Learning Your Grandparent's Skills

Sometimes, (okay, okay... a lot of times) I can get pretty worked up about stuff. Just a week ago, I was at a meeting at church with some older women and we were sharing some recipes that they had from their mothers and grandmothers. Well, this led to a conversation between me and my pastor about how we want to butcher a pig someday. In my enthusiasm of the topic, I said how I want to render my own lard and how awesome that would be.

You know what happened next?

These older ladies laughed at me. Now, they did not do it to be mean at all. I think they were just surprised that I would say something like that. They don't understand that all the things they did and were taught as a children have not been shared or passed down to us who are younger. They are thankful for modern convenience, and so am I, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't learn the skills in case modern conveniences are not so convenient someday.

I'm actually glad the whole conversation happened, and since then, I have been able to think it through more and this is the conclusion I have come to...

If my generation does not learn how to do this stuff, we will lose these skills FOREVER!

Seriously. Just think about all the things are grandparents used to do that we don't do anymore. We are raising a generation of children that think their food comes from a grocery store only! They don't even realize that carrots come from a plant in the ground or that their hamburger they just ate is from a cow.

I'm thirty-nine years old and I remember my grandparent and mom growing gardens, canning produce, and butchering deer. My husband and I are passing all these skills on to my son who will hopefully pass them on to my grandchildren and so on. The scary thing is, most folks are not doing this. The majority of American homes are so busy with making double incomes that they don't have the time to gain skills that could save their lives someday. Money ain't going to save you if the economy collapses...just sayin.

You watch and read the news don't you? You have to know that things can not always stay the same as they are right now. I hate to burst you all's bubble, but things could, and probably will, get bad around here again. Just because we live in a generation that is high-tech with modern day conveniences does not mean it will always stay that way. Do you realized the Great Depression was less than one hundred years ago?!

Oh, how we in America like to think that we don't need to work to learn anything because it's all handed to us on a silver platter. We go to third world countries to try and "save" them but you know who will need the saving if things get bad? Not them. They know how to survive in very rough conditions. They don't take a drive down to the local Wal-Mart to pick up their groceries on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, we can, and should, help people who need help, but as much as we are giving to them, they also have knowledge they could give to us concerning survival. They would love some of things we have, but they can make it without them if they have to.

Okay, enough of the lecture. The whole point of this post is to tell you don't wait another day to start learning how to be more self-sufficient. Start thinking about your grandparents and what skills they have and start learning them. Go to the library and check out some books. Learn to can for heaven's sake! Even if you can't grow a garden where you are, you can at least support your local farmers' market and put up food from them - just start somewhere.

I'm telling you straight up that if we do not teach these skills to our children, in another hundred years or so, we are going to have a country that totally relies on their grocery stores and government for everything. So run, don't walk, and get started.

Here is a list of skills that you need to start learning:

1. Bake your own bread products.
2. Butcher an animal from killing it to packaging it.
3. Grow a garden.
4. Learn to use a water bath canner and a pressure cooker.
5. Have backup methods for cooking food without electricity.
6. Learn to hunt with a bow and a gun.
7. Have alternative things in your home in place of prescription drugs - like essential oils and herbs.
8. Learn how to forage and what wild plants are edible and not edible.
9. Get an alternative heat source besides and electric or gas.
10. Find a way to collect clean drinking water.
11. Learn to sew, knit, and crochet.
12. Start collecting cooking ware like cast iron pans that will last forever.

I have not succeeded in doing all these things yet, but that's my story, right? That's the journey I'm on and the reason why I hunt and have a homesteading blog. There's no excuse today with all the resources at our fingertips for not learning these skills. Heck, the first thing you should probably do it call up your grandpa and grandma, sit down with a cup of coffee, and start asking them questions. They have valuable information you need to learn. Do it before it's too late and they're not here to teach us anymore.

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