Home Economics…Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

— Written By Renay Knapp and last updated by Emily Capps
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How many of you had Home Economics in high school? What was your favorite subject? When I took Home Economics in high school, I enjoyed all the different subjects, but I think sewing was my favorite, followed by foods and nutrition. I grew up with my mother and grandmother teaching me how to sew. They made all our clothes and quilts. Oh, the memories of playing under the quilt that my mother and grandmother was working on, with the quilt frame suspended from the ceiling. At the end of the day, the quilt was raised to the ceiling out of the way by winding the ropes that were connected to the frame.

Cooking was the next favorite thing I enjoyed, both in school and at home. In the summer we preserved as much of the garden bounty as possible because this was what our family depended on in the cold winter months. So that is where I gained most of my skills in food preservation.

And these are some of the reasons I chose to major in Home Economics Education in college. I wanted to help others and teach these subjects. Cooking and sewing – these are “arts” that have almost disappeared from our lives and especially the younger generations. As I am working on my yearly plan of programs and classes that will be offered over the year, these are some I plan to incorporate into my program planning.

Sewing classes have already begun. This is an ECA (Extension and Community Association) Group, previously known as Extension Homemakers, called Saturday Stitchers. They meet at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center one Saturday a month. Simple and easy projects are planned and taught each month. Some of the participants from last year are continuing to work on their quilt block of the month. Others are working on projects of their choice. A Quilt of Valor will be made and presented to a veteran by some of the members. Another service project will be pillowcases for the battered women’s shelter. These will be used on their pillows while there but filled with their possessions when they are able to leave the shelter.

Lunch and learns will also be offered covering a wide variety of topics, including the Instant Pot and the air fryer. Did you receive one of these as a gift for Christmas, but have no clue as to how to use them? What about some cooking and food preparation skills? Are there some that you’d like to learn or brush up on? I am open to suggestions, so shoot me an email and let me know.

Med Instead of Meds is an educational program that indicates eating like those who live in the Mediterranean region helps promote health and decrease risk of many chronic diseases. This 6-week, hands-on program will be offered in the Spring. After the educational part of the program, participants will prepare various recipes from the Mediterranean and share with others in the class.

Are you a grandparent raising your grandchildren or raising a child or children who is not your own? A support group will be forming soon and space is available for more. This is a situation that is very different from raising your own children with many obstacles and hurdles to jump.

Hands-on food preservation workshops will be held this summer when all the wonderful fruits and vegetables makes their appearances.

These are just a few of the programs that are being planned. If you are interested in more information on any of them or would like to be notified when they are scheduled, contact me. The best way is through email – renay_knapp@ncsu.edu. You can also call me at 828/697-4891 or 828/884-3109. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you. I look forward to hearing from you.