SPECIAL REPORT: "D.I.Y. Survival"
POSTED: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 10:10pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 11:48am
Tyler, TX (KETK) — This day in age, just about anything we need can be bought.
But more and more people lately are deciding to do things on their own, instead.
Take Lois Hutson, for example.
Hutson is just like any other woman living in the 21st century.
She has her own Facebook page, she e-mails and takes pictures on her cell phone.
But there's another big part of Hutson's life that's quite the opposite of all that.
Lois and her husband live on what they call a "homestead."
"A homestead is a place we raise as much of our own products that we can," Hutson said.
Hutson and her husband grow their own vegetables and fruits, which they preserve by canning them.
They also have their own bees for honey, they raise goats, cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens.
"We raise 99 percent of our meat products," Hutson said.
Hutson is also a teacher, helping run what is probably one of the hottest classrooms in East Texas right now.
She's teaching people how to survive, in the so-called "world of plenty" where everything is available at your fingertips.
"You always see reports of how many people have increased on food stamps and government assistance," Huston said. "So what we do with our classes is help people to help themselves."
The reasons for wanting to learn vary from fear, learning to stretch a dollar, eating more healthfully, preparing for disaster or just wanting to do things like Grandma did.
It all started late last year, when Huston and her friend Bonnie Gibson pulled their resources together and started offering the free classes to East Texans once a month at the Cowboy Church in Rusk.
Apparently, they are starting to blow up.
Attendance went from 20 something people in the first class, to almost 80 in the third.
In the January class, East Texans got free lessons in storing dry foods, couponing, canning, bartering, using essential oils, and even making your own deodorant.
For Hutson, learning to be "self reliant" started out of necessity.
"In 1999, my husband became disabled and I had two small children," she said. "I had a husband that couldn't function and he was our sole financial everything."
That necessity eventually turned into a calling.
"I told God, 'I know you're telling me to absorb this for some reason,'" she said. "He told me, 'I'll send the people to you,' ... He said, 'Feed the people.' Now, I understand why I don't charge. It's because it's not me doing it. God's just using me to do it."