Saturday, 3 March 2018

Skills we must not lose


This image turned up on my Facebook timeline this morning.  I am sure it brought a smile to a good few people, especially if they had managed to rush to the shops before the bad weather hit and stocked up of loads of bread.  However when a friend posted on Facebook that they were baking bread, he wondered how many people were also doing this and how many do not know how to bake bread.

Image from Leamington Spa Courier


Loss of basic skills is something I have been mulling over for a while triggered by something else that popped up on social media.  Maybe you have seen this, or other similar "Never have I ever" type memes, where you get one point for each item you have NOT done.  I have seen ones for gardeners, parents and then this one for DIYers/self sufficiency advocates:  Do drop  me a comment with your score!

Never have I ever - Self sufficiency version

However there is a more serious note to both the photo and the Never Have I Ever mere.  We are fast losing vital skills and by doing so we are becoming dependent on some-on else for the basics we need in our lives.  Once we lose the knowledge needed to grow or cook our own food, make or mend our clothes etc then we leave ourselves vulnerable to having to buy from large organisations whose environmental records may be far from ideal.

You might argue that you could buy from smaller companies but many of these are in fact owned by large multinationals.  Look at this page to see just how many food companies are in fact owned by Monsanto.

Do you really want to be buying food from a company that promotes and produces vast quantities of GM crops and pesticides?

And once just a few companies dominate the market then they are given an almost free hand to do what they want.  As consumers our choices will become more and more limited and our ability to control what we eat, clothe ourselves in or have in our houses will be in the hands of just a few mega companies. 

So whilst I appreciate not everyone can keep chickens, milk a goat or ride in the back of a pick up, there are a lot of basic skills in the Never Have I ever meme that we really should not be losing.  If you can grown a few vegetables you can feed yourself organically and without plastic packaging.  If you can sew or mend you don't need to be buying yet more cheap throw away clothing.  If you can mend things think how much stuff you can stop going into landfill.  If you know how to forage for blackberries you can make your own jam and if you can make bread, the next time you get snowed in you won't be running out of this basic supply.  We need to pass the skills we have onto the next generation.  We need to teach ourselves those skills we have lost and we need to get basic skills like cooking, sewing, DIY and gardening back on the school curriculum.

Oh and my score?  Two!  (So long as I am allowed milking a sheep, rather than a goat!)
But do you know which two I have never done? 

And what is your score?  Have you got skills you can pass on to others?

A Green and Rosie Life

14 comments :

  1. Ooh my figure is 9 but I have baked bread and yesterday me and the children baked Banana bread which tastes delicious. It's gone mad where I live, Tesco hasn't had bread for days even though they have been having deliveries, people are getting in mega early and apparently buying 2-3 loaves 'just in case'. Just bake it :)

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  2. Ok I scored a whopping 18 but I am a city gal who does not like camping think my mum would have a very low score as she was a country gal who was born in 1940. It is sad that so many of us have not done so many of these things

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  3. I 100% agree. As i run a fresh food business the importance of local and fresh produce is important and should be taught to the next generation.

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  4. I got 7. I've milked a cow but never a goat :)

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  5. My score is pretty high-I buy my food from Tesco because yes you’re right, they are a big multinational company but they also employ a lot of people who wouldn’t have a job if no one shopped there.

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  6. It's a three for me - no pick-up, no sap tapping and no chainsaw, but the rest pretty much sums up my life, I love smelling of tomato leaves, it is THE smell of summer evenings in the potager.

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  7. I completely agree that we must not loose these skills! We have just had to give up our allotment, but still plan on still growing in our back garden. I would just love to keep chickens but my neighbours might not be so keen. I scored 10, but am and am definitely passing the things I know onto my children!

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  8. My score was 10. So interesting. I definitely think there are so many things that have not been passed down and taught to younger generations which is a shame really but it's up to the next generation to keep these kind of skills going and teaching their children. We will always need these kind of skills. Lovely thought provoking post xx

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  9. I scored 13 but I don't live in the country so that's not too bad - not many haybales or goats around here ! lol

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  10. I love your post and the photograph is great. I am quite proud of my score of 16 - I have shared your link on my regular feature on PainPalsBlog "Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You!"Claire

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  11. A thought provoking read. I got 6 (if you count cows instead of goats) and 5 if damper bread counts?! Ashamed to say I've not baked bread in earnest except at school which does not make me a master baker. I reckon you've not butchered an animal (nor me) but not sure what you're 2nd would be..?

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  12. I scored 8, despite living in East London, hiking, festivals, traveling and having an allotment helped! Another great and thought provoking post thank you.

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  13. I've got nine!!!!!! Thank goodness for girl guides :)

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  14. Eleven for me, shameful. I'm assuming that photo on FB was a joke as the snow only looks about 2cm deep, if that. No excuse for not being able to make bread, (yes I've done it, but not jam) just watch Youtube!

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