Self-Reliance Challenge Wrap-Up

Self Reliance Challenge Wrap Up

What have you accomplished this month on your journey to being more self-reliant? Today concludes the month-long Self-Reliance Challenge we've been working on. Have you joined in?

I've certainly been busy working on my goals, even though I haven't checked them all off my list. Let's take a look:

Have a water plan in case of drought, contamination, boil orders, etc.

1. I rotated my stored water and shared a couple of ways that I conserve water and also store it for emergencies. Our area is prone to drought and one year there were rumblings of rationing which did NOT include water for livestock. In this beef-cattle-raising area, that was fighting talk. Just in case, I try to have some water stored, as well as plans for what we'd do if we weren't allowed to use the rural water system for our livestock (fortunately we don't have a herd of cows) or garden.

2. I've done a lot of work in the vegetable garden, building new raised beds with hubby's help and moving the fences so I can double the size of the garden and raise more food and both culinary and medicinal herbs. I'm composting like crazy because it's so easy in the summer and harder in the winter.

3. Experimenting with a mesh-covered low tunnel to thwart cabbage worms. So far, so good.

4. Growing potatoes in large buckets for a larger yield.

5. Finding new ways to feed my chickens from the homestead's resources. My hens provide eggs and meat for my family.

6. Researching and growing plants and flowers that will repel garden pests (I hope) because I'm tired of fighting bugs!

7. Repaired some of my hoses, including a soaker hose, instead of buying new ones. This time I made sure I bought the right-sized repair kit for the soaker hose; it's amazing how easy it was to repair with the right size parts.

Growing a garden is a big part of being self-reliant and healthy

Things that are in the works:
1. Using my chickens to help control garden pests, even though I can't let them free range.

2. Keeping the garden fringes (fenceline weeds) under control to help keep pests under control. Yes, I have a big problem with garden pests: cabbage worms, squash bugs, grasshoppers and more.

3. Eggs are in the incubator, hopefully hatching some replacement hens (and a replacement rooster too; my guy is getting old).

4. Splitting my one beehive into two colonies. As well as providing honey, the bees pollinate the garden and increase our harvest.

5. Planning a better seed-starting system and light set-up.

Raise chickens for meat and eggs - Self-Reliance Challenge

Setbacks I've dealt with this year:
1. The late freeze in April killed my tomato transplants. We won't have any plums this year due to the freeze, and the local you-pick peach orchard says they will have few peaches.

2. My dogs ate the tomato plants I'd grown from seed to replace those that I lost to frost. I need a better method to harden off plants where the dogs can't get to them.

There will always be failures and setbacks; our plans aren't perfect. My daughter in another state lost all of her garden plants to hail this week. Natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes and extreme heat/drought will take their toll in spite of our best efforts.

But I still wish to be as self-sufficient as I can be, so I'll keep planning and learning and trying.

How about you? What did you accomplish this month? Leave a comment and tell us one thing that you want to do before the end of the year to increase your family's self-reliance.

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I've been sharing some behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram this month, as well as adding to my Self-Reliant and Self-Sufficient Pinterest board. I'll keep doing so, and I hope you'll join me on both Instagram and Pinterest. Let's keep in touch, ok? You can subscribe to my weekly-ish newsletter, The Acorn (get it? The Acorn from Oak Hill Homestead?) by signing up here.

Thank you for joining me and ten other bloggers in a month-long challenge to be more self-reliant. Be sure to visit the other bloggers who are participating and read about their progress this week too - scroll down below the image to find the list of their blog URLs.
Self-Reliant Challenge, one month to a more self-reliant life. #selfreliantchallenge

AnnMarie – 15 Acre Homestead

Nancy – Nancy On The Homefront

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

Lisa Lynn – The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Kathi - Oak Hill Homestead

What are your self-reliance goals for this month? Did you reach them? Here are some ideas of goals to work towards.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. I've enjoyed working on the challenge with you, Kathi! It has been a great learning experience. :)

    One think I did to be more self reliant this month...hmmmm...I'm having trouble deciding between the herbal hand salve for my rough gardening hands and the vanilla rhubarb jam. ;-)

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Anonymous4:09 PM

    Good article. I am dealing with many of these issues as

    1. I hope you are making progress on the issues you are facing!

  3. You were so productive during this challenge and I am so happy to see that someone is really getting more and more self-reliant! Your posts have been so wonderful during this challenge! I've always followed your blog and I get so much insight from all of your posts! I look forward to sharing more challenges in the future with you!

    1. Thank you, AnnMarie, I've enjoyed getting to know you through this challenge!

  4. We've been fighting the big predators for a solid month. It makes me wonder if their habitat had been taken over and they relocated to us in the country.

    I've lost all but two of my hens. Luckily I have baby chicks waiting in the wings, but first I have to make sure we've secured the coop.

    I've really enjoyed your posts. I have you on my blog reader now so I can keep up. :)

    1. I'm sorry you've lost most of your hens, Maria. Predator losses are hard to face. I hope you can get that coop secured.

  5. Nice work! You sure accomplished a lot! I would have been so upset about the tomatoes. They grow okay here, but you definitely need a head start to get the most out of a harvest.

    1. Thank you, Danielle. This challenge was the push I needed to finish up some things I'd been procrastinating about doing. And yes, the tomatoes. They seemed doomed this year between the weather and my dogs. But the transplants that I "transplanted" from the Midwest to my southern garden are doing very well, and I found the first baby tomatoes this week.


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