It was with great interest that I read a recent Garden Rant post about the flaws in dismissing kitchen gardening on grounds that it is inefficient for ordinary people to grow food (as opposed to agribusiness). I encourage you to read the whole thing, but for our purposes today, consider this part:
"The argument assumes . . . . it's a waste of time for non-farmers to garden instead of doing whatever brain work it is that they do best. . . . [and] it assumes that it's good for society for all of us to be utterly powerless outside our own areas of professional expertise."
"It's possible to see this of ideal of specialization fully realized in the American suburbs of 2008, where there are vast numbers of people who literally cannot do anything for themselves. They cannot cook, or lift a hammer, or garden, or walk--made so helpless by our culture that they have no life skills at all other than the few demanded by their employers. As a result, they are as dependent as babies on the big corporations that house them, feed them, transport them, climate-control and amuse them. And they like it that way and think that this is how every right-thinking person ought to live.
. . . .
"Personally, I like knowing how to do stuff, especially how to grow beans and cook them beautifully. These activities are extremely enjoyable, and so meaningful that I would no more outsource them than I'd outsource the raising of my children. They connect me with the whole of human history, which, let's face it, has been largely about scrambling to find the next meal.
"Such primitive knowledge gives me a certain confidence that if our cushy civilization should ever fail me, I am ready for anything. Undoubtedly, this readiness is an illusion. But let's just say that I'm readier than people who consider themselves too highly evolved to garden."
With that in mind, for this week's poll:
What skills do you have that are "specialized"? More general? What skills do you think everyone should have? What are two skills you have that would help you should modern civilization crumble?
Comment and discuss.