FREEDOM HARVEST CHALLENGE


Our sister social network site is growing daily.   Behind the scenes we are working at a frantic pace to put the site together with all the features that we’ve envisioned – meetups, local action packets for FG representatives, blog and more!

There are a lot of things we have in the works, but with time marching on one really can’t afford to wait till all the ducks are in row.

So with time a’wasting we are just going to announce our collective growing challenge for 2009 while Jordanne and crew work on a real time nifty widget that will be able to track everyone’s harvest.

In the meantime you can post your harvest tallies here and then when the widget is ready you all can then transfer the data over.

Oh and before you think that this goal is unobtainable.  Think about it, so far we are nearing 2,500 FG that means each of you would need to harvest 400 lbs a piece.  OK that maybe a stretch but by summer we hope that there will be nearly 5000 FG and that would mean only 200 lbs each.  That’s not bad at all.

Of course we’d do our bit by (God willing) contributing our couple tons of produce.

I am excited are you? You in?

Ready for the challenge, OK here it goes!

Collective Growing and Harvesting Effort

Path to Freedom and Freedom Gardens aim to show people that they don’t need acres of space to begin growing food, and that gardening can reduce your food bills, food miles and create a more sustainable way of life right in your own backyard.

Last year we launched the successful 100-foot Diet Challenge encouraging individuals and families to eat at least one homegrown meal a week. The overwhelming response led to the creation of Freedom Gardens, an online social networking community of nearly 2,500 gardening enthusiasts who are fed up with foreign oil, frequent food miles and high food prices—and who want to band together with like-minded folks.

So, this year, we want to expand the scope and impact of the 100-foot Diet Challenge and think big—
really big! Are you ready for the 100-foot Diet Challenge 2.0?

1 MILLION POUND FREEDOM HARVEST CHALLENGE

Freedom Gardeners Dig for their Dinners—Together!

For over eight years now, we have tallied our garden’s yearly harvest from our 1/10 acre plot in Pasadena, California. This year, we are encouraging backyard gardeners from around the world to join us and dig for their dinners, weighing-in for a secure and free future.  Collectively, we hope that our final harvest tally will reach or exceed 1 million pounds!

Why?

A typical meal made from supermarket-bought ingredients consumes between four to 17 times as much oil for transportation than a meal made from locally grown ingredients (2002 report from the Worldwatch Institute).

What does “freedom” look like? How can “freedom” be quantified, made tangible? At Freedom Gardens, we don’t just want to talk (or write) about freedom. We want to SHOW what true food security is – food grown by the people.

With the economic downturn and looming food crisis a case has made that home gardens could grow 50% of humanity’s food supply on less than 10% of the world’s arable farmland. [http://www.energybulletin.net/node/47679]

Home gardens are one of the most reliable, efficient and democratic ways of producing food ever invented. An average of 1/10 of an acre (4,300 square feet) of well-tended, intensive garden is all that is needed to meet the food needs for a person (including adequate protein) who eats rather low on the food chain. [http://www.energybulletin.net/node/47679]

Imagine all these food that doesn’t have to be truck, shipped, stored or flown in from hundreds/thousands of miles away.  By cutting the distance from farm to fork we are cultivating a more local food system.

During times of crisis in the past, people have banded together to grow their own food. For example, in 1943, Americans planted over 20 million wartime gardens, and the harvest accounted for nearly a third of all the vegetables consumed in the country that year.

There a number of benefits for growing local – saves money, contributes to good health and the overall environment. Now, with our ever increasing awareness of food security, more and more people are growing and preserving their own food.

These one-trowel revolutionaries are digging their way to a free and secure future!

How?

By keeping track of your harvest (Jan 09 – Dec 09)!  Every little bit counts, it all adds up.

We understand that each person has a different situation: amount of growing space, climate and soil challenges, and limited time.

Not all garden plots are equal. But backyard and front yard gardens, windowsill, patio, container, community gardens, allotments, school gardens—they all count.

However, through a collective effort, we can show—together—just how much food can be grown!

So, get yourself a reliable scale and keep a clip board or notebook and pen or pencil nearby.

Every time you harvest something from your garden, weigh it.  Tally the numbers at the end of each month and post your results here (until we get a live widget).

And take pictures! Remember, we want to SHOW what freedom looks like! Take pictures of your garden; your harvest; your homegrown, home-cooked meals; your pantry stocked with home-preserved goods.

Share those photos online at Freedom Gardens or at FG Flickr group

If you have extra bounty consider sharing with local food bank, senior center or homeless shelter.  Let everyone enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Tally Guidelines

What counts?  Food grown from January 2009 – December 2009

Any “poundage” grown by you on your property, patio, window sill or community plot including fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and mushrooms that goes toward feeding yourself, animals and community.

Honey, dairy, eggs and meat can be tallied also but will not be counted in the 1 million “pound” tally but listed separately as in a numerical total of food produce.

Join

Sign up for this challenge at our sister site Freedom Gardens

Then

Start tallying up your harvest here (we are counting harvest starting in January 09 thru December 09) — you have to be signed in to view the forum

Also

Feel free to post this graphic (please SAVE AS) on your blog/website and let everyone know that you are participating in the Freedom Harvest Collective Growing Challenge or save the following code

<a href=”http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/digmydinner-copy.jpg”>

Feel free to link, reference this post about our latest challenge wherever you can.

You dig it?

So grow, weigh, eat and preserve it! Let’s see what 1 Million Pounds of Freedom looks like!

This is the start of a one trowel revolution, let’s get growing.

Comments(43)

  1. Maureen says:

    Can’t wait to start this one….can we count January?

    ps none of the tallying links work for me tho….is it too soon?

  2. Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife says:

    Given that we have a mature apple tree, and that I’ll be planting winter squash and potatoes, I think 400 lbs. is totally doable on our 2/3 acre lot. This is going to be the year I keep real records. I can’t wait to start.

    Count me in!!

    -Kate

  3. Andrea says:

    I’m in! Here in Ohio we’re not growing much, but I have harvested my first chicken eggs! Whoot!

  4. P~ says:

    Anais, you KNOW I’m in!! We started this last year and loved seeing the numbers add up. Plus, when people ask you why you do it since, “…you really don’t get that much”, you’ll have the numbers to back it up. I’ve found that to be the biggest selling factor that we’ve had in our outreach efforts. Last year our total garden area was just over 400sq feet, and we brought in over 520 lbs of food so it is possible. One question for you though, what about eggs? They are food production at home, but are you just looking for produce?
    Thanks for this, I think it’ll be awsome!
    P~

  5. Allyn says:

    It’s my first year growing a REAL garden, but I will do my best! 🙂
    Ah! That reminds me! I have to send my seed order in to y’all supersoon! Like yesterday!

  6. Chiot's Run says:

    How exciting. I’ll post about it on my blog and see if I can get my readers involved.

  7. Andrea says:

    I may be a bit biased, but eggs should definitely count!!

    It’s all a part of the circle, right?? The chickens supply the fertilizer, the fertilizer goes onto the garden, the garden produces the goods, the chickens get the scraps from the garden. The eggs are just a glorious byproduct of the whole beautiful cycle.

  8. P~ says:

    Andrea, you’re not biased because you just got your first eggs are you???? LOL. We keep a count of our eggs, I just haven’t actually weighed them before. I was wondering what the Dervaes thoughts were? Maybe we could have the unofficial “million egg” challenge concurrently?? We had 227 in January!!!
    P~

  9. oohoo says:

    I’m really looking forward to participating!

    Last year was the first year we actually weighed our produce and we harvested 1,051 lbs. And of course we want to have a better garden and top that this year. So, during this cold, snowy winter we are dreaming and planning and hoping…..

    This will be a wonderful challenge – can’t wait to see the results!! I KNOW we can do it!!
    Oohoo

  10. Andrea says:

    I *might* be just a *tad* biased…{{{snickers}}}

    We’re up to 2-3 a day…woo hoo!!! The pep talks worked!

  11. Krystelle Ellaby says:

    Hi, I signed up to freedom gardens, and i am so in! We are heading into autumn here, but because our summer is so hot and humid, winter is actually our most productive season lol. I have put a link in my blog to over here 🙂

  12. Mary Ann L. says:

    Do sprouts grown on the kitchen counter count? How about salad greens grown in the dining room or mushrooms grown in the closet? Just asking since it’s not officially in the garden and New England weather isn’t gonna let us join the tally for a month or two otherwise. I’m guessing they would count toward the tally as they are still home grown.
    And- I’m in.

  13. redclay says:

    This is great! I actually just picked up a scale so that I could document (objectively) my harvest for this year. I can’t wait to start!

  14. janice says:

    Count me in too. My garden is small at 256 sq.ft. but I do manage to get a lot out of it.

  15. Frugal in Mexico says:

    I will try to get a scale. I do know what $3.US Dollars looks like & that’s what I sold in salad greens today. I have been eating from the garden & lots more up & growing.

  16. EmilyB says:

    I am so in too. We have already harvested 51.8 lbs in january. (23.5kgs)
    This is an awsome challenge!
    Emily

  17. Rebekah says:

    Count us in. We’re new to this sort of. We’ve been raising chickens and goats for a couple of years, but bought 2 acres and are getting it ready for planting. We’re not sure how much we’ll produce this first season, but we’re looking forward to the journey of greater self-sufficiency. We currently get 7-10 eggs per day and sell those to friends.

  18. upnorthminn says:

    Yes! I want to participate. I’m in Zone 3, so have only harvested a few ounces of salad greens (indoors) so far. I wanted to record it, but the link to the tally place doesn’t work for me. Am I doing something wrong?

  19. Chiot's Run says:

    I’m super excited about this challenge. I’ve never really kept track of all of my poundage before (except for tomatoes).

    I came up with a spreadsheet to help keep track (complete with graphs). If anyone is interested you can download it over at my blog:

    http://chiotsrun.com/2009/02/23/garden-harvest-spreadsheet/

    I have an Excel file for your Windows users and a Numbers file for you Mac users.

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  23. megan says:

    I’m a little late, but we’re definitely in!
    I’ll weigh the next mini-harvest from our apartment garden and start keeping a tally. It won’t be much, but maybe when the tomatoes start producing we’ll get some larger numbers. This is a great challenge!

  24. Sande says:

    Sounds like fun! I’m returning to vegetable gardening after a 25 year break. Maybe this will help to motivate me. Challenges are fun. So far my first crop failed! Indoor radishes that had nice tops, but no bottoms…

  25. Carpe Diem says:

    Sign us up for the challange. I can’t seem to get the links to work on the Freedom Gardens site.

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  31. Matushka says:

    I would like to be included in the freedom Harvest I Dig My Dinner

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  37. Sue says:

    I found this late last night. I’m in.

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  40. Laura says:

    I just found out about this site a few months ago and I am learning all I can about the 100 foot diet. I live in Wisconsin, and its difficult to have a full garden all year round . I hope you still do The Freedom Harvest Challenge for 2010.

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  42. BillSF9c says:

    This may seem unduly nerdy, but I believe it may well help us see our possibilities as well as our limits, if we also input a USDA [Cold hardiness Growing] Zone, and a Sunset Zone… optionally, offering the “a” or “b” suffix. I am in a quandary, using your map, as I am in a “grey-area,” but really not like neither. I’m passing this onto all the garden lists I am in, on under, or own, LOL!

    BillSF8c

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