Couple Ditches Supermarket Dependency
A Bay Area couple commits to a full year away from supermarkets, restaurants and processed foods.
By Tiffany Lin, Assistant Editor, Urban Farm magazine
September 9, 2011
Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market
Tom and Rachel proudly show off the home-grown produce that's been their sustenance for the past six months.
Six months ago, Rachel Hoff and Tom Ferguson of Vallejo, Calif., made an incredible commitment: Go a whole year without eating food from grocery stores or restaurants.
“Four or five years ago, we started growing our own food,” Ferguson says. “We read a couple books about people who live locally, and we sat down to talk about it and said, ‘You know what? We can really do that; we could not go to restaurants, not go to the store and pretty much get what we want out of our backyard.’”
From corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and peas, to strawberries, rhubarb, blackberries and onions, most of the couple’s food comes from their own backyard, which they’ve named Dog Island Farm. The couple is also currently raising 35 chickens, two adult female goats, two baby goats and 10 rabbits.
“We grow as much as we can here in the backyard; we do not step foot into the grocery store at all,” Ferguson says.
Besides depending on food they’ve grown, the couple makes regular trips to the Vallejo Farmers Market to buy ingredients not found in their yard.
“With a year without groceries, we’re saving a ton of money and eating much higher quality food,” Hoff says.
To date, the couple has already saved a whopping $6,500 — simply by foregoing processed, store-bought foods.
“By doing this, we’ve grown closer together, are healthier, and we’re giving back to the community as well.” Ferguson says.
To learn more about Hoff and Ferguson’s grocery-free adventure, click here.
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