live off the land

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live off the land

To survive by eating what can be foraged, hunted, or grown in nature. Stranded in a remote part of the wilderness, we were forced to live off the land until a rescue team arrived. She had a burning desire to move out of the city and start living off the land on a tiny farm somewhere in the countryside.
See also: land, live, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

live off the land

to live by eating only the food that one produces from the land; to survive by gathering or stealing food, fruits, berries, eggs, etc., while traveling through the countryside. We lived off the land for a few years when we first started out farming. The homeless man wandered about, living off the land.
See also: land, live, off
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

live off the land (or the country)

live on whatever food you can obtain by hunting, gathering, or subsistence farming.
1995 Empire Harrison Ford is the frazzled father who ups his family from cosy suburbia in an effort to live off the land, get back to nature, etc.
See also: land, live, off
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

live off the ˈland

eat whatever food you can grow, kill or find yourself: Having grown up on a farm, Jack was more used to living off the land than the rest of the group.
See also: land, live, off
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
In this capacity, Birch worked primarily behind enemy lines and lived off the land under conditions that most common soldiers would have found unendurable.
Being honest men--or at least prudent, aware that if recaptured they would likely be executed--the soldiers instead retreated to a remote White Mountain pond, where they lived off the land until after the war.
Maroons lived off the land, fishing and hunting, or openly worked for sawmill owners.
The Apache people, who for thousands of years lived off the land, were also harder to kill than "a house full of cockroaches." (An interesting comparison--Freud would be amused.) They lived in harmony with the Earth and though they seemed "primitive" to pioneers, they lived content lives and were able to produce all they needed with the resources they had at hand.
The regulations would for the first time define the term "traditional activities." The term was incorporated, though never explicitly defined, in the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act to protect the rights of residents and individuals who have historically lived off the land. The statute's language suggests that traditional activities meant subsistence hunting, berrypicking, fishing, and travel to and from villages, but snowmobile enthusiasts insist the term includes activities such as camping, hiking, and photography, and that snowmobiles should be permitted as a means to pursue these interests.