Back It Up, My Friend

As you can tell from the past few posts, food preservation is a passion for me.  You know I love gardening, crocheting, beekeeping…all that stuff is great fun, but feeding people, man alive, that’s where my heart is, so I jumped right in with both feet!  Mea culpa!  But now I want to stop for just a minute to offer you some thoughts on why learning/refining these heirloom skills is so blooming important.

At no other point in time has our culture had such access to unprecedented information, but we lack wisdom and motivation to apply that knowledge. We are materially wealthy, but spiritually destitute. We have thousands of Facebook friends but are socially isolated. And at no time in our Nation’s history have we (collectively) been more dependent on government and large corporations for our everyday survival. In so many ways, we’re removed from the very qualities, habits, and practices that our Nation was forged upon.

I often wonder what would happen if we had to face situations that our grandparents and great-grandparents had to face.  Would we be able to survive a Depression? A World War and the accompanying food rationing?  Would we be able to make do with only what we had?  Few could, most wouldn’t.  And that’s frightening to me.  Let’s see what we can do to change that fact and get back to those simple, wholesome practices that sustained cultures for eons:  preserving food, planning ahead, fiber arts, DIY, gardening, building community, reducing waste. 

My hope is to see you develop skills and friendships that will better enable you to provide for your family in an honorable manner. I don’t want you to learn a skill just for novelty’ s sake, but because it will nurture, provide for or protect your family, in good times as well as in times of hardship. Paul has some pretty harsh words for people who don’t provide for their families(1Tim 5:8) but we are so blessed to have examples such as the Proverbs 31 woman, Ruth and Esther to model our patterns of life after.

With that in mind, I want to give you an idea what the next few months will look like. Although I’ll be touching on a variety of topics, the remainder of summer will be heavy on food posts: how to grow it or catch it, how to prepare it, how to forage for it and how to preserve it. We’ll also hit on gardening and perhaps natural cleaners.  This Fall (in a few weeks…yikes!), we’ll transition to “cool weather” information and activities such as quilting and crocheting, cold weather prep, bread baking and frugal holiday ideas.

As always, I welcome your feedback and encourage your involvement. And as always, I hope you will be bold enough to ask for assistance as you begin the process of learning a new skill. My best to all of you.

Hello, You Big, Beautiful World!

Welcome to Learn The Legacy, a place to rediscover the skills that would have made Ma Ingalls proud!  My name is Andrea and I’m on a mission to teach traditional, time-honored, heirloom skills to a new generation.  I’ve always had a passion for the timeless arts practiced by my grandparents but I began refining those skills in earnest in 2004 when I left the work force to become a full-time, stay-at-home mom.  A little 10X20 garden became my contribution to our household economy and as many things do, it snowballed.  Gardening led to freezing, canning and dehydrating, to foraging, maple-sugaring, beekeeping, seed-saving, fiber arts and a myriad of other traditional skills that kept my hands busy while the children were napping.  But a funny thing happened along the way: my mommy friends began to ask me to teach them what I knew.  They wanted to know how to can jam, crochet a hat, cane a chair, grow tomatoes, make soap.  Skills that had been the backdrop of my life were totally foreign to them.

“My people are ruined for lack of knowledge…” Hos 4:6

Somewhere in the past century, we’ve stopped passing down practical wisdom.  Somewhere, our priorities changed and a legacy of invaluable knowledge was lost.  As a result, we have generations of people who don’t know the first step to growing food, creating a warm home, providing shelter and hospitality. (This is in no way a bash on the individual but an indictment on an entire self-absorbed society.)  It’s time to change that, my friends and it’s my desire to show you the way!

My goal is simple:  to pass on to you what has taken me a lifetime to learn!   At Learn The Legacy, you’ll find practical ideas for the home, garden, kitchen, family and craft room.  No pretentious, superfluous projects that require a Masters to accomplish; but wholesome, simple, nourishing, worthwhile skills that our grandparents and great-grandparents would have recognized and approved of.  We’ll talk food preservation in all forms from the basic to advanced, simple DIY, gardening from seed to seed, crochet, cooking and baking from scratch, eating on a budget, self-sufficiency, and whatever other topics happen to trip our collective triggers.  Most importantly, I hope to show you that “it’s no bad thing to celebrate a simple life” – Tolkien

Til next time, my friends!

Andrea