Passionately Curious

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. —Albert Einstein

by Rachael Dupree

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. —Albert Einstein (

I don’t think I ever quite outgrew the “Why?” phase of my childhood—you know, that period in life when kids exude an incessant curiosity about the world around them.

“Why is the sky blue?”
“Why do dogs bark?”
“Why don’t dinosaurs exist anymore?”
“Why do I have to clean my room?”

While it’s true that my questions about life have grown more complex and, therefore, increasingly more difficult to answer, I haven’t stopped asking why … and how and when and where. I suppose that’s why I became an editor in the first place. I have this overwhelming desire to learn new things, and in this job, there is always something new on the table. For example, did you know that stinging nettles, that pesky weed that’s no stranger to the farm, can be brewed into a fertilizer to nourish our favorite vegetable garden plants, like tomatoes, cucumbers and squash? It’s just one of the many surprises my curiosity gifts me with on a daily basis.

You can probably relate. On the farm there is always some animal or plant or situation that leaves you scratching your head and thinking to yourself, “Hmmm, how do I get this to work?” or “Why did that happen like that?”

There are many curious people like you and me in the sustainable ag community. I’m in awe of these renegade farmers who are seeking the answers to tough questions like, “How can we make land more affordable to new farmers?” and “How can we eliminate food waste and feed hungry people at the same time?” Maybe you’re even chasing after a question you’re passionate about, one that will benefit not only yourself and your farm but the community of small-scale and sustainable farmers nationwide.

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If you are, I encourage you to keep chasing that curiosity, no matter how big or small. You might not become an expert about one particular thing or receive worldwide recognition for your efforts, but the part you play in the farming world is important and will add to your lasting legacy.

There are a number of organizations full of curious people like you that are already tackling ag’s burning questions head on. If you’re ready to step beyond simple questioning to taking action in seeking an answer, consider teaming up with one of these groups established to help you learn and to make sustainable farming a more obtainable profession.  Below is a sampling of farming organizations to get you started, but there are many more out there. If there’s another you want to share, drop me a line below.  Together we can foster a community of learning and growing!

For more info on classes and conferences to satiate your need to learn, visit the online calendar.

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