Are we losing it??


RIP 1938-2020
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
By "It" I mean our rural roots. I've noticed this before but it came to me again this last week when I read about the fatal house fire in CT which was caused by someone collecting the ashes from a fireplace in a paper bag and then leaving them outside the door. This is just an example of how we are forgetting those simply things our grand or great-grand parents knew. You see it where urban and suburban rules prohibit things like gardening and small animal (including chickens) raising. People can no longer tolerate common farming noise, odors and practices that create noise or inconvenience us. They have shut themselves off from how their food is grown to the point that they don't care to know anything that goes on as long as it isn't done in their backyard. Unless, of course it makes them sick or disturbs their sleep, at which point they want it regulated to the nth degree.

I worry about it. I read things on here where questions about animal husbandry and gardening are asked that I've known forever--probably from a parent, grandparent or relative. I live in an area where people move with the idea they are going to "get back to nature" and, after a year or two, fail and move (my next door neighbors are doing that as I speak, returning to urban NJ). I worry that once my generation is gone, unless someone is running a big, corporate-type farm with a degree in agricultural engineering, they won't know how to plant seeds, butcher animals or survive without access to a supermarket. Even the common sense, simple things like splitting wood and handling fireplace ashes are being lost the rest aren't going to be far behind.


12 Years
May 8, 2007
There are plenty of people still doing lots of useful activities and they don't all live on farms. They just don't get in the news. Putting hot ashes or embers in a paper sack and causing a fire is like leaving a baby in a hot car in the summer. Very few people will do it, most know bad things will happen if they did, but sadly, there's always going to be one person, once in awhile, that does it.


13 Years
Jan 18, 2007
I had to laugh at your post - my sister recently put up a sign that says something like:
"This is a farm. Animals live here. Animals make noise, poop, and have sex in public. If you can't handle these things, don't visit!".
I also remember a story from a few years ago that some rural planning district sent out a pamphlet to prospective home buyers at a new development with a "scratch and sniff" square of cow poop, to let folks know what it would smell like when the fields surrounding their new million $ homes were being fertilized -

...I do feel the need to confess that I have been guilty of putting ahes in a paper bag (and I should know better - I grew up heating with wood!), but I do throw the whole thing into the snow bank, I don't leave it on the porch! And yes, I have an ash bucket, but it is always full, and emptying that is one of the chores no one seems to want to do...


Lost somewhere in a book
10 Years
May 19, 2009
The cabin beside the lake
I agree with WoodlandWoman. There are plenty of people out there who are quietly plugging away, it's just that more attention is called to those with simple questions or who inadvertantly do something stupid and set their house on fire.


8 Years
Jul 18, 2011
Southwestern Ontario Canada
I feel like we are losing it...
The rat race has become more important than family.
How much we make has become more important than the kids.
Going to the grocery has replaced going to the cold cellar or garden.

It will take me a couple of years, but I am buying "the farm" (2 acres) in 2012. (gota find it first
I'll spend a couple of years working like crazy to get debts down, then I am going to slow down and focus on the basics.
Easier said than done, but, I can do anything I put my mind to with good achievable planning.

Peace all and Happy New Year
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key west chick

11 Years
May 31, 2008
Gainesville, GA
Yup, I think we are too. To many people have no clue where their food comes from, and really dont care. Material things and keeping up with the Jones's are whats important now. I cant wait till we buy us some land and start getting back to our roots. I want a garden, can my own food, grow meat birds, hunt deer, become more self reliant and aware of where my food comes from.


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
I think you are right. Worldwide, not just in the USA, people are leaving their rural roots and moving to the big city for the "better" life. Look at the size of some of the cities in third world countries. One or two generations ago, most of these were small farmers scracthing out a living on a small plot and living in very primative conditions.

I grew up on what I call a "dirt" farm in Appalachia. I'm not complaining. I had a great time, but one thing I learned was that I did not want to live like that. There is a lot of nostalgia and myths floating around about how great that life was, but it was a hard life. You don't have cash money to buy things. You have to work hard and get dirty a lot more than 8 hours a day. If you have a milk cow, you have to be there twice a day, no such things as vacations, let alone sleeping in. I'd hate to think I had to depend on my crops to feed my family after the heat and drought I had last summer, and there are plenty of folks that had it worse than me.

The world has changed. Some people dream about the self-sufficient life and try it. Some make it, but a lot get hit in the face with reality and don't make it. There were a lot of tricks and ways to do things that we learned from out parents or by doing them ourselves that people that did not grow up that way do not know. I really impressed my kids and nephews and nieces by splitting wood for a campfire with an ax. I think what really impressed them was that I could hit the same spot twice. Can you imagine how dangerous it would be for someone that had never used and ax to try that? They would not even know to clear their backswing. All I had to do was to remember the scar on my uncle's forehead to know why I should do that, and he grew up using an ax.

I don't worry about people losing those roots. The world has changed and will continue to change. I'm getting too old to change much more, but I've done my part and will leave you young ones to worry about managing in the future. Good luck and try to take care of my grandkids.


10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
I have noticed that for years. the worst example I ever read was a letter from a retired gentleman in Arizonia. He enjoyed his little neighbor girl coming over to visit with her folks. One day she was telling him something her teacher at school told the class about how food is produced in the back of the store.
So he asked her if she liked fried chicken. She said she did. He very nicely explained where fried chicken came from. He then asked her if she liked hamburgers and continued on that same line explaining where the meat came from and the vegetables. this little girl was fasinated by what he was telling her.
the next day she went to school and when the teacher was spewing her line of lies this girl told her that was not true and started repeating everything this gentleman told her.
Needless to say the teacher went off the deep end. She wrote a very rude and nasty letter to this gentleman and had the little girl deliver it. She also took out her nasty temper on this little girl for actually learning the truth of where her food came from.

So where are they learning these lies?

Our own experience with these types of people is always sad because their ignorance is beyond belief, but they are also suppose to be highly educated.


VA Royal Blues
10 Years
Apr 2, 2009
I do worry about this, too. Society today is so focused and intent on instant gratification and getting more "stuff" that we are losing not just our roots, but a lot of things. What I worry about more is that the human race seems to believe that the Earth is here for us to use and abuse as we see fit and giving nothing back in return. Cell phones with 4G and video games are FAR more important issues than polluting our oceans, destroying acres upon acres of trees and destroying wildlife habitats, the glaciers melting, etc. It is very scary and very disheartening.


8 Years
Aug 18, 2011
As long as there are people raising kids in the country, there will be some who are practicing 'the old ways'.

In my little community (about an hour outside of Richmond VA) I would estmiate that at least 1/2 of the families are producing at least some of their own food (eggs, meat, or fruits/veggies). Of those, about half have some sort of 'livestock' (poultry, rabbits, goats, cows) that are raised for the purpose of feeding themselves and their neighbors. I started last year keeping a small garden and intend to learn to can this summer. I'm hoping to have a small coop in the spring and if I'm lucky, I hope they will provide almost all the eggs that my family needs. For the first time in my life I have deer meat in my freezer - a gift from a friend. And there is a neighbor coming over this weekend to thin out the heard of deer that are grazing up all of my horses' pasture. If he's successful, I'll be learing how to gut/skini/process a deer and will (I hope) be enjoying being store-bought-beef-free the rest of the winter. One of my good frineds raises chickens, rabbits, goats and pigs for food. I've asked to come over and help the next time they spend a Saturday processing one of thier pens. His girls (elementry ages thru highschool) can go into the woods, bring down a deer and have it in the freezer before the weekend is over. They don't think twice about having a couple dozen chicken carcases hanging on the clothsline waiting to be skinned. They can start a fire, kill a snake, and dress up to 'wow' the boys at the prom. I'm to totally impressed and inspired by this family, and they are not the only ones that I know of within 30 miles of my house. As long as there are communities like mine, there will always be children learning the things that my grandparents never told me
but that I hope to be able to teach anyone who is willing to learn.

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