashley W.
    04/16/2021 19:26

    I see this in your future 😂😂

  • Tiêu T.
    04/11/2021 14:30

    I like most is paper in toilet... 😂😂😂

  • Angelina M.
    04/10/2021 23:43

    this would really help with food waste! we all just pick what we need AT THE TIME! hope we can do more of this around the world!

  • Erlene R.
    04/08/2021 20:57

    This is great knowledge for ones emotional, mental, psychological a be physical health. Very conscious of his wellbeing.

  • Minh K.
    04/07/2021 16:03

    I like this lifestyle

  • Justine L.
    04/07/2021 10:30

    imagine using a leaf as toilet paper? not so hygienic. why don't you wash after pooping? it's way better.

  • Sonia M.
    04/07/2021 05:40

    maybe there is hope yet

  • Franzeska T.
    04/06/2021 23:52


  • Karl R.
    04/06/2021 23:45

    It always starts like this, then bam! It’s A freakin’ Heaven’s Gate cult!

  • Phyllis H.
    04/06/2021 21:19

    James thought of you!🤓

  • Grace C.
    04/06/2021 20:21

    John 3:16-17 New International Version 16 For God so loved(A) the world that he gave(B) his one and only Son,(C) that whoever believes(D) in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(E) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world(F) to condemn the world, but to save the world through him

  • Meike L.
    04/06/2021 14:37

    PERFECT! 😍

  • Pamela M.
    04/06/2021 11:44

    Very cool

  • Laddawan T.
    04/06/2021 11:20


  • Yvonne S.
    04/06/2021 09:38

    Just as long as the foraging is in areas where it is permitted. I leave by Epping Forest and you are not permitted to forage ANYTHING at all from the forest as it is a protected area. Quite a few people have been fined for picking the fungi.

  • Ng M.
    04/06/2021 09:25

    He doesn’t need to work he uses all his time for growing and foraging

  • Rhys G.
    04/06/2021 08:28

    this but still drink beer haha

  • Dhita R.
    04/06/2021 07:05

    We hv some of them in Indonesia 🎉

  • Derek R.
    04/06/2021 05:15

    I remain skeptical based on how sustainable a modern city can be with an ever increasing population. The problem is people don't invest into that kind of urban footprint or have the time to spend foraging. As a city evolves less and less space is reserved for public space if you do not include such things as roads and footpaths. This maybe a inspirational story to lend to the need to change how we live but in itself limited to only a certain portion of the population in this day and age.