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Skills from 100 years ago - Page 2

post #21 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I don't think that these are skills that have been lost. I mean, come on, simple mending? Do other people just throw out clothes when they need a button or a hem fixed? Do most people really not know how to cook? I live in a city, and I don't know anyone who doesn't know how to do these things. Maybe it's the crowd I hang around with, but that list sounds like it's aimed at 13 yr olds.
I agree with Choli. I think there is a lot of generalization going on. I live in a big city and most of us city folks know how to do 1-7 minus the bread baking (we have great bakeries here). With being a single mom and a crazy work schedule i'm thankful for the modern day conviences and i enjoy supporting local grocers and crafty peeps.
post #22 of 126
I'll get us back on track since I'm interested in this type of stuff.

How about growing simple veggies/fruits even if it's in pots. Lots of people don't know how to do this.

Learning how to store vegetables properly without refrigeration, eg. don't store potatoes w/onions, that type of thing.

I think this was mentioned but how about storing/preserving food (not just canning) but also like drying/dehydrating, salting, eggs not even needing refrigeration.

Umm, what else? How about knowing whats foods have what vitamins? The Whole Foods Encyclopedia is great for that.

Basic animal husbandry? How to harvest eggs, milk an animal, newborns...

What may be the biggest one-how to do without and make do with what you have.
post #23 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masel View Post
Monthly bread making? Are you sure? How about weekly. At least that's how they did it in the even yet more miserable Middle Ages.

Let me add in cheesemaking (Hi Ellien), working together as a community, and preparing dead bodies for burial. (Not all at once.)

I'm a history reenactor so I've tried my hand at a lot of deliberately low-tech projects. I'm always sort of the amused at the dicotomy of "everything sucked in the past" and "all was so lovely and simple back then (before big pharma.)"
I like that the recipe is EASY and easy to modify to suit your taste. I've never baked bread before in my life, and I succeeded with that recipe on my first try!

for the all at once comment. Yeeeeeeeaaaah, let's not.

I think it's silly to say "ohhhhhhh it would be so ROMANTIC to go back to the 1800s" and I think it's just as silly to say "everything sucked and everyone was miserable." I think we have things to learn from the past that have value - and we need to protect those things and learn them before we need them in an emergency.

This is not a gloom-and-doom OMGwe'reallgonnadie thread - just practical stuff that people should know. If you know them already, good for you. If you don't, then these are things to consider learning.

And I stand by the fact that LOTS of people wouldn't think to mend clothes or think they can't cook. In an emergency, sure, because it's about survival, but don't you think we should develop those skills before an emergency comes?

EDIT: I AM NOT SAYING YOU HAVE TO DO THESE THINGS ALL THE TIME. Just make sure you know how. Can we go back to the thread, please?
post #24 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eccomama View Post
I live in a big city and most of us city folks know how to do 1-7 minus the bread baking
FTR, I do to. Always have. This is just a checklist, and not a commentary on how ......... whatever......... today's society is.
post #25 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnenwende View Post
Sure, but I was just citing one example of how hard life really was without the benefit of modern conveinence. We like to romanticize what life was like for our ancestors, but to come face to face with it is a real slap in the face.

The loaves that we were shown were large, but at the same time, they only did it once a month. You can imagine how hard they would have been by the end, what other animals probably ate off of it. It was a fairly labor intensive activity. Threashing grain for breakfast (let alone milling), for example, was extremely difficult and exhausting work without the benefit of modern machinery.

The people also avoided drinking the water if they could help it. A weak beer they brewed was considered a far safer bet.
Exactly. I'd also like to point out that SOME people still are living like this, though maybe not as consistently or unremittingly. For example:

http://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_12_02/en/index.html

"As of 1 December 2008, the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe has reported a total of 11 735 cholera cases with 484 deaths since August 2008, affecting all provinces in the country. The overall case fatality rate is 4% but has reached up to 20–30% in remote areas."
post #26 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by p1gg1e View Post
Back to Basics by readers Digest is an awesome book to have if you can find it.
I love this book. I took it out of the library and poured over it. I'm seriously thinking of buying my own copy -- it would be my BIBLE should the S ever HTF.
post #27 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I don't think that these are skills that have been lost. I mean, come on, simple mending? Do other people just throw out clothes when they need a button or a hem fixed? Do most people really not know how to cook? I live in a city, and I don't know anyone who doesn't know how to do these things. Maybe it's the crowd I hang around with, but that list sounds like it's aimed at 13 yr olds.
You would be surprised. I know many people that don't cook simply because they can't be bothered and probably could sew a button but would definitely toss pants that needed a hem fixed. Unfortunately, most of those people are in my own family
post #28 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeydee View Post
You would be surprised. I know many people that don't cook simply because they can't be bothered and probably could sew a button but would definitely toss pants that needed a hem fixed. Unfortunately, most of those people are in my own family
If they can't be bothered, that implies that they could manage to do it if they had to. Likewise if they can sew a button, they probably could manage to figure out how to sew a hem. This still is about inclination rather than ability.
post #29 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
But that doesn't mean that your mother and your neighbor CAN'T cook or mend, it means they choose not to. It's not like cooking and mending are lost skills.
No, but a lot of children don't learn these skills growing up as they once used to. I was never taught to cook when I was growing up. The most I could do was bake a boxed cake or cookies. I really didn't start cooking until right before DS was born. Up until then I relied on a lot of frozen and boxed foods. Same thing with sewing. My mom sews, but I never really learned. I can sew a button on but that's about it. I wouldn't call them lost skills yet, but they very well could be in the future.
post #30 of 126
Hey I looked at the list and suddenly feel pretty capable. OK, I need to improve on first aid, other than that I'm all set for going backwards.
post #31 of 126
Of course I know how to do basic things like those on the OP's list... but I'd love some more book recommendations on self-sufficiency topics I've got some books already but would love to know what other people like the most!

Such as:
Fixing and maintaining everyday things around the house?
First aid and everyday healthcare?
Gardening? Livestock? Food preservation?
Etc...

Even if skills like these never turn out to be important for our survival, it's still fun to learn them and teach them to our kids. My kids love cooking, gardening, animal care, house cleaning, anything practical... they always enjoy learning and doing more.
post #32 of 126
Ewwww....didn't expect snarkiness here!

I am really interested in this stuff b/c I agree that basic life skills can get lost. On one hand you could consider us evolving into using new life skills, but I think there is wisdom in knowing how to....

SURVIVE


I'm serious. I am still absolutely shocked that schools don't teach basic survival. A year or so back an 8 year old died of exposure in the woods b/c he got lost running from his parent's vacation condo to his aunt's. He was out one night in the fall. IMO an 8 year old should know how to build a basic shelter, start a fire from scratch, and be able to identify a few common edible plants. They should also know how to identify the 4 directions and how to do basic tracking. So that if you are lost you know if you have repeated directions.

I think in a way we need to honor the continuum and teach kids from the basic of survival all the way through sewing, mending, growing, preparing food etc.

The idea of ppl loosing electricity and being totally thrown off is a bit weird to me. (I understand...but still weird). During that last storm I read about a restaurant who lost $600 of premium meat. Except it is winter and all they had to do was bring it outside. They just let it rot in the fridge and then complained. Or my parents who sat in a freezing house for 3 days when they have a working fireplace (that they burn chemmie logs in at Christmas) and a wooded area behind their home. They could have been roast, toast, toasty drinking wine and enjoying the quiet. When I spoke to them on the 3rd day and suggested lighting a fire she said she never would have thought of it and they didn't feel comfortable doing that anyways. Huh?

So that's the kind of stuff. Our friends work for Primitive Pursuits which is a primitive skill building school for kids. They hunt sometimes with adeladles (sp?) and bow and arrow. I think these are very important skills and the people who know them will be much better off if any kind of natural disaster ever occurs or if we need to change our collective lifestyle b/c of earth changes.
post #33 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
I love this book. I took it out of the library and poured over it. I'm seriously thinking of buying my own copy -- it would be my BIBLE should the S ever HTF.
It was reissued in 2008...

http://www.amazon.com/Back-Basics-Co...pr_product_top

Ordering me a copy now...
post #34 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I don't think that these are skills that have been lost. I mean, come on, simple mending? Do other people just throw out clothes when they need a button or a hem fixed? Do most people really not know how to cook? I live in a city, and I don't know anyone who doesn't know how to do these things. Maybe it's the crowd I hang around with, but that list sounds like it's aimed at 13 yr olds.
Yeah, I know a lot of people that just toss out clothes when they get a tear. I don't really know very many people that keep "public clothes" and "home clothes". In our home, when our public clothes get torn or too worn to look "presentable" they become "home clothes".
post #35 of 126
I didn't notice anyone mentioning knitting/crocheting a basic garment. I know lots of people can, but lots of people look at you like you've got three heads if you tell them you KNITTED the outfit your kid was wearing. Also, spinning and weaving. Possibly basic fiber acquisition - how do you shear a sheep/clean the wool if there's no electricity? I actually don't know how to shear in that case... scissors?? I know carding would be doable...
post #36 of 126
erm... my dh does the "mending" around here, and the bread making.

We both love to cook, but dh taught me everything I know about the kitchen. I have no idea how to sew a button on. Could I learn? Absolutely! Could I fake it or sew a patch on or something if I had too? Yep.

I was raised learning to break a horse, care for animals, fix a car. I can play the piano, guitar, flute etc. but no "housewifely" arts were passed down to me.

So yes, there are some people who don't know how to sew or cook, but we aren't all consumerist nuts. s

*hear the amused tone, no snark intended*
post #37 of 126
I think gardening in the winter should be included in this list. It's possible in most of the Continental US. Read Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman. Also, how to save seeds, care for fruit trees, compost, vermiculture and the like. Those can produce major boosts to your yield. And seed saving can be critical if a crop fails or there's other major problems. And how to store foods for long-term storage- can, dry, lacto-ferment, root cellar, salt cure, etc... A huge garden isn't any good if it goes to waste.

Knowledge of how to treat without pharmaceuticals is another biggie. Homeopathy, essential oils, herbs, medicinal foods, etc...

Most women know how to cook, but not cook from scratch completely. Do you know how to make ketchup? Mayo? Bake bread? Make flatbread? Biscuits? Can you conjure up a meal out of next to nothing?

Livestock- how to birth, raise, feed, protect, milk, get eggs, slaughter.

Knit, sew, crochet, repair, darn.

Also, I feel like Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living is better than the Back to Basics book.
post #38 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by krankedyann View Post

Most women know how to cook, but not cook from scratch completely. Do you know how to make ketchup?
Had to interject. Sharon Astyk had this link on her blog a couple weeks ago.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mjw/recipes/s...-ketchups.html
post #39 of 126
I don't eat ketchup LOL

I can't do any woodworking. I can't skin an animal. However, I can do things like sew, bake, care for children, etc. which I could hope to barter services for the things I don't know how to do.
post #40 of 126
I agree with Flower. we had a snow storm in dec and some people were without power for weeks. I worked with one and I said something about going food shopping. She said "I can't go stock up on that item, because my power might go out and I would have to throw out all the fd". I gave her a blank look and said "why, just put it in a cooler outside".


Pollyanna
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