Homesteading Family Culture
It’s easy to look to previous generations and point a finger of blame. Why didn’t they teach you those life skills that you are struggling to learn from a stranger on the internet? Why did they not value their skills enough to make sure you inherited them?
The truth is, those skills that you now so dearly covet, the beekeeping and animal husbandry skills, those bread baking and homemaking skills, all those skills that our grandparents possessed. Those were the skills of survival, the skills needed so they could eat and stay warm in the winter. Those skills were all developed out of a sense of desperation. They worked hard to make a living and worked even harder to ensure that their children didn’t have to struggle and work as hard as they did! The parents and grandparents of these hard times, their dream was to raise children to be successful so that they could buy all the bread and milk they needed! They dreamt of a future where they could afford to buy a bushel of shiny red apples and not have to tend the orchard. When their children grew up and went away to get jobs in a better economy, went to school and got even better jobs, these parents and grandparents rejoiced that the next generation didn’t need to struggle the way they did.
The need to teach you how to bake bread seemed unnecessary to your mother and grandmother when bread could be bought for 25 to 50 cents a loaf. The need to teach you how to keep chickens seemed extra when eggs could be purchased for less than a dollar a dozen.
They didn’t make a grave mistake in not passing on the homesteading skills, they just struggled with the same thing so many of us struggle with as parents today, Balance.
Balance Is something that today’s parents struggle with too. Balance in teaching the skills of homesteading to the next generation looks like constantly reaching back to learn from the experience of our ancestors and also looking forward to prepare our children for the future.
By looking back, we have learned that it only takes one generation for us to lose a skill. By looking forward we can see that although our children might not ever need or use their homesteading skills there may be a time where they can be a great blessing to their community because of the Homesteading skills that were imparted to them through their childhood experiences.
For this reason, we bring our children alongside us and require them to help with chores and the raising of the food they will consume. This is the reason we put in effort to run a balanced homestead, and a balanced family life.
A Balanced homestead family culture looks like not being completely separated from the modern world, just close enough to understand which way the current is trying to drag the next generation. Close enough to be able to give our children the practice they need to swim against this modern current. Yet separate enough to protect them from the influence of the modern culture. More time at home on the homestead, together with family, working and playing in Gods great creation will allow the old fashioned skills of homesteading plenty of time to settle deep into our family culture.