Teach Your Children Well

I 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.

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,

  • Published on Mar 12, 2015
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