Vallejo Couple Avoids Grocery Stores, Restaurants For A Year

VALLEJO (CBS13) — From meat to veggies to snacks — a Vallejo couple stayed away from grocery stores and restaurants for an entire year.

Tom Ferguson and his wife Rachel made a pact a year ago to survive off of their own land.

“We’ve got radishes, carrots Brussels sprouts, peppers, tomatoes, winter squash, summer squash, parsnips, cabbage, cauliflower,” Rachel says.

That meant no trips to the grocery store or sit-down meals at a restaurant … for the next 365 days.

“Because we want to control our own food, we want to know where it comes from,” Rachel explains.

They achieved their goal this week.

This isn’t just a small garden. This couple has over 75 different varieties of fruits and vegetables all right here on a quarter acre of land in the middle of Vallejo.

And that’s not all.

“We got rabbits, chickens, turkeys and goats,” Rachel says

It takes the couple at least an hour a day to maintain what they’ve come to love, from feeding the animals to watering the garden. And let’s not forget actually cooking the food.

“It wasn’t easy at first,” Tom admits

But it’s become routine for Tom and Rachel. And they feel healthier.

“We wanted to eat better, we wanted to get away from processed foods as much as possible,” Rachel says.

But that didn’t mean there weren’t urges to cheat. “Oh yeah, and I teased her about it all the time.”

All this work has paid off. This year they’ve saved $9,000 dollars.

“It’s a hobby. You have to love to do it,” Rachel says. “People think we are crazy, but we’re not and it’s completely doable. Anybody can do it.”

And even though their challenge is over, the lesson they’ve learned now grows right in front of them.

“I want it to last forever. I really, really enjoy doing this,” Tom says.

  • I lived in the woods...

    If I was younger, I would be right there with you… Good job there…

  • Erin

    what? these people haven’t been raided yet? good luck keeping that going now that it’s hit the papers.

  • Teri

    I would love to try this, but already know I don’t have the energy or stamina to keep it up while working full-time and raising a kid by myself. But, I have all the respect in the world for people who can. Hitting the farmer’s market for fresh, locally-grown, veggies is about as good as I can expect to ever obtain. I may try some container gardens next year, but that won’t be enough to survive on. Kudos to the Fergusons.

  • Lynda

    That is a lot of work, but I can see where it would benefit the entire nation to have home gardens or farmer’s markets. But I gotta ask, how do you do without Toilet Paper??? Or those other things – toothpaste? I say Kudos too. That’s a worthwhile adventure to living without commercialism or preservatives/additives, etc to one’s diet.

  • Ellen

    Just curious. what did they use for sugar, flour, coffee, tea? some of the staples that clearly may not have been available in their garden or with their livestock. Did they stock up before they started their commitment? I think its marvelous and have gone from extensive gardening to almost non existent depending on my schedule but even I could not live with some of the things I could not grow like the above mentioned items.

  • Sally

    They are talking food only right? What about TP

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