A number of homesteaders around the world have taken up the May Self Reliance Challenge. The challenge was set up by Lisa Lynn from The Self Sufficient Home Acre. The goals are to embark on projects that will improve our self-reliance. This means that at the end of the month we will be more self reliant than we were at the beginning of the challenge!
Why A Self Reliance Challenge?
Self reliance is important for us homesteading types for various reasons, but I guess the most important reason is that we get to live life on our own terms.
What self sufficiency and self reliance means to me is choosing a healthier alternative and living a lifestyle that reduces my negative impact on the environment. To that end, self reliance is a journey and not something that can be achieved in a 1 month challenge. What the self reliance challenge does do though is motivate me to get busy with those projects that I have been putting off and make the changes. As we document our progress in the challenge, we can also motivate others to do the same.
You have to start somewhere! So don’t try and be self reliant in everything all at once, but try and become self reliant in something! You will be better off than being self reliant in nothing!
Ways To Be Self Reliant
There are a number of ways that you can change your lifestyle to one of self sufficiency, from big changes, to small changes! Here are some ideas.
- Grow your own food. This is probably one of the easiest places to start, no matter what size property you have. Start small and grow your own herbs, then progress to growing your own vegetables. Growing your own food, you know exactly how it was grown and whether it is truly organic or not
- Rain water collection. Implement a water collection and storage system. You can start by collecting rainwater for your vegetable garden and then progress to collecting rain water for use in your home!
- Raise your own livestock. The reason for doing this would be the same reason to growing your own vegetables! You now exactly how it was raised and taken care of. the easiest way to start this venture would be to keep some chickens for eggs and meat and then progress to bigger livestock. Another relatively easy method is to become a bee keeper, which will require some training, but is a worthwhile undertaking as it will also benefit your crop yield. Obviously this option is dependent on the size of your land, but you will be surprised how much livestock can be kept even on a one acre homestead!
- Preserving food. Use healthy methods to preserve your excess so you can eat your own home grown food all year round!
- Use alternative energy. This can be an expensive project to tackle for your homestead. The good thing about most alternative energy systems is that they are modular, so you can start small and grow the system as your budget allows. You can even start really small by using portable solar systems for charging devices or powering lights!
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Who Are The Participants In The Challenge?
This is what is so amazing about the internet! The participants are homesteaders that run their own blogs and are from various parts of the world. The internet allows us to be a part of a global community of like minded people, share ideas and motivate each other in our quest! This is why I am excited to participate in this Self Reliance Challenge!
My fellow participants are as follows:
- Lisa Lynn – the challenge organiser from the USA – The Self Sufficient Home Acre
- AnnMarie – from the USA – 15 Acre Homestead
- Nancy – from the USA – Nancy On The Homefront
- Kathi – from the USA – Oak Hill Homestead
- Robin – from the USA – A Life in the Wild
- Candy – from the USA – Candy’s Farm House Pantry
- Farmgal – from Canada – Just another Day on the Farm
- Ashley – from the USA – Practical Self Reliance
- ShawnaLee – from the USA – Homegrown Self Reliance
- Maria – from the USA – Maria Zannini
- Last but not least, yours truly, Frank – from South Africa – My Green Terra
Take a look at these participants websites and social media pages to see how they are going to tackle the self reliant challenge!
My Goals For The Self Reliance Challenge
The month of May is heading in to winter for us in South Africa and water is always a concern in our region. Therefore, my self reliance challenge goals will be geared around things I can get done in this season and around being more water wise. These goals will ultmately result in us becoming more self reliant.
My goals for the challenge will be as follows:
- Trying a new seed germination technique for my winter crops to increase seedling survival rate and boost crop yield
- Implementing a gravity fed drip irrigation system to conserve water and get water directly to the roots of the plants.
- Implement a rainwater collection system from my garden shed roof to collect rainwater for the veggie garden.
- Build a solar herb and vegetable solar dehydrator. This will allow me to add another dimension to preserving excess produce for future use.
- Grow some fruit trees, particularly lemon from cuttings
I will be posting weekly updates on my progress with these goals throughout the month. I am eager to see what projects the other homesteaders will come up with to further their self reliance journey! I look forward to sharing ideas with other like minded people and learning from them. I trust my goals will add value to their challenge as well!
Join us as we get into this challenge, learn from the goals that the participants undertake! But most of all, I hope this challenge motivates you to make a change in your own life! All it takes is a little effort and a little discipline to make a positive change towards a healthier lifestyle for you and your family!
The great by-product of you choosing a healthier lifestyle is that your lifestyle will help to heal the planet!
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