March brings the first soft breezes and crocus buds of spring, as the earth awakens after its winter-long sleep. I can only assume this new season of life and fertility explains why the Agricultural Council of America has named March 21, often the first day of spring, as "National Agriculture Day." But how much do you really know about farming? In honor of the equinox, Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings is here to plant some seeds of knowledge among your weeds of agricultural ignorance.
The Debunker: Can Amish People Use Electricity?
Bad news for hipsters who have just discovered knitting and beekeeping and home-churned butter: the Amish were doing all your old-timey hobbies before it was cool. These Christian traditionalist sects, a modern offshoot of Swiss Anabaptists, maintain their separation from the secular world by avoiding many modern innovations and luxuries. In the words of "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1996 hit Amish Paradise, they "party like it's 1699." Yankovic also claims that the Amish "shun fancy things like electricity," and that certainly jibes with our idea of candlelit Amish homes, kerosene-lit buggies, and so on. The problem is that this stereotype is almost entirely untrue. Most Amish love electricity—couldn't live without it, in fact.