Life in college is stressful. No news there, but college is also a time to learn new tricks of the trade, discover yourself, and transition from student to employee. But why are we just taught new things? Especially since old things that our grandparents did for years are healthier, stress relieving, and relate to today's world, just about as much as that Math class you are heading to later.
So what kind of things am I talking about? Growing and canning your own vegetables, learning to cook, making blankets and quilts are all connections that we can make to a time that wasn't as long as you may think.
The health benefits of gardening have been reported many times. You get outside, in the sun and the wind, to grow foods that you know what has been on them. You then prepare them and can feed your family a fresh, healthy meal without spending an arm and a leg. Canning vegetables is another way. Every summer in the South gardeners everywhere are left with tons of vegetables that could be used to feed a family for the duration of the winter. However, most of these veggies end up in compost piles. One of my first memories of my grandmother is her using a pressure canner, as she canned tomatoes, that came out of her garden, so my grandfather would be able to eat them throughout the winter. Consider the time my grandparents were from. The depression, WW2, the Cold War, etc. Growing up in the south they had to rely on subsistence farming to survive.
Learning to cook those veggies is another way of preserving the past. Sure you can open the jar, and dump them in the pan, but there are many meals that you can make that are right up there with any gourmet restaurant you would visit. And as Valentine's comes upon us, what is more romantic than a home cooked meal?
I was luck enough to be around my grandparents enough to where I picked up some of these skills. I can cook fairly well, and my time working at the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society has helped with my gardening abilities, somewhat. Canning is still the skill that I am aiming to learn. And I invite all of my readers to join me on learning the skills of the past. Use the internet, open a book, find a relative that knows how, or even take a class. A bird has told me that The Historical Society is planning a few of these classes. Bring your friends and family together, by developing a new hobby, creating a better, healthier lifestyle, while remembering and reminiscing in the times of our grandparents, who did it not as a hobby, but to survive.