John “Grizzly” Adams owns a four bedroom home on a
200 acre farm, drives a Hummer (but only when he goes to town), and
maintains a rich lifestyle. His only income comes from walking in the
woods from spring through the fall and harvesting what he finds there.
Mushrooms, morels various healing herbs, shed deer
horns and various animal skeletons, ginseng, moss and bark from the
roots of trees are just some of things that keep this 87-year-old man,
as he puts it, “healthy, wealthy and wise.
Adams says that his grandfather taught him how to
live off the land when he was a boy. “We used to walk these hills from
sun-up to sun-down,” said Adams, “We each carried a backpack which we
would fill up before the day was done.
Grandpa showed me what to pick or dig, how to
process or dry it, told me what it was good for and how much it was
worth. I can tell you now that there was good money to be made back
then, but not like what people will pay now for organic stuff, right out
of the woods.”
Adams said that there is not much to harvest in the
winter, but you can still find sassafras root, wintergreen and different
kinds of moss and lichens. He even harvests mistletoe in November and
simply gives it away.
“I just give away mistletoe because it reminds me
of the first kiss I ever stole, back when I was thirteen. I hope it
helps make a good memory for other young folks,” Adams said with a
With the help of a nephew who helps him run a
website offering his wide variety of products, Adams nets over $87,000 a
year from his walks in the woods.