Yesterday was a review day and today's post is sort of a fun alternative to market watching. I'm thinking about play and the role of play in both animals and people to increase skills needed in life. What kinds of skills can we expect to need in either a post peak world, or perhaps a Greater Depression world? What sorts of hobbies build these skills?
I know that I started canning some jam years ago as a fun activity in the kitchen. This year that hobby has expanded into full-scale work on food preservation until mid-night and get up in the morning and can before work, as was the case today. (Mrs. Neighbor and I picked tomatoes and onions and used our frozen blanched corn to make a really nice soup - mmmm).
In my family, each of us is taking an area of some interest and moving it to the next level. For instance, in the past my sister (who is great at gift giving) gave the girls soap making and candle making kits. Now, these are the sorts of kits that come out of craft stores and arn't really about taking over the needs of a household, but I did ask DD14 to begin to look into soap making. She made our last laundry detergent - the the next batch will need some adjustments.
DD17 is a serious academic with intentions on medical school (oncology). I have asked her to begin to learn more about herbal remedies and natural cures. If things crash before she can get all the loans she needs to get through medical school, she can use her desire for the medical arts and her exacting nature to learn about alternative cures.
I have been quilting for a few years, producing a handful of quilts with fine detail. However I suspect this winter will turn to larger quilt squares, and faster turn out of work to increase the number of warm quilts in the household. I have what my family has Always called, Grandma's Depression Quilts. When the yard dries out I'll set them out to air and take a picture of them. They are made of all sorts of pieces of old wool clothing. I imagine the center layer is an old blanket and the backing is a wool Army blanket. My Grandmother was nothing if not frugal. Sleeping under these heavy quilts in the cool, thin, mountain air, I can remember concentrating on breathing in and out as I felt crushed.
Mr. Greenjeans is an all around handy fix-it man who has years of honing his ability to fix, and build all manner of things.
Some other hobbies that I know people have that can be honed to be useful in a power-down world are: knife making, re-loading, smithing or metal working, making oil lamps, wood working and furnature making, gardening, sewing and needle work such as knitting and felting, raising livestock, hunting and fishing, basket making, throwing and firing pottery, spinninng and weaving...
What kinds of hobbies do you pursue? Can you add ideas to this list?