How Many Of These Vintage Skills Do You Know?

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How many of these vintage skills do you know? Could you teach your family members or neighbors how to use those skills? This list is very short, but it’s very important to make sure these skills are not lost or forgotten. Some people may call them pioneer skills, some call them vintage skills.

It’s kind of like the phrase homesteading or a farm, is there a difference? I have never raised animals to eat on my homestead or plot of land. But I have raised a garden, sewn all of our clothes, lived on a budget, pressure canned food, dehydrated food, and water-bathed foods.

I cook from scratch and have my whole life. The largest lot we have ever owned was a 1/2 acre, but we produced enough fruits and vegetables to preserve for our family of six for a year.

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Biggest Garden On The Street

I can still remember hearing people tell us we had the biggest garden on the street in every neighborhood we have lived in. It wasn’t for competition, it was for survival and to teach my girls to learn to work. And work, they did. I could not have canned 4-5 bushels of peaches, pears, apples, apricots, spaghetti sauce, and salsa without Mark and the girls there helping.

I also couldn’t have snapped that many green beans or made all that delicious purple grape juice. We made apple pie filling, don’t you love apple pie? These are just a few of the items we preserved to feed our family of six. I guess what I am trying to say is, you don’t need 15 acres to be self-reliant, you can do it on much less land.

Homesteading And Vintage Skills

I know the word homesteading has become very popular in the last few years, but people my age have been doing these vintage or pioneer skills for a long, long time.

It is not new to some of us, it was a necessity as we raised our families. We didn’t have food drive-thru’s to pick up dinner. We made dinner at home. We didn’t have access to all the processed food available to families today. I’m hoping I can help a few families realize they don’t need a lot of property to be self-reliant. We did it with a half acre and sometimes less property.

We made pancakes from scratch and homemade cookies ready for the kids when they came home from school. We wanted to pay off our house instead of getting a soda every day from the store around the corner.

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So, my question today is how can we get people to go back to what we have been doing for years. Here are just a few vintage skills we must teach our kids and grandkids. Ten acres aren’t going to help you much if you don’t know how to use these few limited skills.

Vintage Skills



If you can learn how to save seeds, plant seeds and balance your soil with good organic products you can grow anything, anywhere. Learning how to use different soils found in your particular neighborhood is critical to be successful when growing a garden. I have had many good years and very few years that I couldn’t grow some vegetables in this desert where I live. I had better soil up north, but it’s taken a few years to get this soil where I want it to be the most productive. Learn to save seeds, you will be glad you did.

Bread Making:


I know there are a lot of people with gluten issues, but try and make sourdough bread or natural yeast bread. Sometimes it’s not the wheat at all, but the commercial yeast. Very few people in Europe have any gluten issues because they use zero commercial yeast, only natural yeast.

It’s your gut and you must follow what is right for you, but I have families come to my house to get natural yeast and their gluten issues have disappeared.



I grew up making my own clothes, so a sewing machine has always been a mainstay in my home. I remember dreaming about owning a Bernina sewing machine one day after I worked at a Bernina shop in Logan, Utah. It took almost 50 years but I finally got one, thanks to the money my mom left me after she died.

I will never part with that machine, it means too much to me. My first sewing machine was a Singer, then a BabyLoc. My grandmother even gave me a Singer Treadle machine. They were great machines and served me and my family well for many years.

I really should add knitting to this section. We can knit better ones compared to some we can buy at the store.

Cooking From Scratch:


If we can teach our kids that a tube that snaps on the counter with premade biscuits is not cooking from scratch, we will win! If we can teach them that vegetables and fruits really are more filling and healthy than a drive-through hamburger or chicken nuggets we will win too!

I know, I can hear some of you say “but that’s why I use coupons, they save me money.” In the short term, this may be true, but our health is at stake, I promise. I confess I eat way too much. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is my favorite. Is my cholesterol, high? Of course, it is and I know better. It’s an addiction, I’m trying to stop, including eating unhealthy food.

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Please tell me I’m not alone. How can we teach our kids and grandkids how to make things like a white sauce or a homemade pizza crust? I’m thinking it’s by example, maybe or maybe not?



I truly believe we need to teach people to budget their money. If they write down what the net is that they bring in and then make a list of expenses that have to be paid, then they are well on their way to forming a family budget. If you have to cut those daily sodas, then stop it.

I love Starbucks, but I also want to purchase another car in a year or two. Mark and I live on less than we make, if we can do it so can others. Is it hard, yes it is? But, it’s been a way of life for us. I would rather eat at home, but I also realize I need to splurge to go on a date with Mark from time to time. But I try to use a coupon for a two for one. I tip on the REAL full amount because I know how hard those servers work.

Get out of debt, and live on less than you make. You can do this!

We Can’t Depend On The Government


These are simple vintage or pioneer skills anyone can accomplish. We can’t depend on the government to take care of our families. We are responsible for feeding and clothing our families, not the government. I have known families over the years that have been on food stamps for over 15 years now, and some still live in low-income housing.

They have strong healthy bodies and could raise a garden or find more gainful employment, this needs to stop. I understand if they are going to school or have been out of work for 3-4 months, had some health issues, etc., but not 15 years. It’s become a way of life for them, plus they are teaching their kids that this is acceptable. In my way of thinking it is not. Okay, I will get off my soapbox.

Final Word

We need to teach people these vintage skills at the very least. Please teach these skills or have someone teach you, we will be a better world, I promise! Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

Danish whisk-my favorite

Hand mixer-my favorite

Other ideas by Linda

Ideas for kids over 12 years of age by Linda

Pioneer ideas by Linda

Copyright Images: Kitchen-chopping veggies Depositphotos_81161942_s-2019

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  1. My last add to the survival, take care of yourselves list was a treadle sewing machine! I love that it’s almost the same as the one I learned to sew on. I’ll admit it was a lot of work to get it back into working order, but I’m thrilled with it. Saving seed should be second nature to everyone, even if they can only have a flower pot. Loved the post, keep up the great work.

    1. Hi Beth, I gave my treadle machine to my daughter, and now I want to look for one and get it serviced and ready to go. Great reminder. Saving seeds is a big one. I need to add these to my post. Thank you so much!! Linda

  2. Great article Linda, i would say that there are only a few people in this country now that under stands what this means. The more i travel, the more i see people dependent upon grocery stores , fast food joints, government handouts, just living from day to day. I truly feel sorry that people have gotten into that rut. My advice to everyone i talk to that understands what is going on today is, sign up to ” food storage moms ” and follow Linda`s articles and advice, it`s a win, win situation.
    Keep up the fantastic work that you do, God Bless…

    1. Hi Hearl, you are so cute, I love your comment! I really try it teach the world to be self-reliant. Life is good if you learn to work and take care of yourself. Thanks again, Linda

  3. I think another one of the important vintage skills is knitting. Even young children can be taught to knit and in an earlier era, many children were required to knit five rows on their socks before they could go out to play. Mittens made from natural animal fibers are much warmer than the thin cotton and synthetic mittens and gloves sold in stores.

    Last year I made very thick mittens for my son for Christmas. He and his sisters went sledding on a sunny day–the snow was melting but the sledding was great. After a couple of hours his mittens were absolutely soaked on the outside, but completely dry (and his hands were very warm) on the inside.

    When we have no electricity to heat our homes, mittens and hats are going to become very important. If we can learn how to knit these items, that will help us become more comfortable. And knitting is very therapeutic. It can be done by small children and the elderly so that they can make a contribution. If we have animals that produce fiber that we can spin, so much the better. And an expensive spinning wheel isn’t required; yarn can be spun on a drop spindle, which costs about a dollar to make. (I have posts about these on my blog.)

    Keep up the good work!

    PrepSchoolDaily dot blogspot dot com

    1. Hi Jennifer, great comment! I never learned to knit, one of my regrets in life. It’s never too late to learn! Great tip on the yarn spinning, I love it! Linda

  4. I know how to do all of the skills you have listed. I grew up on a farm/ranch and we raised all of our own meat, a huge garden and put this food up for year round eating. We did have to purchase our fruit because of the location of our ranch – it was too high in elevation to effectively have fruit trees. We did have one apple tree that produced the biggest pie apples. I don’t know what the variety was but when we saw the first apples drop, we knew it was time to pick and make pies for the freezer. We didn’t dehydrate but that is a skill I learned later in life.

    Sewing is my thing!! Beth mentioned a treadle sewing machine! My son-in-law’s mother GAVE me a beautiful full cabinet treadle machine. It is in such good condition that all I needed to get it working really well was a new belt and that was purchased at a local sewing shop (the owners fix and repair just about every type of machine!!). I’m not very good with that machine but with my electric machines, it is a different story. In fact, I was at my daughter’s for Easter and my 6 year old granddaughter brought me 3 things and asked me if I could fix them! My daughter knows how to sew and has a machine but she also has 4 children and claims she doesn’t have time to fix things! At least my grandkids know that this grandma can do these things. I look forward to teaching them how to sew and will do like my mother taught me – first project is an apron; no cutting involved, just tear the fabric, press and sew. Then on to quilting!!

    I live in an apartment and my 8′ X 10′ deck which gets pretty good afternoon sun is my homestead!! My lettuce and radishes are coming up! I am growing cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and lettuce; thyme, oregano, basil, hyssop and lavender; and strawberries! I figure if I can at least produce my own salads, I am ahead of the game. And, if I only get 20-30 strawberries, they will at least taste like strawberries!

    I truly love your posts, Linda and I imagine you get tired of me rambling on in my replies!! But, hey, you get me started! So, really, Linda, it is your fault that I ramble on! LOL!!

    1. Hi Leanne, you never ramble in my eyes, girlfriend! OH my gosh, I need to go look for a good treadle machine. My daughter has mine in another state. My first sewing project was an apron! Wow, tearing the fabric, boy does that bring back memories!!! And really good ones at that! LOL! I can hardly wait to hear about your homestead deck! You are rocking it! I mend all my grandkids stuff as well! It’s life! And we love it, Leanne! Linda

    1. Hi Ceri, way to go, this is the best comment! I love love love hearing this! Thank you for teaching others a lot of the lost skills and arts. Linda

  5. I would like to add another skill? Get out of debt and stay there. Pay extra on all debt every month and live on less, there will be a time you will thank yourself.

    1. Hi Janet, oh my gosh, this is the best comment ever! We do not need stuff, get out of debt. I’m going to go add this one right now, thank you, Linda

  6. Linda, you mention saving seeds. Could you be a little more specific how to do that. Aren’t most of the store bought seeds hybrids so saving seeds from the crops of hybrids won’t grow…grow very well? Do you by specific seeds so you can save the seeds…? I’m a newbie at gardening and I know how necessary it will be. We purchase an irrigation water share each year but have never used it, yet. Back to the seeds, I need advice/suggestions/information.

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