Using qualitative methodologies to explore subsistence food production in Chicago, this paper suggests that producers are becoming more acquainted with the ecological conditions of their existence, thereby countering the logic of the capitalist food system which inherently distances and alienates. Some of the reported practices of subsistence food production include: composting, water saving/reduction, food localization, closed-loop nutrient cycling, soil remediation, and promoting biological diversity. This research suggests that those seeking to study positive human-environment innovation should look beyond those that simply identify as political environmentalists. We must begin to look at populations that are marginalized by the relatively privileged environmentalist community in order to learn about important directions in sustainable futures.