Bringing Back the Independence Days Challenge

Sharon January 18th, 2012

Ok, folks, I’ve decided I seriously miss the Independence Days challenge – I really need that little kick in the pants to write down everything I accomplish on the homestead.  Am I the only one?  Anyone else want to see it back?

I’m debating expanding the categories a bit to cover non-food related sustainability activities, but I don’t want it to get too unwieldy – I’d welcome thoughts on how to do so, or what you’d like to see.

I’m also going to push the “challenge” part of this harder and publicize it more – after all, this is just plain fun stuff, right?



41 Responses to “Bringing Back the Independence Days Challenge”

  1. Kate says:

    I miss it, too! I never participated “online” but it definitely spurred projects in my real life.

  2. risa says:

    Yes, please. Though we might be having a less productive year here as my parents are going to need me in Florida a lot, I think. I think this is one of your important activities — it lights a lasting fire under us all somehow — as if you were the drummer on a galley (how’s that for an image)!

  3. Marcella says:

    I never participated online either but I’d like to see it back and I’d like to participate this time.

  4. Lisa in MN says:

    YES! Bring it back. I love the goals and the outcome from these activities.

  5. Nicole says:

    I think you could drop “Eat the Food” — after all, the harvest and preservation category are already there and they kind of cover the root cellar. Or could.

    I think “Build Community Food Systems” should just be “Community Building.” It can include food systems, but also other activities we do to contribute to a stronger and thriving local community.

    For a new category, I’d suggest “Reduce Consumption,” which can include energy, bartering, buying used and lots of other stuff. I guess “Waste Not” is related, but lots of the categories relate to each other in ways.

  6. Jennie Erwin says:

    Yes please!
    I find this challenge much easier to keep updated than the Riot, I think it’s because there are fewer numbers to compile.

  7. Teresa says:

    Yes, please–bring it back. Keeps me honest.

    I vote to keep “Eat the Food.” I’m not working from home any more and without one person paying attention to managing the stores, we sometimes forget what’s on hand until it’s too late. (Can you say “moldy squash and mushy potatoes”? Not pretty!)

  8. Lisa H. says:

    Yes, that would be wonderful! Along with Flylady zones, I use the Challenge categories to remind us monthly what to do and document what we’ve done. BTW, I vote we leave in ‘Eat the Food’ – I use it to manage our food leftovers to prevent waste – documenting the ‘rescued foods’ that are used in stock, soup, quiche etc.

  9. K.B. says:

    Yeah!! I think we all need a prod now and then, and this might just be it!

    I also vote for keeping “Eat the Food” – I know I tend to look at my food storage, especially my canning, as something that Must Not Be Plundered. I need a reminder that it’s actually okay to use those dehydrated strawberries in my oatmeal :)

  10. Mary Walker says:

    I read all of your posts with interest. Some I could implement; some I had to modify. This is the first time I have commented. You might go beyond the garden and food. I like the notion of how to cut down, reuse, substitute.

  11. Homestead Hannah says:

    Wonderful! I am looking forward to the challenge very much. I love the idea above of widening food community to all community building. I too vote for an “Eat the Food” category to continue. (We here absolutely have trouble actually eating the food. Too often we “save” our special produce, etc. for sometime special. That is how we wound up with a dried-out decorative pomegranate…)

  12. MEA says:

    Please bring it back!

  13. Nicole says:

    Haha, I see I’m clearly outvoted! I can see the case for reminding people to eat (and therefore rotate) their food stores.

  14. Frogdancer says:

    oooo! Tempting…

  15. Susan in NJ says:

    Yes, bring it back — it’s a great motivator. Don’t drop “Eat the Food” – it’s an inspiration sometimes to see what other people are eating (food porn). I like the idea of broadening “Waste Not” and Community Building beyond food.

  16. Frogdancer says:

    Ok fine! You twisted my arm!

  17. Marija says:

    I discovered your blog right at the end of your last Independence Days challenge and hoped you’d start it back up again. I really love the concept.

  18. Yael says:

    I’m in!! Ive never done one before, but I think I really need it too! :)


  19. Denys Allen says:

    How about “Learn/Teach/Practice a New/Old Skill”? For those of us new to this path, we have more skills to learn and teach what we do know to our children. Or maybe the category is called “Do Together” and involves a group working together on a project or skill.

  20. Denys Allen says:

    BTW I loved reading your posts with what you did because I always thought “well if Sharon did that with 4 kids, I could do at least SOME of it too”. It was very motivating to see what was accomplished in a week.

  21. [...] need to update on my plans to try to more actively take on Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days challenge again this year and, with a bit more free time on my hands, devote more of it to getting [...]

  22. Michelle says:

    Yes! Absolutely bring it back. It’d be a perfect timely reminder to kickstart those habits we might have let slip over time *whistles and looks innocent*

  23. Jenn says:

    I’d love to get on board with this this year. It’s a great motivator, and having that regular push/reminder is really helpful.

  24. Evey says:

    YES bring it back. Can you remind us of all the categories from before. Was there anything about building/repairing pyhsical infastructures such as chicken tractors?

  25. Mary Ellen says:

    I’m in too! I’ve fallen off the wagon and need to get back on!

  26. Diane says:

    Hi– I’m new. Where can I find a description of the Independence Days Challenge?? People are soo excited about it– maybe it’s for me, too!

  27. Claire says:

    Bring it back!

  28. emmer says:

    can you manage a build community and a re-use it catagory? that would be grand, but you have a lot on your plate. selfish me, i want to be able to read your blog more often. you are interesting to read, bringing back some memories for me, and have what seems to me an authentic and inspiring voice which both gives me hope and spurs me to action.

  29. Bee Girl says:

    Oh, I was hoping you’d bring this back! I’m new to your blog, but love this idea!!!

  30. Jenn says:

    I’m thinking that I could – at least for myself – use a “health” category. I could use some work on my overall fitness and general health, and have a bunch of work to do fixing a wonky hip, and I think that this is an important overall element of independence for me – making sure I keep my health in order so that I’m able to function well and do the things I need to do.

  31. Nicole says:

    I’m on board, here in Ontario Canada. I participated a bit a few years ago, much has changed in my life since – living on a larger property now and growing much more of our family’s food. This would be a great way to track my progress in a number of domains, and to serve as motivation.

  32. Deb in AL says:

    Yes, bring it back! I haven’t participated before, and may not do so online, but do need the reminders and encouragement. Love the hurdles piece on the other blog! I need fencing, etc. and have lots of brush to clear but no money. This would certainly fit into a fix-it or sustainability sector of Independence Days. Thanks for all you do.

  33. Gina says:

    YAY! I miss it too. I participated since the beginning (with the exception of 2010), but my favorite part was reading about all the great things others were doing for IDC and learning. Maybe you could look into one of those linky party blog ap things to make reading other participants’ blogs easier. Your ID challenge was the only one I was ever able to feel I accomplished! :)

  34. Daisy says:

    I’ve missed it too, please bring it back!

  35. Mary Platt Clements says:

    I just finished Independence Days. I have no idea what the Challenge is, but it sounds intriguing!

  36. Rob says:

    Yes. please. It keeps me honest. (honestly I continued by myself!)

  37. Rob says:

    And id you are interested I made a button for you for the challenge.

  38. Sharon says:

    Very interested – do you have a link, Rob? Thanks so much!


  39. Rob says:

    Sharon yes-, About middle of the page on the side bar

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