Posted on June 5, 2016
There’s an amazing thing going on in the little college town of Athens, Georgia, where we used to live. This fall, Seed Life Skills, a nonprofit organization working to develop a modern, highly relevant Home Ec curriculum that can be replicated in schools across the country, will launch its pilot classroom program. Headed up by Hugh Acheson and Almeta Tulloss, the organization’s mission is to empower youth to be “sustainable stewards of food and financial resources.” Kids will learn to cook healthful meals using whole foods and solid kitchen techniques; they’ll learn to grow and preserve produce; they’ll learn how to minimize consumer waste and make the most of a budget; they’ll learn to mend their own clothes; they’ll learn to compare cell phone contracts and navigate a health insurance statement—all skills that will give them a lifelong confidence in the kitchen and beyond.
I think this new (old) vision for school Home Ec classes should be fully supported by public school systems everywhere, and it seems to me that Seed Life Skills is doing the hard work of showing exactly how it can be done. I want to help them out a bit, so I’ve set up a T-shirt campaign on Teespring; if enough people order a shirt—there are several styles available—they’ll be printed and shipped, and I’ll donate the profits from the sale of the shirts (minus taxes) to Seed Life Skills.
My friend Jake Genen was kind enough to work up a super-cool design (doesn’t it look a little like those World War I and II “Waste not, want not!” and victory garden posters—without the flag-draped maidens and “unsweetened” pickled Kaisers?).
These shirts are soft and comfy, and they’d probably look great underneath a linen-and-leather apron at your next tomato-canning party, or over a long-sleeved waffle-knit for apple picking in the fall. If nothing else, treating yourself—and/or friends!—to a sweet new tee would be a fun way to celebrate the start of the summer canning season while also supporting a very worthwhile public good.