Our sustainability group is planning another wild food feast next Wednesday, preceded by a wild food walk on my land. We have several experts in our group and I hope to get a lot of stuff identified as well as find the uses for many things I have located but don’t know how to use.
One of the cool things I have learned from this group is how much real knowledge is out in the world and by real I mean useful. Nearly every time we bring up a subject that one of us wants to know more about, someone in the group steps up with either the knowledge or access to someone with the knowledge. The few times we have hit a wall, there is always someone else who wants to learn with you. A lot like this blog actually.
My next area of interest is soap. I know how to make regular laundry soap but I want to learn how to make bar soap. I am afraid of working with lye but I am hoping it will be like the people afraid of working with a pressure canners. Once I do it a few times with someone who knows what they’re doing it will be fine. I am going to throw out the question at our next meeting and assume the Universe will provide, if not an expert, at least another seeker willing to fumble along with me. I would also like to learn more about using the wax I am harvesting from our hives. I just know I will find someone who can teach me how to make salves and balms and candles.
What this is all leading up to is our responsibility to a younger generation. I do not expect the world to go back to the way it was before this market crash. I believe we will be living smaller and more locally as energy supplies contract. It may not be a world where children have no worries beyond beating their last video game score or acquiring the latest pair of $200.00 dollar sneakers. It may be necessary for kid to contribute to the family economy with labor. I know I expect my girls to help during canning season. On a day to day basis, I expect them to be able to wash a load of clothes, change a diaper and make a simple meal. I expect them to eat what I prepare without grousing about it. We are doing our children no favors if we don’t teach them real skills. Gymnastics is not the kind of skill I am talking about.
I think most homeschoolers do this as a matter of course but the rest of us may need to be more mindful about it. Set aside a few minutes today and think about some important skills you can pass on to your children. I am going to teach my older girls how to make yogurt this week. They have seen me do it but never done the whole process themselves. I also want them to each make a loaf of bread a week. It will take a load off of me and give them a skill they will use for a lifetime.