I have decided to inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on my own life.   I have created a Homesteader’s Food Challenge for people (like me) who like a challenge and want to reclaim their food in a drastic way.

Disclaimer:  My intentions are not to make anyone feel guilty or like a failure because they are purchasing food from a grocery.  I love groceries.  I understand that this challenge is not possible for most.  Not everyone has the ability to grow and raise their own food.  My heart is not to hurt or ostracize anyone.  My purpose in this exercise in eating the foods from my own hands is to teach, encourage and excite those who are interested in growing their own food.  This is as personal as it gets for me.  I really want to see if I can grow everything that I eat.  

Here’s the Challenge:


food challenge 1

This comes from a verse in the Bible.  Psalm 128:2 “When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you.” (NASB)

I love when I find verses in the Bible that mention anything agriculture related.  This verse is a treasure to me because I have such a heart for growing & raising my own food.  I realize I may be stretching this verse – but I do think it applies.  It is a joy to eat the food God has provided from the labor of our land.

“YOU WILL EAT THE FRUIT OF YOUR LABOR”

Growing, processing, preserving and cooking my own food is nothing new to this blog.  I’ve been at this game for years.  BUT…  I still eat some things I don’t grow.  Things like:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Avocados (Be still my heart)
  • Lemons & Limes
  • Triscuits
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Supplemental Fruits & Veggies (when our garden is not in full production)
  • Nuts
  • Cane Juice Crystals
  • Assorted baking supplies and spices (baking powder, vanilla, cocoa, dried spices, etc.)
  • Raw Cheeses (flavors I don’t make – like shaved parmesan and Beemsters)
  • Hummus & Beans
  • Coconut & Olive Oil
  • Organic Rice & Pasta
  • Nutella (Yes, I like eating pure joy)
I am going to forgo all of these wonderful things in order to eat only the products from my own hands for 101 days.

The Rules:

I know that not everyone is in an environment or situation where they can do this.  I am not trying to ostracize anyone or leave anyone out.  If you want to give eating local or seasonal a shot please feel free to make any necessary accommodations.  You may want to do it for 1 week to reset after a vacation.  You may want to give it a 2 week trial before committing.  Or you could do it for 1 month to clean things up inside.  Feel free to make this your own and have fun with it.

My Rules:  [This is the how I am going to eat for the next 101 days]  All food consumed must be Raised, Grown, Gathered, Killed, Picked, Trapped or otherwise obtained around here by my own hands.

“Plan B” :  If you don’t have a garden, a cow, or a freezer full of lard, you can still play if you want!  You can eat local, eat seasonal, or just eat real.  If you live somewhere in America, you can probably find a farmers market or a CSA with some local food options.  Many also sell meat & dairy in addition to fruits and veggies.

food challenge 2

What I will be eating for the next 101 days:

  1. Anything I grow (garden, herbs, fruit, veggies, roots)
  2. Anything I raise (pigs, chickens, beef, rabbit, etc)
  3. Anything I pick from it’s natural plant/tree around here (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, apple, peach, etc)
  4. Anything I collect from it’s natural habitat around here (walnuts, hickory nuts, any wild edibles)
  5. Anything I (insert DH)  hunted and shot (rabbit, deer, turkey)
  6. Anything I (most likely DH again) trapped, caught, jigged, (crawdads, frogs, fish)
  7. Anything I find in our world of woods and land deemed edible (wild berries, wild mushrooms, wild onions)
  8. Anything that comes from my cows (milk, butter, cream, cheese, all raw dairy)
  9. Eggs from our chickens & ducks

Just to clarify, I will be eating foods I grew and preserved in the past year (froze, canned, dried, etc), or food that was raised/ hunted here and is currently in the freezer.

Of course my kids asked, “If we go to Walmart and ‘pick’ PopTarts off the shelves can we eat it?”  No. It has to be growing in it’s natural habitat for it to qualify as a “labor of our hands.”  Pop Tarts!? What’s wrong with my kids?

This whole eating plan may sound like a form of punishment, but I’m excited to give this whole “clean, real, homegrown, eat your yard” thing a run for it’s money.  I have been thinking this whole experiment through and have decided on a few exceptions to the “From Your Own Hands” rule.

In order to survive the 101 days and still be a sane person who will not eat her 4 children I have incorporated a couple considerations.  Don’t worry, I’m only proposing 5 exceptions.

The Exceptions:

  1. Coffee (I’m pretty sure you don’t want me to die)
  2. Wheat berries & yeast (to make rolls, bread, buns, etc.)
  3. Organic Maple Syrup (I do make my own, but I’m out)
  4. Wine (priorities people)
  5. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Salt and Pepper will also be allowed during the 101 days – The kids and I have decided that salt and pepper are not really “foods” but more minerals & no one wants us to become deficient in sodium, right?

The only other possible monkey wrench to my success in this experiment is going to be the limited occasions we eat away from home.  We eat out most Saturday nights (sometimes at friends homes, sometimes at restaurants).  I have been considering how to handle this quandary.  I think in order to stay true to this endeavor and happily married to DH I’ll concede to his Saturday night out Ritual but just eat before we go out or take a “sack” dinner with me.

I considered eating at the restaurants (or friends homes) and just limiting myself to only eating foods (from the selection) that we grow (or raise) at our farm.  My younger brother said I was cheating and anyone could do that.  Phooey to him.  He said if I ate out once a week I wasn’t eating my own food for 101 days. Then he said,  “If you’re gonna do it – do it right.  No restaurants, no friend’s food.”

Of course he kept talking, because, he’s my brother.

Then he said:  If you eat other food besides the food you raised, I’m not buying the book.

I said:  I’m not writing a book.

He said:  It doesn’t matter because I won’t buy it.

Me:  [Forehead slap]

So, since my brother called me a cheater, I’m going to be scooting around the nearest 4 counties with a cooler and a bagged dinner in the back of my minivan.

In case you are wondering if I am dispensing this curse upon my entire family – No, not technically.  My 2 oldest children think it sounds fun and are voluntarily doing it with me.  My 2 youngest will probably not survive in a world without pasta, rice & carbs, so they’ll be blowing the plan daily.  Even though I’ll be adding organic carbs to their plates, they’ll still be eating from our “hands” for the most part.  DH will eat whatever I feed him, so if he’s eating with me he’ll be eating mashed turnips.

Is this gonna be hard?  Yes.  Am I gonna starve?  Maybe.

I’m up for the challenge.  The garden is in full swing.  The freezers are stocked with meat.  Let’s do this thing!

READY – SET – EAT  

THE HOMESTEADERS FOOD CHALLENGE

“It’s ON like Donkey Kong”

 

To Read all about the challenge, the struggles, the adventure and what I learned:

Follow along to see what I’m eating, how it’s going and if I’m dead- on Instagram:  thefarmbarbie

I will also be sharing all my foodie thoughts and adventures for the next 101 days on twitter:  thefarmbarbie

To join all the cool people following my blog:  By email (here) On Facebook (here) Via Twitter (here).

-Candi