Welcome to the journey,the tale and the saga of our

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Learning new skills

There's still not much to report here at Hrafinstaad.The last few days have been filled with family life which has had it's ups and downs.
I am working on the outline for our upcoming Chicken Butchering class.It is coming along after much head scratching. I know how to do it without much thought and now that I have to put it down in black and white I feel as if I have left out some gravely important part. Luckily it dose not have to be a "How to..." book. Could you imagine Chicken Butchering for the Complete Idiot sitting on a book shelf ? Or how about How to Kill a Chicken in 10 easy Steps. Kindly when this information is listed in a back to basics or farm skills book it is tidily listed as a chapter in the table of contents.
This last week I have been asking myself this question "How did my Grandparents do this?" My Grandparents and Parents lives have become a base (at least for myself) for what we trying to accomplish here.With this in mind I have started to ask my Mother questions about things like packaging.There has not always been plastic cartons,wrappers and the like.What was done before and can I go back to that method? I have also started to try and remember the 5 million farm life stories my Dad has told me over the years.Little did I know that seeded in those stories was a lot of knowledge I would want.I guess most of what I know and just comes to me as second nature has come from listening to my elders.
Many of the skills my ancestors used were Green,thrifty and plain smart.There was not the dependance on commercially made anything.You made it your self, fixed till it couldn't be any more and used your skills and smarts in any way possible.If you could not do something you traded skills or extra goods with some one who could.
I and my family here in our house are fortunate.Both Chance and I have benefitted from teachings from my Parents. My Parents were born just after the Depression and grew up on farms both factors in what they know and share.This got me thinking about generations,the generation after my parents were different,more town like and only knew the boom times of the 1950's .Suddenly there were "conviences" store bought things and foods.Why should a family raise their own or can for the winter; they can buy a bright shiny can right off the store shelf any old time.Now knowledge was being lost or forgetten.
We live in an Urban area where farm skills and back to basics are not part of the norm.But it is the life we are chosing to live.I know that if some of these skills and practices were already becoming lost nearly 60 years ago then they could be lost arts by now.Both Chance and I are here on our Suburban Homestead working to bring some of it back.We are finding them to be handy in these hard economic times.The world thinkers have asked everyone to rethink how they live their lives and spend their hard earned cash.Look into reading up on the old skills you may find them to be simple and easy to incorporate into your daily life.Save yourself some money,be green and have a sense of pride becuase you did it yourself.


  1. So true. My grandfather grew up on a homestead in the Appalachians but moved to the city. Here I am, in those same mountains, but within one generation so much knowledge has been lost and I'm trying to rediscover it for myself and my children.

  2. Our little garden has not fared well this year. Our tomatoes and carrot were all either stolen by animals or perhaps defeated by weather. It's hard to tell, I think perhaps it was the animals.

    Our lettuce and onions are doing great and it's such a joy to watch both kids randomly go over and pick a leaf or two while playing outside and eat it.

    We'll reevaluate where we planted and when we planted and see if we should make changes next year. Meanwhile I think I'll get another tomato plant and try again.

  3. Some times all you can do is try again.I have never been any good at carrots it has to do with the soil needs to be loose with some sand to it and just have not bothered.
    Another fun one for the kids to try maybe next year is peas.Watching them pop them open is pretty fun and they might grow up to like them.