My Response to - Challenge: What are you doing to claim food sovereignty for yourself or your community, and why?steemCreated with Sketch.

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What am I doing to claim food sovereignty for myself and my community? Why? These questions were put forward by @homesteaderscoop in their post a couple days ago.

In answering these questions I'm going to break my response down into a few sections to better share what I'm doing to claim food sovereignty but also help others do the same.

  • How I'm Claiming Food Sovereignty for Myself and My Family
  • How I'm Helping the Community that Lives Near Me Claim Their Food Sovereignty
  • How I'm Helping My Online Community Claim Their Food Sovereignty

How I'm Claiming Food Sovereignty for Myself and My Family

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As a homesteader growing food for my family and I is at the core of what I do on a regular basis. Harvesting my own vegetables, fruits and berries is one of my favorite parts of being a homesteader.

Plus, it is so fun to watch my son race out the door yelling "berries" on his way to pick fresh berries from our various bushes and vines. He is not even 2 yet but already he loves running around picking his own food and not just berries. He ran over the other day and grabbed a kale leaf and ran around while he happily munched it.

Not bad for a kid not even 2!

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Plus he loves to help me plant new plants - here he is helping me plant a goumi berry.

But we have only been on our homestead for about 2.5 years. While we have planted a lot and each year results in more harvests there is still much more to plant.

I have been mixing in my vegetables with my perennials (native and non-native) which works but makes harvesting a bit of a pain.

To make things easier I'm building a new dedicated vegetable garden just out my backdoor that will be a kitchen garden. This garden will have a gathering area with a picnic table inside it so my family and I can enjoy being outside while being surrounded by food.

I really can't wait to have this new kitchen garden. But this garden is just the start - it is the first of 4 planned gardens with future gardens focusing on other produce. For example one will focus on staple crops that can provide a high percentage of my families calories.

Beyond the gardens I'm also planting fruit trees and berries. Each year I plan to add more and more to my homestead until I eventually have a 100 or more fruit trees and probably 2 to 3 times as many berries.

All of this will be on less than 3 acres of land.

If you want to learn more about how to grow your own food you can check out that section on my blog. My site is relatively new (started in Nov 2018) but I post weekly so watch Steemit and my site for future posts.

I'm still getting my site connected with Steemit but in the future every post and most pages will link back to Steemit.

How I'm Helping the Community that Lives Near Me Claim Their Food Sovereignty

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A wild apple tree at an old homestead site that I have been restoring

Beyond trying to claim food sovereignty for myself and my family I have been doing what I can in a small way to help my local community.

I'm the Restoration and Public Access Manager for a local non-profit that conserves and protects land for wildlife and nature in general. But we have recognized that without connecting people to our lands that our mission to conserve land would not work.

A big part of my job is to manage how people access our lands and setup the infrastructure to enable them to come and be comfortable on the preserves.

But beyond that I'm also trying to help people learn what they can do on their own properties whether that is a small backyard or a few acres or more.

One of my current sites used to be a homestead but was abandoned years ago - now I'm restoring it for wildlife habitat. But there are a lot of old and amazing fruit trees growing wild on the property. The above picture is one of these trees.

This site will be opened to the public in the future as part of what we are calling the Inspiring Kids Preserve. It will be a place for kids, families and the community in general to come and learn and reconnect with nature.

But I also want them to connect with the idea of growing their own food.

So to help with that we have teamed up with a local fruit tree group to run free workshops to teach people how to prune and take care of their own fruit trees by practicing on our wild fruit trees.

The workshops will focus on the trees that used to be managed as part of the old homestead. There are a number of truly wild fruit trees growing that came up from seed. We are not pruning these and I'm using them to teach people that seed grown fruit trees can still produce yummy fruit - even apples!

We will also be hosting harvest festivals where we harvest the fruit for people to take home and we will also be making apple cider during the festival.

But beyond that I'm currently designing 2 - 1 acre food forests. One of these will focus on native edible plants and the other will focus on non-native edible plants such as fruit trees and berries.

Both of these food forests will be places for kids and adults to come and learn about growing their own food - both native edible plants and non-native edible plants.

I'm very excited to be working on this project and I hope that it will one day help my local community claim their own food sovereignty.

How I'm Helping My Online Community Claim Their Food Sovereignty

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Screenshot of the homepage of my blog - Wild Homesteading.

While helping my local community is important to me I know I can reach even more people by going online. For the past few years I have been very active on permies.com which is a permaculture and homesteading forum with a thriving community. I'm currently a volunteer staff/moderator on that site.

But I also wanted to have my own site where I could share what I know and help others directly. So after working on it for almost a year I launched my own blog called Wild Homesteading at the end of November 2018.

I post weekly on Wild Homesteading in 1 of 3 categories: Start Your Own Homestead, Grow Your Own Food, and Work With Nature.

All the posts are related to homesteading in one way or another.

And I just started sharing this all with the awesome community here on Steemit!

My goal with Wild Homesteading is to reach as many people as I can and help them start a homestead, grow their own food and do that while working with nature.

The site is new and my audience is not huge but I hope that by posting quality content and sharing it online that overtime I can reach more and more people and do my part to help people claim their food sovereignty.

Claiming Food Sovereignty

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I fully believe that everyone should be growing at least a small portion of their own food. That could be a few herbs in the window in an apartment or a homestead that provides the majority of the food for family.

Not only does this make each of us individually more free and resilient to shocks, it also does the same for our communities. Plus, it lowers our impact on the environment which is important for me.

I'm doing what I can to claim my own food sovereignty and I hope that my efforts both in person and online can help others do the same.

I would love to hear from you all - what are you doing to claim your own food sovereignty? Why do you think this is important? Please leave a comment and if you want to take part in the challenge don't forget to check out the original challenge post by @homesteaderscoop.

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Awesome post! We are doing what we can on our little 1/3 acre... small garden, fruit trees, chickens, and we recently added rabbits. you can read about our efforts on my wife's page (she posts a lot more than I do): @creationofcare

Looking forward to seeing more posts from you.

Thank you! That sounds great - you can do a lot on a 1/3 of an acre. I look forward to seeing posts about what you and your wife are doing!

Hello @wildhomesteading!
Thank you for this wonderful article! I liked it so much that I shared it on my weekly curation-style post Look What I Found. This week I focused on homesteading-related posts. It is also part of the weekly Pay It Forward Curation Contest by @pifc.

I just wanted to let you know how much I liked your post! There are many things in it that caught my eye, but the one thing that kinda made my day was this one: "I'm the Restoration and Public Access Manager for a local non-profit that conserves and protects land for wildlife and nature in general. But we have recognized that without connecting people to our lands that our mission to conserve land would not work." I'm so happy to hear this from someone who actually works in wildlife conservation, since I believe that this should be the key to saving nature, saving culture, feeding people, keeping them healthy, keeping them wealthy (for real, not just in illusions), giving them a purpose in life, teaching them about the world in close analogies, and many more things. I know I'm going to enjoy your blog! :-)

Thank you so much for sharing the post and your kind words! The organization I work for really has taken that message to heart. We have 5 public access preserves that opened last year (we had none before that) and we have been running some really great partnerships with different community groups and schools to bring people to our preserves. Plus the new Inspiring Kids Preserve that is in progress but should be opened in a year or two. Though we are already having tours and education events at the preserve.

Thanks again! :)

Excellent. Someday, I hope our family will be at least 10% food independent. Doesn't sound like much, but 10% off our grocery bill while eating healthy self-grown food is a big accomplishment.

I fully agree - 10% is great! Good luck and thanks for your comment!

Wow! Excellent entry @wildhomesteading :) I am impressed with the effort and energy you are putting into food sovereignty for your family and your community. What's more you are stacking functions and having fun while doing it. Great!! I look forward to read more of your blog.

p.s. I am liking that you are committed to small scale agriculture so much that you are scything :)

Thank you! :) I will be posting another blog post or 2 tomorrow.

Scything is fun and I'm still learning how to do it smoothly and quickly. There is a great song by a singer I really like that is partially about scything. You might enjoy it: Dougie Maclean Scythe Song

I've done a bit of scything on a few farms I volunteered for and here on this property I am residing as well. It definitely helps to get a good hip rythm going! But i am far from proficient. Am listening to the song now... very sentimental :)

That song got me interested in scything years ago while I was living in England. I also always think about it when I get frustrated with not being as smooth as I want to be when scything :)

Way to jump in head first!!! Wow, look at you! Three posts and already at 50 rep! You're a freaking rockstar!

I love all you're doing, it is so inspirational. Two one-acre food forests is a huge project that I'd be really interested in seeing more about.

Thank you! Getting help from you all really pushed me forward - really appreciate it!

Just getting started on the design side but I will be sharing as I move forward with the food forests. I'm really excited about it!

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Greetings @wildhomesteading,

I really enjoyed this post. It was both informative and attractively presented. Your passion for this lifestyle is obvious and very much adds to the presentation. I even had a peek over at your website and it's loaded great information, too (a bit overwhelmingly so, perhaps). Clearly, you know what you're doing here and I'm glad that I was able to find your little corner here on Steemit.

I happen to be quite sympathetic to your goal of "claiming food sovereignty". I believe that if (or perhaps, when) a monetary constriction on the scale similar to what occurred in the 1920's were to take place today, the result would be utter devastation because of the direction society as a whole has shifted (away from agrarianism). I think taking back food sovereignty would go a long way to immunize us from the harshest effects of a massive economic slowdown, and so I heartily applaud your efforts!

How would you suggest someone like myself, being more of a thinker of ideas than a doer of actions, get started on growing something - anything. I don't have much space other than a few window sills, which I once used to try and nurse a small strawberry plant, but it died :(. Sometimes I think about planting random berry bushes in unused lots near where I live - guerrilla gardening, as some might say - though given my current track record, maybe not.

I look forward to your future posts as well as any suggestions you may have. Cheers!

Hi @ekawaediw! I am glad to see you are reaching out for help. I see you are new to steemit and I've gone ahead and delegated some Steem Power to you from our community account @homesteaderscoop, to help you have more resource credits while you are building your steem account. I would like to introduce you to some of our communities where you can get answers to your gardening questions. Are you familiar with Discord yet? It is a chat program that lets us gather around topics of interest with our steem friends.

You may be interested to join Global Homesteading Collective where there are many gardeners and homesteaders that love chatting and exchanging gardening tips with eachother. Many folks would love to answer your gardening questions! You can join here: https://discord.gg/hPJs5Rb

You are also most welcome to join Homesteaders Co-op where we gather around the idea of a free market for sustainability and rewarding those who create products with their hands for independence rather than relying on industrial systems for all of our needs. https://discord.gg/t2faQnD

I definitely second @wildhomesteadings suggestion of looking for local gardening groups for hands on experience and seeing what is working first hand. I learned so much by volunteering in local farms and gardens!


Homesteaders Co-op

A community marketplace of ethical, handmade and sustainable products available for STEEM, SBD (and USD): https://homesteaderscoop.com

follow: @homesteaderscoop

@sagescrub Thanks for all the great tips! I do have a Discord account, but am not very active with it yet. I'll check out those groups though, and I'll definitely look into volunteering opportunities, too.

Hello and thank you! I agree with your thoughts on growing your own food to protect yourself from potential shocks. In a lot of ways I view the food I grow as another source of income - but one that is much harder to lose if the economy goes through a collapse. If I can get debt free and grow most of my own food then I don't need a lot of money.

As far as growing food on a windowsill... I would recommend starting with herbs assuming you cook enough to make fresh herbs worthwhile. As long as the window gets some sun the herbs should do okay. It would be a good place to start. I did a quick google search and this site has some good information on growing herbs on a window sill.

Another option would be to see if there are any community gardens in your area that you could volunteer at. I have volunteered at some in the past and they are a great way to garden when you don't have much room.

Hope that helps!

Thanks. I'll give it a shot!

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Huge dream of mine is to get a piece of heaven for me and doggo. Some place he can relax and be free. And definitely fruit trees and permaculcuture...

Sigh one day....

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I hope you find that place - my wife and I dreamed of our homestead for a long time before we were able to make it happen. I wish you luck!

Fantastic! Steem is an interesting tool but Indo believe it (and technologies like it) will play a role in making freer, fairer and berrier societies!

A recommendation with steempress, a great wordpress plugin, publish just the text and fotos, then add in the widgets.

Thanks for the reply! :)

HI @wildhomesteading. Wonderful article on food sovereignty. I is really something not too many people know about. I found it very informative. I am comply agree that we all should grow our basics. One it better for us, no chemicals and such. Plus it is sad that produce prices have gotten out of hand in so many places. Keep up the great work.

You were featured in week 43 of @pifc's Pay It Forward Curation Contest by @stortebeker. Please consider joining in our contest from time to time. It's a great way to grow and help others grow.

Thank you! :) And that is awesome - I have seen some of these Pay It Forward Curation Contests but I'm still learning how that all works. The community here seems great but lots to learn!

There is lots to learn. @pifc is pretty straight forward. Each week we have a Curation Contest designed to get visibility for underrated Steemians. The contest starts each Monday and ends midnight Saturday central time US. We have 4 winners and 2 random picks. Each winner receives 1 SBI and their features do too. Some weeks we get donation to where the winners get more. You just find 2 people and during the week post about them. That's about it.

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