I just finished my Eagle Scout project. I installed an irrigation system in the front lawn of Lifehouse, a home here in Louisville for women in crisis pregnancies.
It was hard. I went with the cheaper trencher, but it didn't dig as deep as the more expensive one. This resulted in digging a ten-feet long or so trench that had to be three feet deep. One of our troop leaders dug a hole that was probably four-by-four feet wide, and was three feet deep. Today, I had to dig a two-by-three-by-three hole to fix some valve connections.
Lots of work was spent to repair the lawn by raking, laying topsoil, and seeding. All in all, about a full day (twenty-four hours...eleven-and-a-half on one calendar day) was spent outside in the hot sun working on the project.
God gave us two hands. Yes, my dad says that a lot, to prove a point to me in a slightly smart-alecky way. But we should use them!
Sometimes a project is outside of our expertise. And actually, in most cases all but one project was impossible for a man in a village or town, until the advent of do-it-yourself manuals and then the computer. The barter system worked wonders. Nothing like a free roof-thatching for rebuilding the kitchen table (or something like that). Today you just call a contractor, plumber, or whomever (or two, or even better, three) for an estimate. Then you hire one to do the best job.
However, the decline in the ability to work with one's hands, even on a temporary basis is kinda scary to me as a Catholic seeking to restore the culture to Christ. St. Joseph should be our model in this.
It's scary that at 17 years, I know next to nothing about plumbing, electricity, or doing hard work outside. We don't have to do it.
Having a small family farm is something that would be good, not only for generating income but for learning to work with my hands. It'd also be kinda fun!