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Home Economics

| 12/23/2015 10:08:00 AM


My major in college was home economics. To many, that term might evoke thoughts of cooking and sewing, and people my age would remember when it was a course in high school that only the girls who were not headed to college would take. Home economics is so much more than that. It involves the skills to run a household efficiently, which is what permaculture is all about

The classes I took at Ohio State did involve cooking and sewing, but also nutrition, clothing design, household management, child care and family dynamics, and education. Even the doctors and nurses in training were not taking courses in nutrition at the time.

Recently I’ve seen information about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities that involve what I would consider, home economics. We use all of that in managing our households and homesteads. Nutrition is quite a science and knowing how things work and how to make them better involves technology and engineering. As for math — you definitely need it when you are calculating how many canning jars to wash for the 25 pounds of snap beans you plan to can. I actually prefer the acronym STEAM — the A is for the arts, which is just as important as the other four areas.

My initial interest in home economics was sewing. I was a teenager and had not yet needed to cook the family meals or manage a household. I did, however, have a need to make clothes that fit. You can find more about home economics and the blue jeans I make for myself at Homeplace Earth. I believe sewing is like welding. If you have the machine and are skilled at using it, you can take scrap (fabric or metal) and make anything you want.


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