Self Reliance Challenge ~ May 2018
31 Days to a More Self Reliant Life
Are you interested in being self reliant? Living a more simple life? Growing and preserving your own food? Then you are in good company! Join me and my blogging friends as we share posts this month to help you:
- Save money and energy
- Raise animals for meat, eggs, and dairy
- Grow fresh food in your own garden and orchard
- Cook healthy meals from scratch
- Hunt and fish to provide for your table
- Create your own bath and body products
- Preserve the bounty of your homestead
- Forage for wild edibles and medicinal plants
- Provide a healthy life for your family and pets
- Take on DIY and home craft projects
- Prepare for emergencies
- Live an abundantly simple life!
Each blogger has a wealth of information already and I’m looking forward to reading all of their self reliance plans and posts this month. I hope you will follow them too.
I’ve been on a quest to live a more self sufficient lifestyle for years. How did it all start?
I Grew Up This Way!
My family grew a garden, raised beef and pork, had chickens and ducks, baled hay, picked wild edibles, went to local orchards for seasonal produce, and preserved the extras each year. I had horses and 400 acres to roam around (we lived at the edge of my grandparents’ farm) and I loved it!
I grew up and went away to school, got married and lived in urban and suburban settings for many years. But everywhere I lived I put in some sort of a garden and grew a little fresh food for our table. I baked bread, got to know the U-pick farms, made jam, and went camping and hiking.
Raising My Own Family
After my son was born I wanted him to grow up knowing how to raise your own fresh veggies and forage for wild edibles. I raised rabbits for meat, started canning and preserving in earnest, and started learning to identify more wild food sources. We homeschooled and many of our lessons revolved around living a more simple life. Basic survival skills were woven into our nature walks and camping trips.
After the housing collapse we moved from our suburban homestead (which I didn’t even know was a thing) to a 1 acre property so that we could keep chickens and raise even more of our food. It really has been an adventure!
What Have I Already Done To Be More Self Reliant?
- Gardening to produce many of the vegetables we eat
- Growing some fruits and foraging for wild apples
- Starting garden seedlings indoors
- Composting our kitchen waste
- Keeping chickens for eggs and meat
- Raising turkeys for meat
- Raising ducks for meat and eggs
- Foraging for wild edibles
- Making some foods from scratch (yogurt, granola, baking and cooking from scratch)
- Preserving the harvest
- Ordering from buying clubs (maybe not self reliant, but it helps stretch our dollars)
- Heating/cooking with wood stove
What Hasn’t Worked So Well For Our Homestead?
- Keeping Goats
- Tending an Orchard (disease and damage from rabbits have killed some of our trees)
- Cutting Firewood – most of our wood must be purchased
- Last year was not productive/self reliant due to health issues
What Do I Want to Accomplish During The Self Reliance Challenge?
- Go Fishing at least once this month
- Additional Foraging – Identify 4 new plants
- Plant my main garden by the end of the challenge
- Extend garden season – grow early greens in a cold frame
- Freeze greens for winter
- Raise meat chickens and new batch of layers – first month
- Pick up Broad Breasted turkeys from farm
- Stretch chicken feed with homemade and homegrown options
- ‘Low Buy’ month – buy very little from the grocery store
- Place buying club order
- Cook at least one meal each week from our pantry/home canned goods
- Make herbal hand salve from scratch
I will probably think of more things to add to my challenge along the way! I’m also thinking a lot these days about my long term self reliance goals and I’ll share more about that during the challenge. But for now, lets’ get started on this Self Reliance Challenge!
Last night I cooked up a pan of mixed wild greens and perennial veggies from my garden to kick off my challenge. They tasted great with a little honey mustard sauce drizzled over the top.
Today I am working in my garden: planting peas, digging more beds, watering the cold frame, and maybe transplanting my tomato seedlings into larger pots under lights.
Check back next week to read what I’ve accomplished and (maybe?) what I have failed at. In the mean time, I hope you will stop by and say Hi to the other bloggers who are joining in the Self Reliance Challenge with me and let them know you found them here!
AnnMarie – 15 Acre Homestead
Nancy – Nancy On The Homefront
Kathi – Oak Hill Homestead
Robin – A Life in the Wild
Candy – Candy’s Farm House Pantry
Farmgal – Just another Day on the Farm
Ashley – Practical Self Reliance
ShawnaLee – Homegrown Self Reliance
Frank – My Green Terra
Maria – Maria Zannini
What Are Your Self Reliance Goals?
Now it’s your turn! Please share a comment and tell us about your self reliance goals, dreams, what you are doing already, tips for being more self reliant, or suggestions for me as I challenge myself this month!
In addition to writing for her own websites, Lisa has contributed articles to The Prepper Project and Homestead.org.
The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.