How many of these vintage skills do you know? Could you teach your family members or neighbors how to use those skills? This list is very short but it’s very important to make sure these skills are not lost or forgotten. Some people may call them pioneer skills, some call them vintage skills. It’s kind of like the phrase homesteading or a farm, is there a difference? I have never raised animals to eat on my homestead or plot of land. But I have raised a garden, sewn all of our clothes, lived on a budget, pressure canned food, dehydrated food, and water bathed foods. I cook from scratch and have my whole life. The largest lot we have ever owned was a 1/2 acre, but we produced enough fruits and vegetables to preserve for our family for a year.
I can still remember hearing people tell us we had the biggest garden on the street in every neighborhood we have lived in. It wasn’t for competition, it was for survival and to teach my girls to learn to work. And work, they did. I could not have canned 4-5 bushels of peaches, pears, apples, apricots, spaghetti sauce, and salsa. I also couldn’t have snapped that many green beans or made all that delicious purple grape juice. We made apple pie filling, don’t you love apple pie? These are just a small amount of the items we preserved to feed our family of six. I guess what I am trying to say is, you don’t need 15 acres to be self-reliant, you can do it on much less land. I know the word homesteading has become very popular the last few years, but people my age have been doing these vintage or pioneer skills for over 60 years.
It is not new to some of us, it was a necessity as we raised our families. We did not have food drive-thru’s to pick up dinner. We made dinner at home. We did not have access to all the processed food available to families today. I’m hoping I can help a few families realize they do not need a lot of property to be self-reliant. We did it with a half acre and sometimes less acreage.
We made pancakes from scratch, made homemade cookies ready for the kids when they came home from school. We wanted to pay off our house instead of getting a soda around the corner every day. So, my question today is how can we get people to go back to what we have been doing for years. Here are just a few vintage skills we must teach our kids and grandkids. Ten acres isn’t going to help you much if you don’t know how to use these few limited skills.
If you can learn how to save seeds, plant seeds and balance your soil with good organic products you can grow anything, anywhere. Learning how to use different soils found in your particular neighborhood is critical to be successful with growing a garden. I have had many good years and very few years that I couldn’t grow some vegetables in this desert where I live. I had better soil up north, but it’s taken a few years to get this soil where I want it to be the most productive.
I know there are a lot of people with gluten issues, but try and make sourdough bread or natural yeast bread. Sometimes it’s not the wheat at all but the commercial yeast. Very few people in Europe have any gluten issues because they use zero commercial yeast, only natural yeast. It’s your gut and you must follow what is right for you, but I have families come to my house to get natural yeast and their gluten issues have disappeared.
I grew up making my own clothes, so a sewing machine has always been a mainstay in my home. I remember dreaming about owning a Bernina sewing machine one day after I worked at a Bernina shop in Logan, Utah. It took almost 50 years but I finally got one, thanks to the money my mom left me after she died. I will never part with that machine, it means too much to me. I grew up using a Singer machine, even a Singer Treadle machine, then a BabyLock. They were great machines and served me and my family well for many years.
Cooking From Scratch:
If we can teach our kids that a tube that snaps on the counter with premade biscuits is not cooking from scratch, we will win! If we can teach them that vegetables and fruits really are more filling than a drive-through hamburger or chicken nuggets we will win too!
I know, I can hear some of you say “but that’s why I use coupons, they save me money.” In the short term, this may be true, but our health is at stake, I promise. I confess I eat way too much. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is my favorite. Is my cholesterol, high? Of course, it is and I know better. It’s an addiction, I’m trying to stop, including eating unhealthy food.
Please tell me I’m not alone. How can we teach our kids and grandkids how to make things a white sauce, homemade pizza crust? I’m thinking it’s by example, maybe or maybe not?
I truly believe we need to teach people to budget their money. If they write down what the net is that they bring in and then make a list of expenses that have to be paid, then they are well on their way to forming a family budget. If you have to cut those daily sodas, then stop it. I love Starbucks, but I also want to purchase another car in a year or two. Mark and I live on less than we make, if we can do it so can others. Is it hard, yes it is. But, it’s been a way of life for us. I would rather eat at home, but I also realize I need to splurge to go on a date with Mark from time to time. But I try to use a coupon for a two for one. I tip on the REAL full amount because I know how hard those servers work.
These are simple vintage or pioneer skills anyone can accomplish. We can’t depend on the government to take care of our families. We are responsible for feeding and clothing our families, not the government. I have known families over the years that have been on food stamps for over 15 years now and some still live in low-income housing. They have strong healthy bodies and could raise a garden or find more gainful employment, this needs to stop. I understand if they are going to school or have been out of work for 3-4 months, had some health issues, etc., but not 15 years. It’s become a way of life for them, plus they are teaching their kids that this is acceptable. In my way of thinking it is not. Okay, I will get off my soapbox. We need to teach people these vintage skills at the very least. Please teach these skills or have someone teach you, we will be a better world, I promise!