What’s Old is Important Again

Many skills and activities we identify as ‘artisan’ in the 2020s were once everyday tasks in the average household. Having been told to stay home for two years, and subsequently navigating supply chain disruptions, many are reminiscing about simpler times and adapting old-school skills to regain some peace of mind. 

Fortunately, now that many of our grandparents’ routines—canning, crochet, herb gardening, etc.—have come back into vogue, as a hobby or out of necessity, we have excellent local resources to provide expertise and instruction. Georgetown providers report multiple generations are enjoying learning about the ‘old ways’ and becoming more knowledgeable about sustainable living.  


Many of us have memories of an old afghan or handmade scarf crocheted by a special relative. Crocheted clothing was very popular in the 1970s, and the fashion world acknowledged its official comeback in 2021 with textured clothing of all types—bikinis and bucket hats to handbags and dresses. Today, as it was in the ’70s, it is a great way to relax while still being productive, and a creative break from devices and screens. 

Becca Daniel, a Georgetown local, crochets for fun but is also pleased it helps her save money on new clothing and covers. She first learned to crochet in a homeschool girls craft group. “I only accomplished a chain that day,” Becca says. After that, she took it upon herself to learn to crochet like a master.

Becca’s apartment is now filled with handmade blankets and she still tries to challenge herself in her craft. “I have attempted and failed at sweaters more times than I can count,” she says. 

Crocheting is fun and relaxing, and simple enough to do while watching TV. In Georgetown, The Knitting Cup at 102 E. University Ave. offers lessons in knitting, crochet, spinning, and weaving. Or just stop by to pick up some yarn and enjoy a cup of tea. 


For those who like to know where their food comes from and what is in it, gardening can be both a hobby and a lifestyle. As a result, home and community gardens are also among the sustainability skills making a comeback. The National Gardening Association reports—in large backyard plots and balcony herb gardens—one in three households are growing food. The NGA says the data represent the highest participation and spending levels in decades and the biggest increases were among millennials.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has many classes—beginner to master level. If you don’t have the time or space for a garden, you can grow these in pots: banana peppers, red peppers, onions, leaf lettuce, kale, tomatoes, chives, radish, eggplant, broccoli, and microgreens. 


Canning—preserving and turning raw foods into something more—helps diversify your menu, saves time and money, and keeps food safe for years without electricity. This two-century-old technique is helping many Americans enjoy healthier food they grow themselves. 

For those wishing to preserve their harvest and can the food, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension can help. Katie Sharpton, a Family and Community Health agent for Texas AgriLife, had so much interest for her first pressure canning class in June, she has promised to continue the series. 

Pleased with the response, Katie says, “[Canning] is starting to come back. People can taste the difference when they grow and can their own food. There is a sense of pride that comes with eating food that you have grown.”

The next canning class is July 16; visit the AgriLife website for details on gardening topics, workshops, and dates.