The Urban Farm Handbook Challenge

I feel like I just plugged my nose and jumped into the deep end of the pool.  I've signed up for the challenge. Here's what I've committed myself to learning and hopefully, in some cases, duplicating:

From Annette’s Blog Sustainable Eats:

Twelve months, eleven challenges and one reflection month, all on your schedule and at your level of ease. 
How can you say no? Throughout the Urban Farm Handbook we walk you through a year’s worth of change from grains to dairy to vegetables to protein. We offer you both simple and crazy ways to get you on the bus. But now it’s time to get real. That bus is coming for you. Will you get on it?
To help convince you, we’re rounding up other inspiring bloggers to host monthly challenges. And I’ve got to say – I’m super excited about these hosts and challenges and I think you will be too. Let’s check them out:
February: Soil building. It’s too early to garden outdoors in most parts of the country but we can ready our soil. We’ll learn about worm bins, green manures, composting, biochar and amendments with some fun prizes thrown in for random winners.
March: Home Dairy. Andrew from I Make Cheese (and Eating Rules) and Jennie Grant with the Goat Justice League will be your hosts. You don’t need goats or a cow to get started with home dairy. We’ll be learning about simple cheeses, yogurt, buttermilk and crème fraiche.
April: Gardening. It’s time to start sowing seeds indoors, outdoors, and in containers. Wherever you are you have room for something! Erica with NW Edible Life will share all the dirt.
May: Foraging. Hank Shaw from Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook will be challenging you to find food on the fly.
June: Botanicals. We’ll look at herbal oils, teas and tinctures to keep you glowing and healthy, both inside and out.
July: Seed Saving. Learn to save your own seeds from the garden or farmer’s market.
August: Preserving. From eating seasonally and cellaring to fermenting and canning with Marissa McClellan of Food in Jars, there will be something for everyone this month. 
September: Bartering. Kate Payne, the queen of food swaps and author of Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking will walk you through the process.
October: Protein. Choose your own challenge, from hunting to backyard meat to purchasing a whole animal to growing your own beans or making your own tofu. Find out how to make responsibly-sourced protein affordable.
November: Grains. With temperatures dropping and holidays on the way, it’s time to put on a few pounds with baked goods and homebrew. We’ll be baking with whole grains and brewing with all grain mash. No processed flours and malt syrups here!
December: Handcrafted holidays. Drop out of the ultimate commercial machine. We’ll look at home crafting gifts and simplifying the holidays. Slow down and celebrate the reason for the season.
January: Reflections and wrap ups. We’ll share our triumphs and failures in a highlight format. This will be your chance to shine or come clean and develop your personal 2013 goals.
This challenge will be what you make of it – the ultimate in crazy or just dipping your toe in. So join me, won’t you and take the pledge now? Add a little more urban farm to your life in 2012 by taking the challenge.

Now, as some of you know, I've got a lot on my plate this year, with the big family move back into Portland looming around the corner.  I'm knee deep in home renovations with the new (old) house, I've got raised beds to build/fill/plant/nurture/harvest, and I've got to build new flower beds so I can take as many of my pretty plants with me.  Why would I sign up for this challenge on top of everything else? 

Cause I'm nuts and now you have confirmation ;) But, in all reality.  This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and incorporate them as I set up shop.  Making a move to a new home is a great time to build new routines.  I also don't want to miss out on the learning opportunity as I've not had the luxury of being to run into Portland for the plethora of great homesteading classes and resources that are offered there. 

I'm not sure that chickens or goats are in my future, but I would like to learn about them. I do know that this Urban Farm Handbook Challenge aligns with my desire to learn heirloom skills and in turn, teach those skills to my own kids.  So, I'm in. 

Cheers, Jenni


  1. Interesting challenge! Good luck with it! It sounds like a great learning challenge, too.

  2. I guess if you are going to make change make it all in one shot. Good luck. I will try to tag along. Soil is a hard one right now as all of mine is under 1 1/2 feet of snow. The challenge does look interesting.

  3. It will be interesting to see how you get on Jenni - as you say you are nuts to commit to all this! I may have a go at things but committing to them?

    1. Just committing to learn and follow along, I don't know that I can implement all of them as I currently have no ambition to have animals :)

  4. Wow sounds interesting. Looking forward to hearing how you get on.

  5. I almost signed up for this challenge! I decided, though, that I'm already spread a bit thin this I'm practicing a bit of self-care :-) I do, however, look forward to seeing your progress on each of these 11 challenges! I'm sure you'll be fully inspiring, as always!

  6. Goats? Well, if you have any questions, fire away ;)!


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