Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by Jin+Guice »

@Frita: I think he has high social capital because of his personality and extroversion. He was a successful salesperson who ran his own marketing firm. I think the idealism helps too. He also just seems so fucking excited about everything he's doing.

I'm not sure dumpsterdiving and having swank gear (I think the implication is it's not from the dumpster?) is a contrast. I do see how it could be viewed as one. Is his extreme environmentalism at odds with having some new stuff? Maybe. Probably.

I would compare this to investing. At a certain point investing in corporate America/ Globe Corp. is at odds with extreme environmentalism. I think most of us agree it's at a much later point than your average environmentalist, but still...

I'm not sure if he says it about the new gear, but in a video about his house he does call himself out for using propane, which is "probably from fracking" which he does not support. I like that he admits he's not perfect too.


@7w5: Haha, I think most plans of this nature suffer from that problem when it comes to robustness.

@jacob: It's hard to beat you at your own game, but this is partially because you made the rules. One of your rules is that the life must "look normal to outsiders." I think Rob Greenfield could pass this, but his life wouldn't look as normal as yours. I *think* the tiny house he used for this food challenge was actually in someone else's backyard, however, I *think* that his San Diego tiny house was on his own property? If an RV counts as normal a tiny house does too?

You could also claim he's cheating because he is leveraging social capital, which some people feel is mooching. I really feel like he's dedicated himself to not mooching, but it still bends the rules.

I agree that challenges are kind of lame, though good for publicity. Adhering to predetermined absurd rules is probably not the best life system, but it can lead to some interesting insights if you are really dedicated.

I agree that this guy is a candidate for Wheaton level 8, which is why I was surprised he only had a 6 post thread with no fanfare.


I think he is unique in his high level of social capital and, I'm not quite sure how to say this, but, extreme personability coupled with not being a douche. I haven't seen the marriage of those two qualities in a FIRE or environmental "personality."

I also think he speaks to the "city problem" when it comes to extreme environmentalism and extreme frugality. He's operated in tiny homes in two different cities with seemingly no problem from the authorities.

bigato
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by bigato »

His San Diego tiny house was also located at someone else’s backyard, not his own. He was allowed to park it there in exchange for improving the place. He paid 950 dollars for that tiny house and when the time came to let it go, he auctioned it and the proceeds were used to build other tiny houses for homeless people. I probably watched every video he ever posted to youtube hahaha

theanimal
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by theanimal »

I don't think his use of social capital should be seen as cheating. The ability to share with others and maintain a beneficial relationship for both sides is not easy but can be done without feeling or being seen as a mooch. I believe I've said it before, but social capital can be a major base of one's ERE strategy yet it is the least discussed on here. Understandably so as most people on this board (including its dear leader JLF) identify as strong introverts. But perhaps something for others to look into. Learning to interact with others and build social capital is a skill in and of itself.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

theanimal wrote:I don't think his use of social capital should be seen as cheating.
I agree, although I do think some forms of social capital could be seen as cheating, because in violation of the spirit of SWR or the notion of linkage between spending and energy burn. For instance, if you couch-surf on what would be an otherwise unoccupied couch and all parties are content with the exchange then not a "cheat", but if you take a 20 minute long "free" hot shower then that is kind of a "cheat" on money/energy link. If you also project your shelter expenses out into the future as $0 and include in SWR calculation then that may be a "cheat" unless you have good reason to believe that availability of your next couch surf is always going to be less than 24 hours away or you have at least a couple other options for shelter that would also be $0. I think Rob has his extremely low shelter expense pretty well nailed, because he is also fit/skilled enough to minimalist rough camp when not tiny housing.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by Jin+Guice »

I agree that his leveraging of social capital shouldn't be seen as cheating. It does make what he's doing a bit different than what we're doing though.

I realized that my early retirement strategy is stronger than I previously thought, because if I ever get tired of working and want to be totally lazy I could do something like what Rob did in San Diego.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:12 pm
For instance, if you couch-surf on what would be an otherwise unoccupied couch and all parties are content with the exchange then not a "cheat", but if you take a 20 minute long "free" hot shower then that is kind of a "cheat" on money/energy link. If you also project your shelter expenses out into the future as $0 and include in SWR calculation then that may be a "cheat" unless you have good reason to believe that availability of your next couch surf is always going to be less than 24 hours away or you have at least a couple other options for shelter that would also be $0.
Shout out to my 24 yr old self.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:12 pm
I think Rob has his extremely low shelter expense pretty well nailed, because he is also fit/skilled enough to minimalist rough camp when not tiny housing.
#Goalz

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Lemur
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by Lemur »

Frita wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:49 pm
@Lemur
I wasn’t saying that you equate being insured with health; rather, that seems to be a shift in the US. Depending on the state and one’s philosophy, self-insurance can be cost-effective. Like Rob, we no longer participate in the health insurance business.

Added for clarification: We do have auto, house, and umbrella insurance. I am not saying that I recommend other people drop their health insurance unless after careful consideration, they decide that is what’s best.
Of course. Why so defensive on my part...I was in some odd mood the other day after reading health insurance horror stories most of the morning lol.

What Rob is doing in regards to health insurance, of course I'm skeptical but then again I haven't done a deep dive yet into alternative strategies. All I've known is that my health insurance is tied to my employer and with all the horror stories I've read, my risk aversion is high. Add a child into the mix and my stance has become very resistant to the idea of self-insurance. I have reading to do in this area. OTOH...my hopes is that this system will change drastically - Has to happen through political action. I'm sure there are threads here on ERE that discuss the state of US health insurance; I shall poke around that.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by Jin+Guice »

I’ve decided that buying a 50x50 tiny house and convincing a friend to let me live on their property for chore help is as good a retirement plan as any.

theanimal
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by theanimal »

50 x 50 tiny house?

bigato
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by bigato »


Frita
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by Frita »

@Lemur
Health insurance is on my mind too. It seems unsustainable. Most people either are roped into working for insurance or are making next-to-nothing for ACA.

Even when we had employer-provided insurance, we racked up enormous bills for advanced infertility treatment and caring for my daughter (after our insurance ran out but before we could get her on Medicaid). When we tried to switch to my school district’s self-insured plan, they did everything possible to make returning to work impossible. (They also did this when my teaching buddy was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She was forced out. Such a shame...). We found having employee-sponsored insurance helps. Many people end up filing bankruptcy from situations like ours. We paid ours off instead, learned some skills and priorities, and probably lessened our fear of risk.

My spouse was okay with this plan from the get-go; however, it has been a gradual process for me. If I would have stayed at my part-time teaching job, I could have got high-deductible family employer-sponsored insurance by forfeiting 100% of my salary, paying another $300/month out-of-pocket, and tolerating as the BS. Crazy! If I found something decent (enjoyable culture and meaningful work) with affordable family insurance (max of $500/month), I would get it. (Even with co-pays and deductible, if used, that would run $1500/month.)

bigato
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by bigato »

As if he was reading us (hi, Rob?), a few days after the posts questioning how he deals with health insurance, money and relationships, he made a video explaining those topics. Some highlights:

- he makes a lifetime commitment of not earning above the US federal poverty line, which currently sits at 6k/year;
- he only deals in cash and doesn’t have any online accounts;
- he won’t pay taxes as he don’t want his money to be used for war;
- he won’t use health insurance although he qualifies for 100% free at his earning level, because he is not contributing into it;
- he commits to not withdrawing from social insurance when the age comes because he is not contributing to it;
- he has no investments by design;
- he has no bills;
- more thoughts on property, relationships, lifestyle, sharing, contributing, money, growing old, creating a community, savings in the form of social capital, etc

The high point for me was to watch his thoughts on death as his eye shine of emotion showing his honesty. What a guy!

https://youtube.com/watch?v=OvL-Z0gl6ig

white belt
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by white belt »

Although Rob is definitely several Wheaton levels beyond me, I do appreciate seeing the progression in his timeline: https://robgreenfield.tv/timeline/

It goes to show that dramatic mindset shifts usually don't happen overnight and Wheaton development is a gradual thing. I can't see myself living in an off-grid tiny house in someone's back yard and growing/foraging all my food (too many levels ahead of me), but I could see myself taking some initial steps like starting a compost pile or working to reduce the amount of trash I create.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@white belt:

Very interesting. I am intrigued by his series of vows to lockstep lower his spending, earning and assets.

I am nowhere near his Wheaton level, but my recent attempts to keep my spending/consumption low while simultaneously raising my earnings/production makes me think he is on to something with this stance.

Also, I have noted that my Uber-wealthy friend is exhibiting less ability to switch gears in alignment with Covid reality than me, because still locked into previous success/safety metrics. Obviously,anybody who, like Rob, has the health, skills and resilience to, for instance, solo camp in a National Forest during this pandemic, is more likely to survive and less likely to be scrambling to double down towards breaking even on losses or securing rigid boundaries or stock piles constructed well beyond the natural boundary of skin sac.

It’s kind of like the average 21st century middle-class American is like the inheritor of Downton Abbey in decline. How can we survive without an under-butler? !How can we survive without toilet paper?! Even my BF who is survivalist enough to construct a water still ( why I chose him as survival mate ), is appalled by my attempt to use mason jar full of water as rough bidet and is looking forward to “eating out every night!” once the crisis has passed.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by RoamingFrancis »

This guy is an inspiration

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jennypenny
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by jennypenny »

If you aren't familiar with Greenfield, he did a 10min summary video on Exploring Alternatives this week.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Very cool. I wish I was brave enough to live like Greenfield.

ertyu
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by ertyu »

Having to depend on others, let alone to the extent he does, really scares me. Have not had good exp with getting help when I needed it in meatspace, even when I tried to be helpful to others. But, work in progress. Current theory is I probably come across intense or neurotic because when I ask for help, I don't believe I deserve it and will be given it, and I don't believe it doesn't make me less-than to need it. Thank fuck there's no accessible quality therapy in my country or it'll probably soak up all my retirement stash :lol:

theanimal
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by theanimal »

Very inspiring! Thanks, Jenny. I don't have the guts to live like him either, at least not yet.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I’m not afraid of depending on others. I’m afraid of getting attacked by others. Inclusive of dogs and bears. Simple physical cowardice.

bigato
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Re: Rob is growing and foraging 100% of his food for a year

Post by bigato »

What's distinctive about the way he lives is not so well described by how he depend on others (because we all do anyways), but how he makes himself useful to others in a way that they want him around. Because he gives back generously. Not only he gives back, he gives forward. Depending on one single person may feel insecure, but he has no shortage of options.

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