“The challenge is simply to create a meal at least once a week with homegrown food. It’s a great way to improve your nutrition, become more self sufficient and decrease your carbon ‘food print.’
“Food miles are important [because of] the carbon footprint that’s hidden in our cheap food. It’s like ‘look at our cheap food,’ but someone’s paying somewhere for something because it’s not cheap when you ship. [Food] coming from Chile or New Zealand, that’s a lot of trucking. If you can’t see [the cost] right off the bat on your bill, you’re going to see it in the health care bill for the planet.” — Jules Dervaes
We started this challenge a couple years back, and it was very popular and successful in getting folks to eat closer to home. With more and more folks growing their own food, we figure it’s about time we revive and relaunch this challenge!
Pick up your trowels and start growing your own groceries!
100 Foot Diet – Growing Closer to Home
It wasn’t that long ago (1940s) that people planted Victory Gardens when it became necessary for them, due to wartime shortages, to grow their own food. Now, it’s our turn.
If you want to fight against peak oil, climate change and our consumerist culture, then join us and start a living protest right in your own back (front) yards. Be the change, live the solution! Use your yard (or balcony or porch steps) not only to grow food but also to cultivate a healthier and more fulfilling life.
There have been 100 mile diet and other eat local challenges. But we homegrown revolutionaries are upping the ante by reducing the mileage to a few steps – to right outside your back or front door.
The challenge is simple. Beginning as soon as you can, prepare a meal at least once a week with only homegrown vegetables, fruit, herbs, eggs, dairy products or meat, using as few store bought ingredients as possible.
The purpose is plain – the waging of an all-out fight against the forces that keep you dependent on the system of petroleum fueled food. The degree to which you rely on today’s artificial corporate structure determines the extent of your vulnerability. Resolve to lessen your dependence on outside food sources.
The result is revolutionary. As you take back responsibility for your food supply, you’ll experience the empowerment and fulfillment that comes from learning the basic skills of providing for yourself and your family.
Let’s sow the seeds of freedom and get our hands dirty to fill our plates.
:: Guidelines ::
A meal must be comprised of food grown on your property or garden plot (literally or figuratively within – 100 feet – of your front or back door). If non-homegrown ingredients are needed, then we suggest following these modified locavore guidelines:
If not from BACKYARD, then Locally produced (our “homegrown” addition)
If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.
:: Getting Started ::
If you are already growing your own. Great than move on to the next step.
But if you are new then plan what food you can and would like to grow.
Your first meal might only have a few herbs from small pots growing in your window or sprouts sprouted in a jar. Look around where you live and locate a space to plant a small garden.
Begin with “foolproof” plants, such as herbs. Also find out what your neighbors are growing and ask your local nursery which plants and varieties do well in your area. (Read Jules Dervaes’s gardening advice in this recent Rose Magazine article.)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but still do most of the work yourself so you know what to plant the next year. Gardening for yourself is rewarding.
Garden as a family: “Especially when they bring it to the table, they’ll eat it if they grow it.”
Soil is the key to a successful garden. It is alive and needs to be well, so nurture it. It may take a long time to obtain healthy soil because nature takes a long time.
Be patient and never quit.
Talk your neighbors on either side of you into gardening, too. Maybe they have an over-loaded lemon tree. Could you trade zucchinis for their lemons?
:: Moving Forward ::
Once you have planted your garden and have prepared a weekly homegrown meal, consider how you can expand your “farm,” increase your garden’s productivity, and, thereby, cook more homegrown meals per week. Then take a further step on the path to independence and freedom by learning to preserve your garden harvest (we’ll be also relaunching our HARVEST KEEPER Challenge to help you with putting up the bounty).
:: Keeping Track ::
Keep track of your progress. If you wish, once a week you are invited to leave a comment with a link to your Freedom Gardens‘ profile or your own blog, or, if you don’t have a website, sign up for a free Freedom Gardens account or describe your meal in the comment box below and let others know of your progress.
:: Participating ::
If you like to take part in this challenge, post in comment box below. There is also a forum topic at Freedom Gardens for the 100 Foot Diet Challenge. (You need to sign up and log in to be able to post in the Freedom Gardens’ forum.)
Participating on the Internet?
Feel free to use the ‘100 Foot Diet Challenge’ image on your blog/site if you are a taking part. PLEASE REMEMBER when you use this image to “SAVE AS” to avoid using our bandwidth and LINK the image to the challenge here (http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2010/07/26/100-foot-diet-challenge )
And if you are a blogger who already participated in this challenge don’t forget to update your links and images!
Spread the homegrown movement: share, email, post this challenge – the more people participating the better.
Planting a Freedom Garden means:
– More nutritious food & better health
– Food security
– Improving quality of life
– Saving money
– Reducing food miles, fuel & energy dependence
– Reducing excessive packaging and effects of climate change
Take control over the quality of your food and improve your health and immediate environment.
Let’s start right here, right now! And, remember, this growing & eating challenge should fun! Can you dig it?
:: Resources ::
Freedom Gardens – free social network for modern day victory gardeners
Freedom Seeds – non GMO and Monsanto free seed source
Homegrown Revolution – inspiration to get growing!
Little Homestead in the City – inspiration to grow and eat closer to home
Terms to search: biointensive, polyculture, square inch gardening, composting, soil re-mineralization, weekly meal wrap up for inspiration