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By: Curtis Schofield, Spiritual Insight


I was born in 1937 during the great depression. My father and mother were farmers. We had milk to sell from a few cows. We planted a large garden, and my mother canned food for the winter. We did not have much money, but we never went hungry. My dad and older brother cared for the milk cows, and raised and provided the hay and the corn for them. My mother and I and some younger brothers picked the beans and blackberries. My mother canned them for our food in the cold months. My parents believed it is necessary for parents to teach their children the necessary skills of survival.

I learned to appreciate more the parents and teachers who help children develop basic life skills when I was the director of Contact Telephone Ministry in Chattanooga from 1969-1975. Many of our callers were youth who claimed they were living a life of addiction, because they had never learned the basic skills to survive.

Recently, I read an article by Gray Palmer that reminded me of my childhood and the importance of teaching our children how to work together to provide for their families:

During the 1930’s we lived in a small town named Trenton. We lived beside the railway tracks. Times were very tough. My father, whenever he could find work, worked seven days a week 12 hours a day. And even then it was barely enough to feed the family.

“We lived on a small lot in a two story house where we managed (five children). The lot had a small barn where we kept a pig and a cow. We had chicken wire off the back porch for chickens. We had a garden. My mother did a lot of canning for winter. My grandmother who lived on a small farm near by brought us a lot of food items. My sister and I used to walk the railway tracks with six quart baskets and pick up coal that had fallen from the train. We would use it when the weather got cold and it would keep the house warm most of the night.

You may ask why I am telling you this. Because I believe times like the 1930s and early ‘40s could come again, and now is a good time to have some measure of readiness. The old adage “save a little for a rainy day” is a good thing.

Gary Palmer is the webmaster for, a site providing tools and tips for those interested in a home, food storage program.  Article Source:

Biblical Guide: Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen. Teach them to your children and to their children after them (Deuteronomy 4:9).

Curtis Schofield is a retired minister residing on Sand Mountain. Contact him at (423) 413-5653.


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