Living Alone in Rural Appalachia

Jul 29, 2023 14.3M Views 40.2K Comments

Deep in the woods of rural Appalachia is a man that lives alone on his land. He grows his own food, has no government ID, his overhead is $140 a month, and he possesses a claimed happiness by being free from the system, inspired by faith. Join me as we journey into the sticks of Kentucky to dive into the fascinating world of Titus Morris.

He also wanted to share his number with those who want to talk about faith or for that special lady who’s interested in him 🙂 606-448-4252

► Video edited by: Natalia Santenello

► Headlund – Return to No Man’s Land
► River Foxcroft – Dark Outlands

-[Titus] I think I may go
into that tree.
-[Peter] Okay.
-And then see if I can bend it
to this one and get to this one.
And then come over to that one,
and then come on down.
-You’ve done this a few times, Titus?
-Oh, yeah.
We didn’t have TV growing up so…
-This is what we did for our spare time.
-And I still do it for fun.
I’m gonna see if
I can make it to this other tree here.
[branches rustling]
[branches rustling]
Trying to get to this other tree.
[Peter laughing]
I think I’m gonna ride this one down.
[branches cracking]
[both giggling]
-Titus… I think you’ve got some stories.
[Peter] How long have you been out here?
[Titus] I’ve been on this farm,
this will be the eighth summer.
-Did you grow up like this?
-Well, we did grow up
cutting our own firewood.
We never had electric heat or anything.
But uh…
Like, my parents have computers,
electricity, that kind of things and…
I just felt like God was calling
me to live a more simple life.
-With more peace and more with nature.
So I don’t have
electricity or running water.
I do have running water
if I put it in a bucket and run with it
and it runs through the creek too.
[Peter laughing]
-How much land are you living on here?
-I’ve got 50 acres.
About 20 is open like pasture
or garden land
and about 30 is woods.
-Y’all can come inside.
I’m single and I’m busy working outside
so it’s real disorganized.
-You’re a bachelor?
-Yeah, definitely.
My buddy is staying with me too
and he’s got some of his
stuff stored here.
Okay, so you do a lot of canning?
-Yeah, I do some canning, yeah.
This is a wood cook stove here.
Which during the summertime
I’m not using it.
Since it would get too hot in here.
-So you have no electricity in here?
Which it is wired for.
The electric was on when I bought it
but I’ve been here,
this is the eighth summer
and I have not had any electricity.
-So why do you choose for no electricity?
-Well, it gives me, like, a freedom
to not have to be down to a grind
of a nine to five job.
I don’t have an internet bill.
I don’t have all these bills
associated with that, with electricity,
and so I can just work a small amount.
Whatever I want to work
and I have enough money to live.
-Okay, what are you doing for work?
-I train horses and shoe horses.
-Oh cool.
How much money do you think
you have to spend a month?
-Um, I guess probably my two
main bills would be dog food.
And my phone bill,
I’ve got a land line phone.
-Land line, no cell phone?
-Yeah, no cell phone.
It’s crazy, I didn’t want the internet
but they wouldn’t give me…
They wouldn’t give me
phone without internet.
So I’m paying for internet
but I don’t get it.
So I have a land line phone
and that’s like $90 a month.
And then dog food, I probably spend
$20 a month on dog food or something.
Things like salt, fruit, and things like that.
Probably spend like $30
a month on that probably.
-So 90, 20, and 30?
-So $140 a month is your expenditures?
-Mm-hmm, yeah.
I always dreamed of having
my own farm, my own land,
and the dream finally came true.
-You love it?
-I do.
I wake up in the morning
and there’s a green hill on that side,
and a green hill on that side,
and I just have my own
little peaceful valley here.
-[Peter] So no car?
-[Titus] No.
-You get around with carriage?
-So you’re almost living an Amish lifestyle?
-Yeah, pretty much.
-But you’re not at all?
-No, I’m not a member, no.
I’m not a member of the Amish church
but I live the lifestyle.
Want some banana peels?
Nothing goes to waste.
This is Greatheart.
-Yes, that’s his name.
-That looks bad, Titus.
-Having that in the barn.
-[both laughing]
-You don’t seem like you’re unhappy, so…
I sometimes take up hay,
bales of hay up in here.
-And I’ll loop this around and snap it.
-But this is the way
that I get up in my barn loft to get hay.
[both giggling]
-Titus, let me give you this
and show what’s up there.
-All right.
[Titus] Wait… here we go.
Got it.
-Am I holding it right? Okay.
-Yeah, there you go.
-Yeah, I got some hay up here.
First cutting of hay.
-You were telling me off-camera
you sleep up there
on summer nights, right?
Yeah, sometimes it gets really hot
in the trailer and so I’ll come up here
in the hay and it’s nice.
There’s Peter down there.
My friend Isaac was staying with me
and he was sleeping up here in the barn.
And he said sleeping on these hay bales is
an eco-friendly, green,
biodegradable mattress.
And it smells good to top it off.
[both laughing]
Go out the front and I’ll show you
the funnest way to get out of the barn.
-All right.
Titus, you’re a character.
[both giggling]
All right, what’s Titus got for us here?
You gonna jump out?
-I’ll show you the funnest way
to get out of the barn.
[both giggling]
There’s some potatoes.
-Oh, nice.
-These are organic potatoes.
-Okay so–
-[horn honking]
-You don’t use any chemicals, huh?
I just spread manure from the horses here,
and then plowed it under,
and then waited a while,
and planted the potatoes.
-So you’re getting
zero processed foods, huh?
-I was like 13, 14 years old,
and I was over a neighbor’s house
shoeing some horses and…
they said, “Hey, you want a pop?”.
I said, “Uh…”
They asked me, “Do you like pop?”
I said, “I’ve never had it.”
They’re like,
“What, you’ve never had pop?”
I said, “No.”
They said, “You wanna try it?”
I said, “Sure.”
So I tried one and that was enough
for the rest of my life.
I didn’t like it.
-It was what, one Coca-Cola?
-It was like an Orange Crush.
-You hated it?
-It just… [scoffs]
And my dad, he helped build a plant
where they produce the Coca-cola,
and he said if they had a spill
it would etch the concrete.
It would eat away
at the finish on the concrete.
So if it does that to concrete,
what is it gonna do to your bones?
[cutting weeds]
Kind of like golfing
except for you hit the ball every time.
Gonna grab a few…
-So this is for supper?
-Titus, I know there are
a lot of ticks out here
but you don’t worry about ’em at all, huh?
-I just pick ’em off if they get on me.
Here’s some purple onions.
We’re gonna cook those.
[peeling onion]
[stream trickling]
-This is your whole
dish washing apparatus?
Yeah, I wash produce
and dishes down here.
-So you set this little barrier up here
just to let the right amount of water in?
-Yeah, my buddy Isaac did.
I usually take a bath in there.
-You take a bath up there?
-And so that acts
a little bit like a filter, huh?
-Yeah, it’s got some sand,
and gravel, and stuff, yeah.
-So, having this
behind your house is key, huh?
-Oh, yeah.
-You gotta have this for this lifestyle?
-Having plenty of water, I don’t
have to have electricity to pump it
it’s just right here.
[stream trickling]
[Peter] Do you ever
get sick with anything?
-I’ve gotten colds, I’ve gotten flus.
Like the past year
I’ve not been sick at all.
Like not even a cold,
not even a stuffy nose, nothing.
My thought is eat lots of healthy food,
breathe deep of fresh air,
trust in God,
get your exercise,
and do things that
strengthen your immune system.
So then your immune system
is strong enough that it can just
fight off whatever virus is out there.
-Is this one of your classic meals?
That’s red potatoes,
purple onions, and kale.
And then I’ll put a little bit of
pink Himalayan salt in there.
and we’ll put some water in there,
and then we’ll put it on the stove,
and let it cook,
and then later today,
Peter and I will come have a feast.
-Yeah, Titus.
And it’s got the Titus touch.
[Titus giggles]
-From the source.
-We’ll put a little bit more wood in here.
Some of this cedar that we cut earlier.
-How far away are your parents?
-My parents are about eight miles.
-And you like going over there to visit?
-I do.
This is Truth here.
She’s being affectionate.
-When you go to your parent’s
do you love the conveniences?
-‘Cause they have electricity, right?
-Yeah, uh…
-Is there a temptation in that?
-No, I don’t really…
I enjoy being there
And enjoy hanging out with my parents
but as far as the electricity or whatever,
I don’t really miss it.
I guess probably
the only thing I miss is…
Like, living without electricity
is a refrigerator.
A refrigerator is just so handy.
But I can put stuff in the creek
and It’ll keep overnight.
Like if I have beans left over
or something I can put them
in a pot in the creek
and they’ll stay good overnight.
During the wintertime
I’ve got a room in the back that I keep…
I keep the door shut
so the heat doesn’t go in there
and that’s basically like
a refrigerator during the winter time.
-No GMO, no herbicides,
no pesticides, all organic.
-Not Monsanto out here?
-No Monsanto, not for me.
There are neighbors
that are a few miles away
that have Roundup Ready corn and soybeans.
From what I’ve heard, they have
developed a seed and they put a…
They spliced a gene into it
to where it terminates.
So it’s just good for one season.
-Why, so you have to buy more?
-Yeah, so you’re dependent upon them.
If you plant this stuff
out in your soil…
If you were to spray it
with Roundup it would kill it.
But the Monsanto seed,
they’ve got corn and soybeans
that are Roundup Ready.
So you can plant them in your field
and then you can spray herbicide
and then that kills
all the weeds but it won’t hurt your corn.
-So that’s just easier to farm?
-Then with your garden
you have to pull the weeds or what?
-Yeah, pull weeds, or hoe ’em,
or like that cultivator
that the horses pull.
You take that through your rows
and it kills the weeds
when they’re really small.
[horse chewing corn]
Kind of a peaceful sound.
-It is, I like it.
-It’s sort of therapeutic, huh?
-Yeah, it is.
-It’s like raking sand or something.
[horse chewing]
[Titus whistling]
[Titus to horse]
Whoa… ho… back… back…
If I’m at peace and I’m right with God,
I have his peace in my heart,
then the horses are gonna have it too.
-They feel your energy completely?
It’s just like attitude
when you’re around somebody
there’s some people that are cheerful,
they’re positive, and you feel like,
“I want to spend time with that guy.”
“I want to spend time with that person.”
And there’s other people that
they’re really negative and you think,
“Man, let’s get out of here.”
Like, I want to be polite
but I’d rather not spend a lot of time…
You know?
And I believe animals are the same.
If you have God’s peace
in your heart and you’re calm
the animals will want
to be in your presence.
They’ll want to be with you.
[Titus] You can ride shotgun.
-So where we going, Titus?
-We are gonna go to a…
Yeah, that’s broken,
that’s sturdy there.
-An Amish friend of mine
that makes harness and–
-Amish friend?
-Ruben Troyer,
he lost his hand in a sawmill accident.
-But it’s amazing the workmanship
he can do with one good hand
and a hook in the other.
[clicks and kisses]
[Peter] Your dogs coming too?
-Yeah, the old one there,
Spartacus, he may not.
He’s kinda slow and getting old.
He may not go the whole way
but Sadie there, she’ll run along.
-[Peter] Ah, that’s a nice little breeze.
-[Titus] Yeah, it feels good.
-How good does that feel?
-It feels good.
-And do the horses
like doing this do you think?
-They like working.
[Titus] There’s times when we may
feel like just laying in bed all day
or not doing anything
but once you accomplish some useful work
there’s a sense of satisfaction.
You think a job well done, you know?
I think it’s the same with a horse.
They plow that field there,
and we plant corn,
later they get to eat it
when the snow flies.
Or it’s hot and sweaty,
and they’re mowing hay.
-That’s hard work
-But when the snow flies they’ve got
something yummy to munch on in the barn.
-Do you have a girlfriend?
-No, I’m single.
-Do you want a girlfriend?
-I do.
-You do? It’s gonna have to be the right
woman that’s gonna love this lifestyle, right?
-Because you’re not
moving to Atlanta are you?
-No, I just don’t like being in cities.
Like there’s been times
when God told me to go preach in a city
and I’ve gone for that
as soon as I can
get out of there, I’m out.
[hooves clopping]
[machine approaching]
-He likes you, huh, Titus?
-[Peter] Beautiful countryside out here.
-[Titus] It is, it is.
-So do you feel like
you’re missing out on anything right now?
Living out here, is there any one
little thing that you’re like, “Uh…”?
-Uh no, I feel like the people that are
in the city are definitely missing out.
They’re missing out
on the peace and the fresh air.
-I mean it does look like
a romantic lifestyle
in the sense that you’re
living very simply
and you’re connected with nature.
But to do it,
most people can’t hack it out.
I wouldn’t be able to hack it out.
I mean if I had to, I would, I could.
But you gotta work.
-Yeah, but you have to work either way.
Because if you have
all the modern conveniences
then you have to work.
Most people have to
work a set amount of hours
to make sure they have
enough money to pay all those bills.
-And they’re working
most of the time, away from home.
Or they’re at a desk like this
and then later
they’re getting back problems.
So you’re gonna work either way
but I’m gonna work at home.
Yeah, it takes me longer
to wash my laundry, or my dishes,
or take me longer to do
some of the things that need to be done,
I’m working at home in
a peaceful environment where I want to be.
-You want to raise kids out here?
I think the only thing I’m missing really
is someone to share this life with me,
and children, they’d enjoy it.
-Maybe there’s a fine woman
out there in the audience
that wants to meet up with Titus one day.
-I don’t know.
-How do people get in touch with you?
Or you don’t want
to give that information out?
Ah, you can put my phone
and address on there if you want.
I’ll not do address but I would do phone.
-Yeah, that’s fine.
-All right.
-But if somebody calls
they’ll have to leave a message.
-‘Cause it’s a landline phone.
-And so I’m not there
at the phone very much.
I have my phone
in a little shed by the house.
I’ve got an Amish neighbor
that helps me pay the bill,
and we both use the phone.
-Your Amish neighbor
uses the phone, the same number?
-Yes, so you just leave a message
and I call you back.
This is a Mennonite family.
-So they have power?
-They do, yes.
Little fella mowing the lawn.
-You know these guys?
[Titus] Whoa.
[Peter] Oh, beautiful.
[Peter chuckles]
[Peter] What do you learn from animals?
[Titus] Well..
I can answer that question with a story.
I was–
I got Greatheart back in like 2012
so he had never plowed before.
and I was just learning to plow.
So I wasn’t good at it,
the horses weren’t good at it,
and in order to plow
you need to stay really straight,
and one horse
has to walk down in the furrow,
and the other has to walk up on the land.
So as I was plowing
they were getting–
The horse that–
I had Standfast in the furrow,
he kept getting out
and kept on going crooked,
and I was getting so frustrated,
and so angry,
and I was trying to make him walk straight
but they wouldn’t walk straight.
-I was all by myself and so I started
yelling and screaming at him
and just like whipping them.
Just without mercy.
And then I felt–
I felt the Holy Spirit
speak in me and say,
“Titus, if you were married, you would be
treating your wife and children this way.”
-And I said, “Please forgive me,
Father in heaven. Please forgive me.”
And then I felt God telling me,
“Titus, you get out of line,
you don’t always walk
the way you’re supposed to walk.
“How do you think it makes me feel
when you are not walking
in the right path
that you’re supposed to walk in?”
I said, “Wow, that’s right.”
So I asked God, “Please forgive me.”
and then I asked my horses to forgive me.
So horses have
taught me… a lot of patience.
You know?
You can’t expect them to always do
exactly what you tell them to do because
maybe they don’t understand.
They’ve not done it before.
They don’t understand
what you want them to do.
So you learn to be patient.
You learn to take your time to teach them
and then if you’re willing
to put that time, that patience in,
then they’re willing
to serve you with their whole heart.
-When you say God,
you get a message from God?
Walk me through that.
What is that?
Like you actually hear something?
It just naturally happens
through your body?
What do you mean by that?
-Well, like when I was saying
I felt God speaking to me
or the Holy Spirit speaking to me,
I didn’t hear like an audible voice
but it’s this very strong
thought in my mind.
-That I know it’s not just my own thought.
Because naturally in that situation
I was heated up and I was angry,
and all my thoughts were just frustration
of how I couldn’t get this job done.
-And then there’s this
calm thought that comes from God
reasoning with me saying,
“Titus, you’re being
unreasonable with your horses.”
“You need to take a step back.”
-So how…
Well I know the answer already
but spirituality is
super important for your life, right?
-Definitely, definitely.
-You wouldn’t be able
to do this without it?
-I wouldn’t be at peace.
Like I would be afraid.
I would be afraid that
some natural disaster’s gonna come,
and a droughts gonna come or…
-You know?
Some country’s gonna attack or…
Which those things could happen
but I’m at peace now knowing
that I have a Father in heaven
that cares about me
and he’s gonna provide what I need.
-So you… What’s going on in society,
you’re not tuning in to it at all
or are you?
-I hear people talk about
the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia taking over Ukraine,
I hear people talk about it
and I am interested to know
what’s going on around me.
Um, but
there comes a point where you hear
all this negative… information
and you can do nothing at all to stop it.
So… why constantly
feed yourself the negative?
You know, negative information
is kind of like a junk food diet.
If you’re constantly giving yourself
negative, negative, negative,
it’ll wear you down,
it’ll make you sick mentally, emotionally.
It’ll make you sick.
But there’s so much positive,
see this green that God made.
This cool breeze that God made
that’s coming in.
You know, the food that he gives us
that’s healthy, nutritious.
This clean air we breathe.
There’s so much positive
that we can think about
if we’ll thank God
for what he has given us
it’ll change our mental outlook
to where we’re thinking positive
and then if we are healthy
emotionally and mentally
it will also help us
to be physically healthy as well.
-You feel the connection?
You know, we could
worry about things we can’t control?
We could worry about
China taking over the United States.
We could worry about
Russia taking over… that could happen.
The Bible says that
the borrower is servant to the lender.
So we borrowed from China
and if we borrow enough
one day we’ll be China’s servant.
That could happen.
But why should I worry about that
when that’s out of my control?
Just trust God one day at a time,
thank him for what he has given me,
and just live life.
[Titus] This is one of my favorite places
to ride or drive my horse
’cause there’s all these big trees.
It’s been a long time
since they’ve logged this.
So it’s really big trees and there’s
always a really cool breeze coming down,
and then there’s a spring.
There’s spring water that comes down
and sometimes I’ll stop my horse
and just take a drink right along here.
So a hot day like this, it sort of
drops roughly five, ten degrees, huh?
-Yeah, probably.
Maybe more than that,
maybe more like 15 degrees.
[hooves clopping]
[Titus] This is Ruben Troyer.
He does custom saddles and leather work.
He’s a skilled craftsman.
For training horses.
[Peter] Training Tituses?
[both giggling]
[Peter] This is one of
your good friends, right?
[Ruben] Yep.
[Peter] And you’re Swartzentruber Amish?
-That’s the reason your face is blurred.
Because not supposed to show
but you had a story about your arm here
and how you’re working with it.
-Yes, I have…
I guess I’ve been very blessed
with what I still have.
-And how long have you had that?
-Since 1997.
I’ve lived longer with this
than I have with my hand.
…and accepting that the lord
has all controls was the biggest lesson.
-Just literally accepting that
we don’t have any control of what happens.
We can accept and still go on
with what we’ve got.
[Peter] So you’ve been able
to do all your farming work
and you have a saddle shop here, right?
Saddle shop,
and I do some metalwork as well.
We’re overloaded, extremely busy.
If I could find the right person that had
the capability of doing
the fine work that we do–
-I would probably
hire him right on the spot. [laughs]
-It’s hard to find workers right now?
-Yes, it is.
-Sometimes you wonder.
-If we have leadership?
Sometimes it appears like we have none.
-And you Amish out here,
you’re completely self-sufficient,
for the most part.
-For the most part, yeah.
-So what’s going on with the government
doesn’t really bother you
so much directly or does it?
-Not necessarily, no.
[Titus] At this point anyway it’s not.
[Ruben] Right.
I could see a point coming where it will.
If things keep going
with the government as they are
eventually there’s gonna be
a point where…
Where the Amish, or plain people,
or whoever wants to stay
faithful in their Christianity
is gonna be probably harshly tested.
[Peter] You think
Christianity is under threat?
-As of today, not really maybe.
-But eventually I could see it coming
where it will be.
With this COVID coming in
it was wanting to be
but it kinda backed-off.
Not being a threat anymore
[Titus] I think we have
the example of history, you know?
Like in Romania or China.
A person could have a Bible,
they could go to church, all that,
but then when Communism came over,
it was a crime to have a Bible.
It was a crime to preach in the open.
It was a crime to meet
and gather for church.
The government felt like Christians,
their allegiance was to God
first and foremost,
and the Communists wanted their allegiance
to be only to the government.
And so, uh…
You know, we see Socialism
coming into America
and Socialism becomes Communism.
[Peter] You feel that,
more Socialism coming in?
-Yes, there is.
-You’re not watching TV, right?
No, thankfully not. [laughs]
-So how do you feel it then?
Like you just hear it with the stories,
you talk with your friends?
-That and you can tell
by the mentality of the people.
Since this COVID moved in
everybody just gets
up tense and aggravated.
Just kind of nasty attitude to deal with.
-You notice that
even out in the countryside?
-Oh yes, everybody gets
a little stress from it.
-Still even though it’s–
-Well not as much anymore.
But there’s still…
It has happened
and it’s in the back of your mind.
You still know that
eventually something different’s
gonna come in, in the same manner.
[mower blades clanking]
[Peter] So all your kids
know how to do this?
-Ah, he’s just started.
He’s pretty proud
of what he’s able to do. [chuckles]
-Does it make you feel proud
to see him do that as a father?
[Ruben] Yeah, I’m happy that he’s able to,
but yet there’s been so many accidents
with those mowers you’re still on the edge
if you hear something, or this or that.
You’re like, “Ah, what is he doing now?”.
-Did he get hurt or…
-So… but it’s kind of a thing where
you kinda drill safety and then
you kinda have to
loosen the reigns a little bit and kinda
let him try it out and figure it out.
[Peter] This is all
your whole family making these?
[Ruben] Family business, yes.
-And all your employees are behind me,
I’m not gonna turn the camera.
-But they’re making all of these?
-And why are the Amish so good
at craftsmanship and quality?
-I would say that part of it
is early exposure
mentality, focus.
-That’s how you were raised, right?
-Okay, and so you raise your kid the same?
[Titus] It says, “Hand crafted by
Troyer Custom Saddles”
[Peter] You made this for who?
-My youngest boy.
-Oh wow, he must have been so happy
[Ruben chuckles]
-And your right arm, you figured out
how to work with that no problem, huh?
-Oh, we have a few little issues
but nothing major.
-There was some battles with it?
-I did, I struggled
with my own mentality with that.
-But you wouldn’t be doing all this today
if you had stayed in that mindset.
-Oh, no… No.
[hooves clopping]
[Titus] I had broken both my feet
and the doctors
really didn’t give me any hope.
They said that I would probably
have a limp for the rest of my life
and that I would have
back trouble and hip trouble.
-And so I got really, really depressed.
It was like I wanted to work,
I wanted to be productive
but if I would work and be productive
there would be too much pain
and then I wouldn’t have energy.
-And so I really struggled with that.
I’m like 21 years but I’m walking
like I’m a 90-year-old man.
Like I almost need a walker
it just hurts so bad,
and the doctors have
given me no hope of really improvement.
And I just felt like
I can’t keep living and go on this way.
And so I planned to ride my horse
up to an area here called Greenover Knob.
Where there’s a cliff,
and I was planning just riding up there,
saying my goodbye to my horse,
and just jump off the cliff.
-And then I wouldn’t have to
deal with the pain and just all that.
I wasn’t planning to
tell anybody what was going on.
I didn’t tell anybody what I was gonna do.
That is what I was planning to do.
And then if it hadn’t been for
Jesus’ intervention in my life
and him speaking in my mind,
I woulda just done it.
One of the things
that God spoke in my mind was,
“Titus, if you would do that
it would hurt your mother so much.”
And that changed the focus
from me thinking about
life is too hard for me to go on to
how would this decision…
hurt somebody else?
And so it changed my focus.
And so…
And then I prayed,
and I was begging God please show me.
Am I gonna be healed to where
I can work and be functional or…
Or not? Because I need to know.
And the lord told me,
“You will be healed.”
So today there are times when I struggle
with some pain in my right foot.
-But for the most part
I don’t have any pain.
For the most part
it just doesn’t bother me.
I’m able to work hard or able to go.
So that was really
a struggle I went through
and to the viewers that are watching this
if you’re thinking about ending your life
don’t do it.
-There’s something better, there’s hope.
-Go to your father and have him in prayer
and Jesus will make
a way for you to go on.
[Titus] Whoa.
[horse and buggy passes]
[Peter] Old Order Amish
or Swartzentruber?
-That’s Mennonite.
-How do you know?
-By the design of the buggy.
The Mennonites have a square box.
-And they have rubber tires,
and they have
an orange triangle on the back.
-Amish won’t do the orange triangle?
And the Amish buggies,
their box is built at the bottoms
it goes like this at the bottom.
-And they have steel wheels.
So if that was an Amish buggy
it would be louder.
-I had no idea Kentucky
was so beautiful to be honest.
I came from Eastern Kentucky,
Harlan County with some coal miners.
That’s like really deep Appalachia.
Then down here is more rolling hills..
We’re sort of on
the edge of Appalachia, right?
-Totally different feel
but equally beautiful in its own right.
♪ somber country ♪
[Titus] Spider just caught a fly.
That’s one less fly
to persecute my horses.
-You’re in an alliance with the spiders?
-You guys team up, they help out?
-They’re definitely my friends.
[Titus] This is one of
the Amish school houses.
-So Ruben’s kids go here?
There’s about 12 children
that go to this school.
-Twelve kids, all ages, right?
-Yeah, they have grades one through eight.
-This is the parking
at an Amish school house?
-Yes, during rainy weather and things
they’ll tie a horse up in there.
They’re storing some firewood
there in the one stall but…
Often times they walk
when the weather is good.
That’s like a three mile walk.
Six miles a day.
-Three miles?
-And a big hill too.
-Wow, so they legitimately can say
“I walked to school, uphill, three miles.”
-[giggling] Yeah.
[Peter] Guys, it’s quite surreal out here,
such beautiful country in Kentucky.
So peaceful.
So removed.
So wholesome.
I get it, Titus.
I’m not saying I can live it,
but I respect it and admire it.
It’s definitely more
pure lifestyle than most of us live.
-I’m really blessed
to be able to live here… really am.
[birds chirping]
[Titus softly] Back.
This is Standfast, and he
helps me to be an amateur gymnast,
and I have a lot of fun with him.
So I’ll show you
the funnest way to mount a horse.
[horse snorts]
[Titus] Ooh.
Ooh… ho.
And then I’ll show you, for me,
this is the funnest way to dismount.
[Peter giggling]
[Peter] She just cools herself down, huh?
My wife will love this.
What’s up?
-[Peter] Ah, you’re so sweet.
[Titus giggling]
[Titus singing gospel]
♪ My long life’s pathway, dark despair ♪
♪ Our broken-hearted bow down with care ♪
♪ I met a savior and I knew him there ♪
♪ And he filled that longing
down in my soul ♪
♪ I searched for him ♪
♪ But I knew not what I longed for ♪
♪ I longed for him ♪
♪ But I knew not what I longed for ♪
♪ Till I met Jesus ♪
♪ I knew that I would search no more ♪
♪ He filled that longing down in my soul ♪
[stream flowing]
[Titus] This is milkweed right here.
I’m trying to let it grow up
wherever I can
’cause the monarch butterfly,
it’s one of the only plants
that the monarch butterfly will feed on.
-And the monarch is going extinct.
Like I remember when I was little
we saw monarchs all over the place.
Every summer I ‘member seeing monarchs
and now they’re going extinct.
So I’m trying to leave these
to give ’em some food and some flowers.
-[Peter] Home made scarecrow?
-[Titus] Yeah.
-Does this work?
-I tried it.
I had a straw hat on this one
and it worked for a half day.
‘Cause the crows
recognize me with a straw hat.
So they stayed away for about a half day.
The other one,
I had a black felt hat on that one
and I only wear
the felt hat in the winter time
and they’re not around
much in the winter time.
So that one didn’t work at all.
And this worked for half a day.
The crows, they want
to come to non-GMO organic corn.
And when it’s about this tall
they’ll come and pull it out
and they’ll eat that soft sprouted kernel.
-Is that a tick?
-Yes, that’s a tick.
That is a tick.
-So those are
the little Lyme’s disease factories, huh?
-My understanding is
there’s a tick that has a dot on the back
and the ones that have a dot on the back
are the ones that carry Lyme’s disease,
and the other ticks don’t
So this one doesn’t have
the dot on its back.
[Titus] We have kind of like
a drive-thru fast food right here.
[Peter] Drive-thru fast food,
this is your McDonald’s drive-up window?
-[both laughing]
-You can just drive by, grab it, and go.
So I don’t have
any form of identification.
Like no driver’s license,
no ID, nothing like that.
And then God called me
to go preach in Nashville, Tennessee.
And I was like,
“Okay, Father in heaven, if you want me to go,
you’ll provide the transportation.”
So I started walking from here and…
Like from here to Nashville,
if you get a straight ride there
it’s about three hours.
-And I had seven different rides.
And I got there in three and a half hours.
-Just putting the thumb out?
-So hitchhiking is still alive for you?
-Not a problem?
-One time I was going to Tennessee,
and a state trooper stopped,
and he asked me questions,
and I told him where I’m going.
And he’s like, “So… do you have any
dangerous or concealed weapons on you?”
And I was like,
“I have a pocket knife, does that count?”
He’s like,
“No, that doesn’t count, get in.”
I was sitting there and I was like,
“Oh no… where are we going?”
He didn’t tell me
what’s happening, you know?
So I’m riding along
and then he got on his radio
and I was like, “What’s going on?”
And then he’s like,
“I patrol about a ten mile range here.”
He said, “So, I’m talking you
as far as my range is,
but I radioed ahead to tell my buddies
that if they see you walking or whatever
pick you up and give you a ride.”
And I was like,
“Thank you, mister officer.”
So then he drops me off at this exit
and I was standing
on the ramp praying for a ride.
And then this city police shows up
and he’s like, “Are you hitchhiking?”
He said, “Hitchhiking is illegal
in the State of Kentucky.”
And I thought, “Oh no, if I say no
then that’s kind of like a lie.”
If I say “No, I’m not hitchhiking.”
but if I say yes
then I’m incriminating myself.
So the Holy Spirit
gave me an answer that I needed.
I said, “Officer, I am prepared to walk
and I am prepared to ride.”
He asked the same question twice
and I gave him the same answer.
He looked me up and down and he’s like,
“I could take you in
but you look like you’re okay.”
“You have to stay on the state highways.”
So I was like okay,
but I didn’t know my way.
I was like, “Please, Father in heaven
give me a ride soon.”
Then I got a ride real quick
then I was gone.
-Do you hitchhike with bare feet?
-In the summertime, yes.
But not in the wintertime.
It’s not healthy
to go barefoot in the wintertime.
-No driver’s, license, no ID,
what about social security card?
-I don’t have one.
My parents did establish
a social security number for me
and the card said,
“Not valid unless signed.”
So I never signed it
and then I studied the issue,
and I decided to revoke
my social security number.
[Peter laughing]
-So in a way, you don’t exist?
And I had a birth certificate
but there was a flood and it washed away.
So I don’t have that either.
I don’t exist
in the eyes of the government
but I do exist in the lives
of the people that know me
and my Father in heaven.
I have no clue what happened to Titus.
He took off somewhere out there.
But I know I can call him.
So I’ll just give it a shot here.
[phone ringing]
[Peter surprised] Oh!
-Hello, Titus.
-This is the office?
-So this is where
you take all the landline calls?
-So you gotta come
out of the house if someone calls?
-So why do you have
the phone out of the house?
-Didn’t want the distraction?
-Like if I’m studying
my Bible or something
I don’t want to be interrupted.
Just, I come out here to check messages.
When it’s convenient for me
on my schedule I come and then I’m going.
-This is how you get your water?
-Yes, I got a little gutter
on the back of this shed here
and it just fills up
this rain barrel and I just dip it out.
-No filter?
-Mhm-mm, no.
This is Jerusalem artichokes.
Some people call them fartichokes
because you havea lot of gas when you eat ’em.
I’ve got corn, and pumpkin, and beans.
And you can see
the beans are climbing up the corn there.
The Indians called corn,
beans, and squash, the three sisters.
Because they grow really peacefully,
they grow really well together.
Corn needs a lot of nitrogen,
and so the beans take nitrogen
out of the air and fix it into the soil
where the corn can get it.
The beans need something to climb on
to keep ’em off the ground.
The corn provides support for the beans
and then your pumpkins, or squash,
or melons, they vine out through there,
and they will shade the soil,
and that will help to conserve moisture
and suppress the weeds.
They’re like three sisters
that live well together.
Here’s my bee hive.
-So these bees here
make your food way better?
-Oh, yeah.
-So that’s key, huh?
To the production here?
-Yeah, definitely better pollination.
-Do you ever read, Titus?
-Yes, I like to read my Bible
and I like to read history.
-What historical period
or what interests you?
-I’m very interested to read
the history of Cuba, and Europe,
and how at one time they had freedom,
and how one time the prospered,
and then how Socialism
and Communism took over,
and then how they lost their freedom.
I was reading
an interesting story about
a man in Romania
that risked his life to smuggle Bibles in.
I also like to read biographies
of people writing their experience.
How they grew up or their stories.
I read a book recently
about a man that was
in the genocide in Rwanda
between the Hutus and the Tutsis
and how they grabbed him
and they were gonna put him to death,
and they’re like, “Dig your grave.”
So he was digging his own grave
and then he said,
“Before I dig my own grave
can I preach to you?”
And one said,
“No, no, no, you can’t preach.”
and the other leader said,
“Yeah, go ahead,
preach a sermon before you die.”
And then as he was preaching
he felt the Holy Spirit come on him
and then eventually they just let him go.
They said, “You leave, you go.”
So that’s amazing that he wrote
his whole story, just fascinating.
Those who do not learn from the mistakes
of history are doomed to repeat them.
-Who’s famous quote is that?
-That’s a good question, I don’t know.
-Do you know, Peter?
-No, I forget who said that.
-Definitely true.
-Well why don’t we pause a minute
and thank our creator?
-Father, we wanted to tell you that
we’re so grateful that provided this food
that’s so fresh and good.
We ask that you would bless it
and you would guide us
in our thoughts,
our words, our conversations.
We ask that you would be here too with us.
We thank you
and we’re asking in Jesus’ name, Amen.
I don’t think I’ve had
greens to plate so quickly,
maybe in my life, Titus.
[Titus giggles]
-Oh, yeah… [chewing] Oh yeah.
-It’s a short distance…
from that garden to here.
-Your kale has such a short commute.
-And you don’t eat meat at all, right?
-Eggs or animal products?
-Just a plant-based diet.
One of the reasons is
because when God made Adam and Eve
he put them on a plant-based diet.
So clean meats are allowed
but it wasn’t God’s original intention.
And another reason why
is because it makes sense from a…
Like a standpoint of
being able to supply the world with food.
So… if we took, say, a cow…
-Feed it ten pounds of grain.
Then when we would butcher it
we would get one pound of meat back.
So… obviously if you compared
the calories food value
between one pound of meat,
one pound of grain,
calorie value per pound
would be a lot higher with the meat.
-But if you have
one pound of meat over here
and you have
ten pounds of grain over here,
the calories in the grain is a lot higher
than in the meat over here.
And Albert Einstein said that…
I’m not quoting it exactly
but the idea that he said was
if everyone would go
on a plant-based diet,
that would save
the world’s starvation problem.
What people put in their body
is their choice, it’s not up to me
to take that choice away from them.
-I can just tell people how good I feel
on a plant-based diet.
You saw me climbing up the rope,
and climbing trees, and everything.
-You know, it def–
-Yeah, keep doing what you’re doing.
-It’s working for sure, yeah.
-It definitely works.
-And like growing up,
I never had soda pop,
never ate any eggs, never drank any milk.
-You grew up
in a very religious home, right?
-So you just kept it going?
-Mm-hmm, yep.
-You didn’t phase out of it
like a lot of kids.
I grew up going to church
but I don’t go to church anymore.
-You know, if you mean by religious,
lots of forms, and lots of ceremonies,
no, that’s not really me.
But as far as, like, reading my Bible…
Going to the Bible
looking for advice or wisdom,
that’s definitely, definitely me.
Going to God in prayer,
asking him to help me, give me wisdom,
that’s definitely a daily thing.
-So wouldn’t you say
the Bible makes life easy
in the sense that it’s just
basically a guidebook of how to live?
-Sort of like an instruction manual.
-Here’s what to do and what not to do.
If you’re someone like me,
who I respect the Bible.
It’s teachings are amazing.
Culture in general lives off
many of the principles of the Bible
even if someone’s not religious, they’re
living off the ten commandments basically.
Like you’re not supposed to steal.
Do unto others that you want done to you.
-Basic tenants of society.
-You have it easy in the sense
that that’s your guidebook.
I don’t follow it word for word.
So a lot of my compass
is internal through my experience
and there’s some trial and error.
I mean at this age
a lot of things are sort of baked-in.
-Right? Sorta grounded.
-But I do always want
to be able to question things
and explore things, and be creative.
So for me,
a rigid outline is a bit daunting.
And I respect the Bible,
I respect religious people.
Like I totally get it 100%.
And this will probably sound
very confused to a religious person.
In ten years
I don’t know exactly where I’ll be,
and that to me is the adventure of life.
But I’ll tell you what, I used to sort of
look down on religion… in a way.
I’m like,
“How does someone believe a book that’s
that’s newer than
some redwood trees in California?”
‘Cause really it is, there are
redwood trees older than Christ.
And then I did my first videos
were in Ukraine in the countryside
and I lived with a family
who were refugees
basically from a big conflict in 2014.
Russian missile hits
their apartment building,
they moved to the countryside,
had nothing.
Actually living in a similar way.
Your definitely producing more good crops.
They were in a dryer climate but
I saw how religion
kept their family together
and how it was a guide.
He used to be a street fighter, he was
a drunk, really going down the wrong…
He was like a bad apple in that sense.
-And then religion… is the guide.
And he doesn’t do drugs, and he doesn’t
fight, and he’s very much about family.
And then that opened my eyes to,
okay, that’s a beautiful thing.
These people,
without religion would be living
much worse of a life than with it.
I think that’s the beauty,
we can hang out,
we don’t have to believe the same thing
and can have an awesome time.
-God definitely did
create people with the power to choose.
-Mm-hmm, yeah.
Titus, we gonna do some creek side dining?
-Yeah, it’s cooler here than on the porch.
-Titus, you got a call.
-They can leave a message.
-So you have
an old school messaging machine?
-You ever have a cell phone?
Never did.
-You’re untraceable, untrackable, Titus.
You’re such a bad consumer.
[both laughing]
You’re really…
You’re terrible
for any marketing campaign.
If they can break through to Titus
then they know they have a hit.
[both chuckling]
-Somebody called me on my landline phone.
-And they were trying
to sell me a security system.
[Peter laughs]
-And… I told them
I’ve got a security system that works
better than the one your selling.
And it’s free,
would you like to learn about it?
My Bible tells me that
the angels surround as people.
So I have angels
that are a security system here.
She’s like, “Oh, okay.”
and then she hung up.
[Peter chuckling] She hung up on you?
-I had a–
-This is tasty by the way, fantastic.
-Thank you.
-It’s simple.
-Simple but flavorful.
See the beauty of when
you grow vegetables like this
and I’m so disconnected from it
everything tastes much more
flavorful and vibrant
and better texture,
and you can feel your food.
Instead of like I got some arugula
last night from the grocery store.
Just ’cause I was craving some greens.
I ate it and it was just this dead green.
You could tell there were
no nutrients in it, it was grown indoors.
You know, not the same obviously.
-Coulda been hydroponically grown.
-It was, yeah.
-In a way, your life,
you’re doing everything…
I know it’s through God’s will
but you’re doing everything
very independently.
Like, you are extremely self-sufficient.
Like if the power grid goes out
or supply chains get messed with
or whatever happens.
Some 10x level pandemic
of what we just had.
You are like…
you’re fine out here for a while.
So you’re very much on your own
but because you believe in God
a lot of the stresses
of what potentially could happen
aren’t necessarily yours.
You don’t take those on to yourself.
I’m just trying to think
through your thought process
and therefore, that gives you
more of a stress-free life.
-Fair to say?
-Definitely, definitely.
[stream flowing]
[Titus] Fresh from the garden.
[birds chirping]
-This tree is made for relaxing on, huh?
-Yeah, it is.
-It contours your back.
-Yeah, it just…
It’s like a perfect made little seat.
-Oh yeah, that’s like childhood.
Check that out.
-I planted these strawberries this spring.
A friend of mine has
a big strawberry patch.
And she gave me some plants,
she was thinning them out.
Jesus really blessed them.
Because consistently I’ve been
getting a lot more strawberries
than what I expected for the first year.
And they’ve been just super sweet.
Just really good.
-Let me ask you this.
What do you think people say,
let’s just call it the outside,
not living around here,
not understand about your lifestyle
or your way of looking at things?
-Maybe some people would be like,
“Why would somebody
want to work that hard?”
-Or maybe that’s what they–
I don’t know.
I mean maybe there’s
a lot of different perspectives
or maybe somebody looking
from the outside looking in would be like,
“Wow, so peaceful.
I wish I could live like that.”
I mean it would take
some time to learn the skills.
You know?
Eat ’em up, brother.
And it gives you the freedom
and the flexibility
to like, if your neighbor’s
house burns down
then you got the freedom to go
and just spend a few days
helping them rebuild.
♪ somber country ♪

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