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What Greenfield Village Has Taught Me About Being Resourceful & Frugal

This year, my family has enjoyed a membership to Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. Although it’s over an hour for us to get there, we’ve found it to be so wonderful that we’re willing to make the drive there to experience it. (Check out the video below to find out a little more!)

My husband & I both love to learn, and one of our favorite topics is history. When visiting new cities we often seek out historical museums, but thankfully we have something even better here in our own home state. Greenfield Village is much more than a historical museum, it’s a living piece of history. It’s unique because the staff at Henry Ford actually play the role of people from the 18th & 19th centuries. That means that every time you visit you get to witness different tasks taking place. Here are two pictures from our visit this week.

You can see staff members working in the gardens. The gardens are used to actually feed the staff and livestock on the premise – it’s a self sustaining project – and that’s where the lessons I’ve learned from Greenfield Village come in!

What Greenfield Village Has Taught Me About Being Resourceful AND Frugal: 
  • Nothing should go to waste, use everything. – The young men, above, choose to work in the garden after a brief rainstorm that morning, taking advantage of the softened soil to get the job done. Instead of throwing the weeds out, they were being fed to the herd of sheep kept nearby for their wool. Everything, no matter how big or small, has a purpose.
  • Organization & routine are crucial to a well-run home. – In one of the farm houses at Greenfield Village, the women run the house as if they were actually living in the Victorian era. Every day of the week has a set chore to complete, for example when we visited on Tuesday it was ironing day.
  • Everything should have a purpose, otherwise it’s not worth having. – Tin was referred to as ‘poor man’s silver,’ so most low income families would use tin to furnish their homes & kitchens. One great example is a tin canister containing five cookie cutters where the lid of the container is a biscuit cutter. In that way the piece is both functional & helps to organize the home.
I’m already looking forward to our next family trip to Greenfield Village, where I know I’ll be exposed to even more fantastic ideas! What advise have you gotten from our ancestors? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂


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