St. Olaf Garden Research and Organic Works

Learning from scratch!

As a new addition to the STOWGROW team, I feel there's little I could teach of actual educational value, so instead I’ll delve a little into the exciting process of learning. Learning, specifically, how to be taught.
I think we often take for granted the things that we’re familiar with; we find surprising the degree of difficulty others undergo to gain that same knowledge. With a musician, for instance, the theory and composition of music is (or should be) second nature. Certainly, there are years spent practicing and perfecting those skills, but as a musician myself, I know how strange it feels knowing there are people around me—even close friends—who haven’t a clue how to read sheet music. Strange!
I’m guessing that with experienced farmers, it’s much the same thing. Common sense is relative to the situation, and there’s a certain sort of common sense unique to farming (demonstrated by Day and Moe) that may prove challenging to grasp. The three of us interns, all new to STOWGROW, are finding that hands-on, proactive learning is the best way to learn what we need to know. Also, I find that proactive interrogation (asking stupid questions) is similarly important.
So far, it’s been a grand time seeing what five people can do with less than an acre of land! Tilling, planting, watering, and hacking weeds is such a welcome change from the Great Black Hole of homework. The physical result of gardening of farming is so much more satisfying than the intangibleness of grades.
Oh, and not to mention: our chickens are pretty sweet.


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