Hobbies are wonderful! I’ve recently expanded my life and lifestyle to explore new interests and to cancel television, and I can’t express how marvelous it’s been for me. I encourage anyone reading this to turn off the TV and explore your inner creative self. Let me share with you some easy hobbies to start that I’ve began exploring myself. The hobbies I’m currently interested in are hobbies for adults. They are child-friendly hobbies, but some may require adult assistance, direction, and supervision.
I recently engaged in conversation with some acquaintances, and this question popped up: “What shows are you watching on TV?”
The group erupted with all the different series names as I awkwardly sat silent. When it was my turn to speak, I said I watched Lord of The Rings last month and Shrek last week. I informed them that I wasn’t consuming as much traditional media now, and I was done watching TV because I believe only negative messages are being churned out. I noticed a few awkward frowns along with some “cool’s.” It seemed as if turning off TV was a sin. I went on to describe my new hobbies: becoming self-sufficient by gardening, canning, and learning to identify wild medicinal plants. The awkward tension seemed to snowball as I continued, but down the slope I went. I discussed how putting down the remote control freed up more time for me to grow and develop as a human. I felt I was ostracized and definitely the odd one out, but I didn’t care (and still don’t!). Hobbies are freaking cool!
Why does it seem that our culture makes it taboo to invest time and effort into obscure interests that are unrelated to television?
When did society make it normal to indulge our brains in mindless TV programs rather than build significant skills via hobbies?
Why does it seem abnormal to garden or read a book rather than watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster?
Only a few questions to ponder before you berate a person for abstaining from cultural norms.
I’ve been investigating different passions like gardening, canning, plant identification, foraging, exercise and other topics related to a healthier existence. I love every moment I spend on these activities, as I grow and struggle through challenging learning curves. This spring I planned to bring tomatoes to my garden and I began by planting tomato seeds and raising them with grow lights inside my house. I planned to transplant them outside after the final frost. Unfortunately, they all died lol! As I said, I’m growing through the learning curves.
My newest hobby is canning. I’ve always been interested in canning, but the process seemed a bit daunting. There are some dangers so I educated myself so I would never suffer from the effects of clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that cultivates in improperly preserved foods.
I recently ordered this Bell Home Preserving book to educate and inspire myself. I didn’t need a garden to start—all I needed are some farm fresh veggies this summer to kick off the process! I also plan to purchase this Presto pressure canner. Here are all the other necessities for pressure canning if you feel interested to engage in this process along with me:
2-pack 11 inch Pressure cooker canner rack
Norpro Canning Essentials set
Ball 32oz. widemouth jars with lids and bands
Regular mouth 8oz canning jars
My inspiration to can and preserve food is an artifact of the Corona virus outbreak of 2020. The shelves were barren and food was scarce. I never again will be at the mercy of local grocery stores—I will prepare for future pandemics. You should prepare as well. Let’s do this together! Don’t be caught off guard during the next crisis. We can sit back, relax, and pop open some canned apple pie filling and bake a pie while everyone else is scurrying around, scavenging the stores for last minute food. Being prepared is being responsible.
Along with learning to garden and can food, I’m gaining more knowledge about nature around me. If you know me, you know I love to hike and be among trees. I’m consistently fascinated by the many plants that cover the land, and I’ve often wondered what I can and cannot eat from the woods. Well, I’m finished wondering. I plan to learn about the plants around me and their medicinal benefits! As I discussed in my homestead blog, our ancestors lived off the land and treated medical issues with various plants long before Advil and other medicines came along.
Why has medicinal plant knowledge faded from the culture?
Well, I’ve began my journey to learn about the planet we are on by ordering this Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine and this Pacific Northwest Medicinal Plants book. You can order books that pertain to the plants in your specific area in the US:
Midwest Medicinal Plants book
Northeast Medicinal Plants book
Southeast Medicinal Plants book
What a neat skill to learn and have in your pocket for emergency or everyday situations!
I encountered my first real world plant identification experience while recently out with my Karelian Bear Dog, Kintla. We were trekking along a mountainside when I noticed bright red berries lining the ground. I thought it was an odd time for berries because we are transitioning from winter. I took pictures of the berries, came home, and investigated this plant with the help of my new books. I quickly discovered it was an edible berry that can suppress appetite or help symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection! You can even make tea from the leaves—wow! I marveled at my discovery and I couldn’t wait to get out and learn more!
Developing hobbies has been a healthy addition to my lifestyle. I grow from my experiences, and so do those around me! My family gets to listen to my latest adventures and what I am learning. They learn right along with me. Recently, I built a raised garden planter and that inspired my dad to build his own and begin gardening as well! You never know what interests you might spark in others by cultivating your own!