These essential skills have been lost in just 2 generations.
The way we live has changed drastically in just a few short generations more than at any other time in history.
For centuries, people passed down through generation to generation the skills that would set them up for life, and these kept the human race thriving, but in a very short space of times these have all been lost.
1. Gardening for food
Growing your own vegetable to stock your pantry was the way we survived for hundreds of years, it is only the last 60 or so years that the supermarket has replaced the garden. Every family had their own vegetable patch and would grow a range of foods including potatoes, onions, carrots, swedes and many different herbs.
2. Animal husbandry
These days the furthest experience most people have with animals is looking after their own pets, whereas in the past most people looked after small animals. Chickens, sheep, pigs and cows were all reared for their commodities on most normal houses with land, not just farms like it is today.
3. Hunting and fishing
Fishing is now considered the most popular ‘sport’ in the world, when just a short time ago it was a main source of food for many families. It is now illegal to fish for food in many places and strict rules have meant only the most dedicated have carried on passing this skill down to their children.
4. Food preservation
These days many foods that you buy from the supermarket have incredibly short life-spans, only lasting a day or two even in the refrigerator. In the past people used ingenious ideas to keep food fresh all through the winter, it was a case of learn how to preserve or go hungry. Fish were stored for periods of months in salt barrels and the most unusual of fruits and vegetables were picked to elongate their shelf life.
This is now regarded as an archaic and out of date profession, when just 100or so years ago most communities had at least a couple of blacksmiths. We now buy most of our metal products from places that have had the shipped for far away places where it can be produced cheaply, and to a lesser quality.
6. Herbal medicine
These days when you have a cold or a flu most people’s first reaction is to go to the pharmacy and buy the latest pharmaceutical medicine, but in the past the go-to chemist was nature. People have lost the ability to recognize which plants and herbs can cure us without having to rely on the chemist on the corner.
7. Horseback riding
This skill is now mainly considered a pass-time or a sport people casually engage in for fun, while in the past it would have been the difference between eating dinner or going hungry. Riding was used to greatly improve the hunting experience and people were so skilled at it they were able to concentrate 100% on their prey and not the horse.
8. Basic carpentry
If you have even tried to assemble flat pack furniture you will know just hoe muddling it can be to put together even a simple piece of furniture – with the instructions. In the past, many people made and repaired their own furniture instead of relying on shops to make it for them.
9. Repairing and mending
These days we very much live in a ‘throw away’ society. Cheap labour has meant that products are cheap, but that they break easily. This quick turnover of our belongings has meant that we no longer value our possessions, and we are quick to throw them away and buy a new one instead of learning how to mend what we have.
10. Milking a cow
Only a small fraction of people today would know what to do to get milk from a cow, when 100 years ago it was a common skill. All members of the family were taught how to milk the cow, whereas now we rely on the national dairy farmers to come up with the goods.