Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Independence days challenge

I have been following the Angela over at The high desert chronicles for a while. I am in very interested and somewhat jealous of her homesteading. Anyway I have been inspired to join in the Friday independence day challenge. Rather than retype in my own words I have taken this from Angela's blog- she says it all way better than I could. The Independence day challenge originally came from the Chatelaine's Keys

Independence Challenge is all about:

“The whole idea is to get the positive sense of your accomplishments – it is easy to think we haven’t done anything to move forward, but in fact, we all do, almost every day. We just think of accomplishment as a big thing – a whole day spent putting up applesauce or a hundred tomato plants. The Independence Day project makes us count our little accomplishments and see that we are moving forward. So for each week, tell us what you have done in the following categories:

Plant something: A lot of us were trained to think of planting as done once a year, but if you start seeds, do season extension and succession plant, you’ll get much, much more out of your garden, so I try and plant something every day from February into September.

Harvest something: Everything counts – from the milk and eggs you get from your animals to the first dandelions from your yard to 50 bushels of tomatoes – it all counts.

Preserve something: Again, I find preserving is most productive if I try and do a little every day that there is anything, from the first dried raspberry leaves and jarred rhubarb to the last squashes at the end of the season.

Waste not: Reducing food waste, composting everything or feeding it to animals, reducing your use of disposables and creation of garbage, reusing things that would otherwise go to waste, making sure your preserved and stored foods are kept in good shape – all of these count.

Want Not: Adding to your food storage or stash of goods for emergencies, building up resources that will be useful in the long term.

Eat the Food: Making full and good use of what you have, making sure that you are getting everything you can from your food, trying new recipes and new cooking ideas, eating out of your storage!

Build community food systems: What have you done to help other people have better food access or to make your local food system more resilient?

And a new one: Skill up: What did you learn this week that will help you in the future – could be as simple as fixing the faucet or as hard as building a shed, as simple as a new way of keeping records or as complicated as making shoes. Whatever you are learning, you get a merit badge for it – this is important stuff.

OK, you can sign up in comments, publicise on your blog and tell the world – let’s see what we can get done!

Happy Independence Days!”

So here is my first entry for a Friday Independence day.

1.Plant something I have put my potatoes around to chit, ahead of planting them. Also planted some tomato seeds, pea seeds and mixed lettuce seeds they are in the kitchen window pots, will plant them out in a while when it stops being so cold.

2. Harvest something I haven;t harvested anything this week, mostly because I haven't been to the allotment, am hoping to get there this weekend.

3.Preserve something I have dried and stored some bay leaves and rosemary from the allotment. See picture at top of page.

4.Waste not I have covered some old shoe boxes to make pretty storage boxes for Stephanie

5.Want not erm can't think of anything to fit in this category- perhaps next week!

6. Eat the food

I have been trying to ensure that I have breakfast, with my porridge each morning I have been eating Jam I made last summer from foraged blackberries and apples from the allotment.

7.Build community food systems I haven't given anything away this weekend- does it count that I gave my aunt bay and rosemary the other week?

8.Skill up something learnt this week? Where some amazing fabric shops are ahead of the sewing list Stephanie has given me.

This challenge has helped me to really consider what I am doing as the week goes by. Hopefully there will be more to fill each section up as get better at considering what I do.


  1. Hi Sarah!
    You're doing a lot of great stuff! I look forward to seeing more of what you do each week.

    Now I'm gonna poke around your site to catch up on what I've been missing. :)

    1. Hi,
      Thanks for popping over. Am rather in awe of your homestead- not something that is possible for me. I make do with my postage stamp garden and 1/2 size plot at the allotment. I just about manage those :-)

  2. Hiya Sarah! I found you through Angels'a blog! I'm glad you're jumping on the weekly challenge! Isn't it fun???

    I think giving away your bay and rosemary totally counts :-)

    here's my post for the week:

    I'm going to continue looking through you past posts and see what you've been up to :-)

    1. Hi! thanks for stopping by enjoy your stay ;-)
      Am just popping over to your blog for a nosey...