@The Prepper Project: How Much Land Does It Take To Feed Yourself


This was a fun article to write – it should encourage those of you hoping to feed yourselves on a tiny lot in South Florida:

Imagine a 1200 square foot suburban 3/2 home in Hollywood, Florida. 

The complete footprint of the land is about 7000 square feet, and the
zoning is residential. You have neighbors on both sides and in the back,
with a street in front of your house. Once the driveway, back patio,
sidewalk and footprint of the home are accounted for, you’re left with a
little over 4000 square feet of growing space.

Can you feed yourself completely? Or, to go more extreme: could you feed yourself, plus your wife, plus three children? (Read the rest)

Covert Homesteading – Chrissy’s got it figured out

covert homesteading

Covert homesteading in the city:


Personally, I’d like to see the cities plowed under and the ground salted, but Chrissy is convinced compromises can be made. Her ideas are good, as always (except when she disagrees with me).

If you are dealing with problematic codes and overreaching bureaucrats, take note.

Response From the Padin’s – the Helvenston’s Neighbors Who Contacted Code Enforcement


The plot thickens!

The following was recently both sent to my e-mail and posted as a comment on a previous post (my own response below):

Dear Mr Goodman:

I am the owner of the house next door.  I live out of town, but pay taxes on the property, and has the same rights.  My farmer neighbor is very collective in your interview, but when we approach his wife to discuss alternative, we never had a response from them.  He called our property manager to insult him.  This is not an attitude from a farmer, I am a farmer also a biologist and understand the natural process and sustainability movement, but this crying baby attitude is what confused me with the right purpose of farming.

Since to me that he only wants to get publicity for his business.

What’s next? Chicken, Gardens, herpetologist???

I live in Puerto Rico and proud to serve the US Navy.  I’m willing to discuss our rights and opinions to anyone.


Pedro Padin 787-612-9127

Gretchen Rivera Padin 787-413-7788


The key issue here is to keep the place neat and clean and that’s why we are concern about the front garden.

RESPONSE FROM ME (via e-mail):

Dear Mr. Padin,

Thanks for writing. I’ll bump your comment (and this response) to the top of my blog. I’ll also make sure the Helvenston’s are apprised of your concerns.

I can’t necessarily speak for the Helvenston’s motives, not having witnessed the entire situation. I only met them recently and know just what they’ve told me.

However, I don’t understand why you would have a problem with anyone growing food in their own yard. If Jason and Jennifer planted a garden in your yard, you’d have every right to complain. But shouldn’t a person be able to use their own property as they wish, providing they aren’t hurting anyone else?

It doesn’t seem that vegetables are hurting you guys in any way, except for not being “neat,” as you state. If there’s more to this, please let me know – but this nation was founded on private property rights. Whether or not you get along with the Helvenston’s – and even if they’re rude or self-seeking or anything else you might assert – it’s still their yard and I believe gardening in it should absolutely be allowed, just as you should have a right to use your own yard as you see fit.

I hope your family and their family will be able to resolve your dispute and be at peace once again. I’m sorry the neighborhood has been caught up in controversy. I wish it could have been resolved without the city having been involved.

All the best,

David Goodman

Video Interview with Jason and Jennifer Helvenston – the Orlando “Illegal” Front-yard Gardeners


Many of us saw the article last week on the Helvenston family who were told by Orlando to tear out their vegetable garden. I saw it too and was inspired to dig deeper. Fortunately, the Helvenston’s were nice enough to sit down with me for a half-hour interview over Skype.

They’re not crazy, they’re not bad neighbors, and they don’t view themselves as radicals or revolutionaries. They’re just an environmentally keyed-in couple who needed space to grow food and refuse to roll over before city officials who think unproductive grass is better than organic veggies.

Here it is in their own words: