Grit Blogs > Life in the Greene House

Teach Your Children Well

Amy GreeneI have enjoyed everything I have learned in my journey towards self-sufficiency. However, it is interesting to me just how many parts of "going green" or being "organic" I learned growing up. When I learned them as a child, though, it was just the way we lived because my parents were born to parents who went through the Great Depression.

In talking to my mom the other day, I shared with her about wanting to learn to dehydrate food. She said, "We used to do that when you were little. Don't you remember?"

I had to admit I didn't, and she reminded me of the apples, peaches and pears that grew in our yard, which we picked by the bushel. She reminded me of the screens my brother made that we put out in the yard and dried the fruit the old-fashioned way – with sunlight and window screens. Suddenly, the memories came rushing back – putting the screens up where the dogs wouldn't get them, covering them up so the birds wouldn't get them, carrying them in and out and in and out day after day.

I was surprised I didn't remember that, but it did explain a lot as to why wanting to dehydrate was something I really wanted to do – it was in my DNA!

The same could be said of canning and freezing food. I DO remember helping my mom can – very vividly – and just as vividly I remember the complaining I did (sorry, Mom!). However, once I got married to a man who loved to garden, and was very good at growing things, I began viewing those long summer days in the kitchen with hot jars and fresh food in a whole new light.  

As I began to put up jars and jars of food, I realized just how much of that knowledge had seeped into my brain from all those years ago and all those days in the kitchen working side by side with my mother. I can't tell you how many times I called my mom to say, "Even though I griped a lot, thanks for teaching me how to can."

Interestingly, over the years, I have taught quite a few friends how to can as well - people who weren't as blessed as I was to have a mother well versed in the ways of canning and freezing.

My youngest canning beans.  My youngest filling jars with beans.

In my opinion, it is very important to pass along this knowledge. I want all four of my children – both boys and girls – to have a basic knowledge of canning, dehydrating, freezing and other preservation methods for their future.

I have already seen my children can green beans and freeze corn by themselves, start to finish. It was a teary moment – as well as a Kodak one! – while I was on the phone with my mother, sharing the moment when her youngest granddaughter was canning green beans and letting her know how what she taught me had been passed to another generation to be preserved.

This is just one of the many things I want to pass down to another generation. What knowledge do you want to share, or have you passed along, to your children so that it can be preserved for the future generations? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,
Amy

nebraskadave
3/15/2015 8:54:54 AM

Amy, I can't really remember my Mom canning but the outside cellar was always filled with jars of canned food. I suspect it was done while I was in school. My knowledge of canning and freezing has been gleaned from many years of reading about it in magazines and books. It's not my favorite thing to do and like you husband, I just like growing it and giving it away. I do keep some for myself but very little goes into the storage room. The thrill is in the growing and not the preserving for me. I haven't really tried drying but I've read that it's not hard and of course the best part is, it doesn't heat up the kitchen. Maybe some day I'll get more into preserving but no desire yet. ***** Have a great children teaching day.