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Nov 3, 2013

2nd Annual Dark Days Challenge, First Snow! Independence Days

2nd Annual Dark Days Challenge-
What's a Dark Days ChallengeI read about it two years ago and really liked the idea. I found the Dark Days Challenge at the now-defunct  A few other websites seemed to have done it in the past. It’s a challenge to cook at least one local meal, per week, through the leaner days of winter. Your ingredients can come from your freezer, pantry, cold storage or local sources like farmers and other food producers. I’m going to make a personal commitment to one meal a week. I’m also going to try to include others in our meals, so our extended family can experience the pleasures of local foods, even in the dark days of winter. So here's the guidelines of the challenge, which I borrowed and modified slightly-

The challenge runs from November 9th – April 15, 2014.

What’s the Challenge?
Try to cook four meals each month (1 per week) focused on sustainable, organic, and local ingredients. Whatever you can find is fine! Write about it on your blog, or here in the comments section. Feel free to link back to me on your blog if you have one!

What does local mean?
Traditionally local food challenges call for a 100 mile radius, but winter is more difficult in many climates. If you’re new to eating locally try 150 miles. Typical exceptions are oils, coffee, chocolate and spices. If you’re making fewer, or more exceptions, please note that on your first post or comment.

What if I can’t find every ingredient locally?
If you can’t find every ingredient, or even most ingredients, please still write about your attempts. This is just as much about what we learn, the obstacles we find and the decisions we make as it is about cooking with SOL ingredients. Do what you can, where you can.

What if I don’t have a good photos or a blog?
If you can take photos of what you’ve got, just do your best. Just you come by each week and add your meal/experiences as a comment. No worries, keep it simple, or just tell the story and we’ll use our imaginations.

Leaves coming down as we speak!

First Snow!
We woke up to an odd sight today- snow falling and sticking. Melted but it's still cold. The high right now is 41, and expected lows in the 20's this week. Winter is here! A little more mixed snow in forecast. Leaves are coming down fast!!!

Independence Days-
1. Plant Something-  Done for the year.

2. Harvest Something- Cut and strung up all my rosemary, oregano and thyme. Brought them in to dry. Smell's great in here! Eggs. 90% of the green tomatoes ripened nicely in the kitchen, ready for spaghetti sauce!

3. Preserve/Store Something- Froze more breads. Drying herbs.

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Good deal on some local pears! Will try new puffed pear pancake recipe.

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- Bought some persimmons last week. Interesting flavor, sweet but astringent. Kind of like a really bland peach. I don't know if they were fully ripe. I'd pass next time. 

6. Build Community Food Systems- Nothing right now.

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Raking up leaves to cover perennials and shrubs, bought a great wool sweater on eBay- Eddie Bauer Heritage Nordic wool- like new! I love EB stuff as most of it lasts forever!

Also got a EB laptop bag for $10.00 on eBay- too much gear for work for a purse some of the time. It's funny- I realized after I bought them that they go together :)

We store our coop's "sun room" in piles over the summer. Dave put it back up on the coop today, with the colder weather here. Will finish it up next weekend with some fresh pine shavings and a perch. Gives the girls some extra dry, sunny space, free of rain and snow. They love it!

Sun room from last year, sunny and airy

8. Skill Up-
Learning about Sciatica, since I got hit with some this week. I'm on meds and resting. First the flu, now this. I'm ready for a vacation!

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- My back :) 


Candy C. said...

Count me in for this year's Dark Days Challenge, I really enjoyed it last year! I love, love that sweater, what a find! I hope your sciatica calms down some, no fun at all.

Little Homestead In Boise said...


Lynn Blaylock said...

This is great. I love passion behind the Dark Days Challenge. I think I would like to try this. Thanks so much for visiting on the Good Neighbor Blog Hop.

Joy said...

Hello! I'm visiting from Lynn's Good Neighbor's Blog Hop! I love reading posts from folks who have "real" seasons, lol. I'm in Texas, and it's still in the 70s during the day here. We do get some snow, but usually just a few inches a couple of times a year.

I enjoyed being introduced to the Dark Days Challenge and the Independence Days Challenge. It got me to thinking, everyone could do all of these things- country or city. Maybe to varying degrees, but it could be fun to see how different people in different places manage the challenges.

Loved your ebay finds!

Hope you have a great week,

Love, Joy

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks Joy and Lynn! We all do what we can, where we are :) It all helps!

Kathi said...

I'm visiting from the Good Neighbor hop too. Love the Independence Days challenge, what a great plan.

Kathi @

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Welcome Kathi and join in!