Aaron Fletcher has grazed his sheep and lived off the land as a traveling shepherd for 12 years. He calls it guerrilla grazing (a step above guerrilla gardening, he says) and he lets his sheep graze - with permission- public parks and side lots. Homeless by choice, he offers his services to small farms in exchange for food or a place to stay (though half his calories come from his sheeps’ milk).
With a tiny metal cart home pulled by his sheep he has a bed, a refrigerator/evaporative cooler, a shower (he uses a pesticide sprayer to pump up the water pressure), power (solar panel), sun oven, a mailbox stove for heat, bicycle tire wheels and a corrugated plastic roof.
Fletcher makes cheese and butter from his sheep milk and forages for seeds, fruits, vegetables and herbs. He’s created a map for foragers in his region. He makes some money with his scythe business - cutting noxious weeds for locals -, but he insists he’s not interested in making money and just hopes to serve as an example for other homeless interested in guerrilla grazing.
Brutally honest words from a 21 year old man after only a couple weeks homeless. He left his living situation w/ his father because his father is an alcoholic and he felt more safe on the streets than in his father's house. He's suicidal, desperate...breaks your heart.
Short but surprisingly powerful little piece describing how even mentally ill people can have functional ability quite separate from their mental illness. They can organize a household, shop, and function "normally" while carrying some devastating mental or emotional challenges.
In Oregon, 624,000 people have a mental illness. That’s almost 21% of all Oregonians, or 1 in 5.