Independence Days Challenge is Back!!!

Sharon February 1st, 2012

Well, to general acclaim I’m bringing back the Independence Days challenge and I do hope you’ll all sign up and participate.  We’ll report on Fridays.  Here are the categories, so you can record your accomplishments.  Please feel free to publicize on your sites or anywhere you like, and please just join in to participate!

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, publicize on your blog and tell the world - let’s see what we can get done!

Happy Independence Days!


76 Responses to “Independence Days Challenge is Back!!!”

  1. karrie says:

    I no longer maintain a blog, but count me in as well.

    I’ll likely be more focused on skill acquisition, as I already feel pretty good about the other categories. (Some of the things I would like to change are limited as I am a renter right now, and already push that envelope.)

    Always room to tweak though! :-)

  2. another sharon says:

    So on board with this! Even though, as an apartment dweller, the “plant something” could be challenging, just placed an order for cornichon-style cucumber seeds, which should trellis well. Exciting!

  3. Come join the Independence Days Challenge « Pages Left Unturned says:

    [...] you go over to Sharon’s Independence Days post, you can read up on what each of the categories entails (it can be as simple as gathering eggs from [...]

  4. Hannah Elise says:

    Okay, I have my intro post up… my WordPress blog is automatically set up to send the link to my Facebook wall, so maybe a few of my acquaintances will discover it and participate. :)

    I included a link that I thought would be helpful in the “skill up”category, so if you want to hop over (the post is here:, you can access it!

    Looking forward to participating (even with a near-toddler underfoot).

  5. Perri says:

    Sounds like fun!

  6. Oakmother says:

    I’ve got this up and going on my Facebook page - I like this way of organizing my thoughts and giving myself credit for the little things that add up, and feel so important!

  7. Patty says:

    I’m so glad you are doing this. What a great motivator!

  8. Rodney7777 says:

    I believe that it would be helpful to participate in the challenge.

    Not sure how this works. I do have Facebook.

    I have made some progress already that I could talk about.

    I would be very interested to read what others have done and are doing now.

  9. Nicole says:

    Sounds like a fun way for me to keep track of all the projects I’m juggling. I’m in! Thanks for doing this! Do you have some sort of graphic button code to insert at the bottom of our posts to link back to you?

  10. Dmarie says:

    what a fabulous-albeit demanding-challenge! I hope I’m in, because I could get a lot out of even a little success with such a challenge. thanks!

  11. Island Life says:

    I’m re-reading Ulrich’s “A Midwive’s Tale; The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812″

    It’s amazing what can be understood about an entire society based upon the often terse, very simple records of one woman’s daily life.

    I hope that folks here won’t forget the value these Independence Days entries might have for others who’ll come after us. Don’t forget to create a hard copy. It could be that all of the ways that you personally are reshaping your life will offer important insights on our times for those in the future, who, most likely, won’t have access to the technologies that we use now to communicate.

    I would love to participate, but find a pencil and paper more conducive to my record keeping. I’m forever grateful to those who broadcast through the keyboard, though.

  12. Mother Prepper says:

    I am SO in! This is so exciting. I think it will help motivate me so that I actually have something to post on my blog each week. =) This is great! Thanks.
    Mother Prepper

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  14. Julia Skinner says:

    I’m in! We’ve already put in a lot of our garden (we live in Florida) so there’s plenty to share!

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  16. Louise penygraig says:

    I ‘watched’ the end of this when it was running before. I’m going to try to do it this time!

  17. Sharon says:

    Do remember that most of us won’t do all of these things every week - I’m at a bit of an advantage on a working farm, since some of these ARE my job ;-) , but honestly, I expect to do things imperfectly this year if we get a large placement - kinda like having a baby (or three to five babies ;-) ), so don’t worry - it is NOT a competition.


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  19. Stephany says:

    Game On! I was just thinking about this the other day. Off to add a new category to my blog.

  20. Jessie : Improved says:

    Awesome! I’m signing up and will be posting on my blog soon!

  21. Melanie J. says:

    I’m in. Jenna @ Cold Antler Farm just did another post admonishing people for not getting started when there’s really nothing standing in their way, and it struck home. Even with my crummy living conditions, there’s no excuse not to plant herbs and veggies, can/preserve…recycling is not enough. Looking forward to recording my progress.

  22. okie green says:

    im in.

  23. Eleanor @ Planned Resilience says:

    Yay! Sharon, I’m so glad that you are doing this again. :) The way things are going, people really need to get with the program. I hope a lot of new people take your class too.

    I have been feeling a little down-trodden with my own Austerity Measures. Seems like I spend most of my time working to bring in the needed extra bucks. Thank goodness we are moving into Spring. It is the busy season again. This challenge, along with the weather change, will give me that extra little push that I need to get busy, so I have more to post about.

    Thanks Sharon! :)

  24. Eleanor @ Planned Resilience says:

    P.S. Will you be adding a button, like in the past?

    Also, a lot of people do the Linky party thing. I have enjoyed participating in those on other people’s blogs.

    You can learn about it here, if you aren’t familiar.

  25. Stephany says:

    I want a button!

  26. Independence Days Challenge: Back In the Saddle Again | Planned Resilience says:

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