Self Sufficiency Challenge
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  1. #1
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Default Self Sufficiency Challenge

    For the month of September, I'd like to try, every day, to do one thing that advances my ability to rely on my own resources, rather than others, for my existence.

    Not sure what I'll do each day. Some days might be as simple as collecting eggs from my chickens or produce from my trees. Some days might be learning to make soap or starting a knitting project. It should be a challenge to come up with something everday, but not, I think, an insurmountable one.

    I'll post my results, and if anyone else cares to join me, I'd love to hear their projects (and possibly steal some of them to do myself!).

  2. #2
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Okay, my project today is to plant a window herb garden. I have a bank of windows that face southwest, so the whole livingroom acts as a huge greenhouse in the winter. I have seeds for parsley, oregano, dandelion, basil, chives, and cilantro, so I'll start there.

    Pics to follow upon completion!!

  3. #3
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Rather than starting from scratch, I reconstituted some of the herbs that I planted this spring, but that I had allowed to get a little out of shape. I also planted cilantro, basil, and some dwarf carrots. So my little window garden now has: flat leaf parsley, Italian and Greek oregano, basil, sage, dandelion, cilantro, and carrots. I have rosemary, thyme, and chives growing on the deck. I did have dill, but it went to seed, and I don't really have a lot of use for it.

    (Just noticed there aren't any gardening smilies out there!)
    Last edited by madhen; 09-01-2008 at 01:29 PM.

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  5. #4
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Today was a little harder, because I had to head into work. I did collect five eggs from my hens this morning, and I read up on how to make soap, which I am going to try this weekend. I also refreshed my alkaline battery stockpile, getting a few more of each size.

    My indoor herb garden has responded to a little TLC (pruning and fertilizing) and already looks perkier.
    Last edited by madhen; 09-02-2008 at 09:54 PM.

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    Well I will join in if ok. Today I bought jars to do some canning with my veggies from CSA.

    I am hopefully tomorrow will give me 6 jars of pickles and several jars of tomatoe sauce

  7. #6
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    The more, the merrier. I was beginning to feel like I was on an island out here!

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Default Is it soap yet?

    Beginnings of my soap-making adventure....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Self Sufficiency Challenge-soap1.jpg  


  9. #8
    Registered User VanVivCam's Avatar
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    Default

    I just wanted to say good luck and I am looking forward to reading your journey.

  10. #9
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Today, I cleared out my junk drawer and converted it to a supply drawer: paper, pens, stapler, tape, stamps, etc.

    I also went in search of a "pantry" area in my somewhat cluttered and non-space-generous home. I found a spot in the dogs' room, and even already have some racks set up in there from a previous project!

    Today I will try to put together a rational grocery list to keep within my budget but also to start my stockpile.

    Collected ONE egg from the hens. Going to have to start taking a whip to them! In all fairness, one was apparently sitting on a clutch, and I didn't want to disturb her. I'll check later today, and there may be as many as three or four eggs in there.

    Am starting to think about trying to set up a permanent asparagus bed to transplant my container asparagus. I'll have to bomb proof it against the ground squirrels, if I do.

    Staring at the window herb garden, willing the carrot seeds to sprout....
    Last edited by madhen; 09-03-2008 at 02:04 PM.

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    Fun! Count me in!

    I have been trying to put together a pantry in my laundry room for a couple of months. I had a pathetic little one made from cinder blocks and planks (that was terribly attractive ). But! Two weeks ago, my in-laws came to visit and surprised us with a beautiful six-shelf, floor-to-ceiling metal pantry from Costco. Yay!

    So far, I have jars of dried beans, rice, wheat berries, grains, pasta... and lots of cans and other supplies. I have a long ways to go, but it's a start!

    I also purchased a dozen hens last spring (one went to the giant coop in the sky) which are due to start laying any day.

    I am also hoping to put in several cool weather veggies like cabbage, peas and garlic.

    Last, my DD15 and I are learning to quilt.

    I am looking forward to hearing what you all are up to!

  12. #11
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Very cool, cwag31! I need to start planning my winter garden as well. I have a lot of lettuce seeds, but I've never had good luck with any varieties of lettuce. I'm going to try it as a container plant this time. Also have some peas that I saved from this year's heirloom plants (Blaushokker and Progress), so they'll need to go in, as soon as either my tomatoes or squash plants give up and die on me. No room otherwise!! They are looking a little leggy, so if I start the seeds now, there will probably be room when the time comes to transplant.

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    Lets see today I froze green beans, zuchini, and beets. Didn't get to the pickles but I found a new unpicked blackberry bush so they are set to freeze or can

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I have a blackberry bush in a pot on my deck. It has traveled with me for the past ten years, and I leave a little offshoot of it whenever I pack up and go. I need to find out when the best time is to graft some new plants off of it. It is a thorny kind, but it has the greatest berries! Because I just have the one plant, the berries all get eaten fresh - not enough left over to preserve!!

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    How do you get that offshoot. Ugh I am so new to this all and I want to take the 3 or 4 or 5 that we have and transplant them to the side of the house and out of the woods and then add a few more to completely cover the side of the house.

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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    Default Becoming a backyard farmer

    I"m going to join you!

    So far I've put up 24 pints of apple jelly, 22 of apple preserves, and will be making applesauce soon, from my one and only apple tree.

    In the next few weeks, I'll be cultivating what little my garden produced(didn't plant much, got distracted), and will be grating and freezing succhini for sweet breads this winter, and *might* even have a giant pumpkin. I'm going to have some tomatoes, but not enough to can. That's ok.

    I have a goal of becoming a backyard farmer. I know..lol. But I know for at least the next 15 to 20 years we aren't moving out of the city. It's really a shame that so much land in most cities lays covered in lawn. People are upset that there's less and less land for agriculture, but if they put the minds to it, just some dedicated space can go a long long way in solving some of the space.

    I need to look into our bylaws, I'd love to have a little chicken coop. Just a few for eggs.

    But I was going to get my teeth bleached.... and I decided to invest that money into design my edible landscape. I am actually meeting with a landscape designer, and we are planning my yard. He has a yard here in the city, that is amazing!!! Even with dedicating space to a play yard, he produces lots of fruit, and veggies, for his family and *SELLS* the surplus. The fee is only a little more than my teeth bleaching..lol. So I'm going to continue saving and pay for that. He won't do the work, can't afford that! But he will make the plan for me, and spend some time in teaching me how to improve our soil, how to companion plant etc. Make the most of the space available. I'm waiting to hear back from him. I'm very excited! Plus my FIL told me he could build me a barn shaped shed. Which I'd have the kids bike rack in there, and my gardening tools, on the sides we'll do a chain link fence for the fake chicken coop, letvines grow over it, to disguise the woodpile that will be stored behind. I can't wait! I have a vision, but need help. I recently found out I can grow so much more here than I thought possible. So I want to do what I can. We are staging it over a few years. But I'm going to have edible landscape!!! WOOOHOOO

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