News / USA

Young Return to Old-Fashioned Domesticity

An increasing number of Americans are growing their own food, making their own clothes and generally embracing the domestic lifestyle of their grandparents' generation. Although there are no statistics yet, some experts say this do-it-yourself movement has been gaining momentum among the under-40 population.

Shannon Kline and her daughter Alice are picking the last of the summer harvest from the family's vegetable garden while her husband Geoff Delanoy prepares the soil for their fall crops.

Life for this Baltimore-based family is all about living close to nature.

“We like to grow our own food because we want to know what goes into it. We want to know what we’re feeding our family,” said Shannon Kline.

Older ways

Kline also makes clothes for her two young daughters.

“The organic cotton is really soft and it is not going to hurt my young children’s skin. They like that I made it. My older daughter tells me that she’s very proud that I make her clothes,” she said.
Shannon Kline, shown with daughter Alice, uses organic cotton and recycled fabric in a kids clothing business she runs out of her home. (VOA/J. Taboh)Shannon Kline, shown with daughter Alice, uses organic cotton and recycled fabric in a kids clothing business she runs out of her home. (VOA/J. Taboh)
x
Shannon Kline, shown with daughter Alice, uses organic cotton and recycled fabric in a kids clothing business she runs out of her home. (VOA/J. Taboh)
Shannon Kline, shown with daughter Alice, uses organic cotton and recycled fabric in a kids clothing business she runs out of her home. (VOA/J. Taboh)

Kline also makes and sells children's clothing online and at craft shows.

Having a home-based business allows her to spend time with her daughters. Today, she’s using some of that time to make skin lotion with Alice.

“What we do here is a lot of work. It’s worth it because I’m doing it side by side with my family, and this is the time that we’re never going to get back, and this is what my daughter’s going to remember when she’s older,” she said.

Family time at home

Kline is one of a growing number of young Americans embracing the home-centered lifestyle of their grandparents’ generation.

Culture writer Emily Matchar said in an interview via Skype that she's writing a book about the movement, which she calls “New Domesticity.”

"People spend a lot of time at their computers and there’s just something very lovely and very appealing about doing something with your hands and maybe doing something that seems old-fashioned or seems to connect you with previous generations," said Matchar.

Sociologist Betsy Greer said that connection is the key to this growing movement.

“It’s this dual thing where it connects us to ourselves, because we have time to think while we’re doing it, and it connects us to others,” she said.

Shannon Kline agrees. “I’ve met a lot of women who have really taken up sewing and canning and gardening, and have really been loving it.”

It's a feeling that many Americans apparently believe has been lost in today's fast-paced world.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More