How To Be A Poet, by Wendell Berry

By Thursday, March 12, 2015 Permalink 0

How To Be A Poet, by Wendell Berry

(to remind myself)


Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.


Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.


Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

Wendell Berry Quote: Why do Farmers Farm?

By Monday, November 3, 2014 Permalink 0

Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: “Love. They must do it for love.” Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide. I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self-employed to live at least a part of their lives without a boss.― Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food

The Mindful Eating Series: Interview with Geneva Farmer David John Kong-Hug

By Friday, August 23, 2013 Permalink 0

The Mindful Eating Series: Interview with Geneva Farmer David John Kong-Hug

by Jonell Galloway

In the context of the concept of Mindful Eating, I plan on posting a series of articles that show people who are already practicing this in one way or another, without necessarily calling it by that name.

I’d like to start with an article about Geneva farmer, foodie and ecologist, David John Kong-Hug, whose family’s fruit and vegetables have given my family and me endless satisfaction and nourishment.

I see in the Hugs the same integrity and pride in what they do as I saw in the land of Wendell Berry. There is a mutual satisfaction when he puts an organic red pear into my hands and tells me exactly how to make my rissole. We form a mutual appreciation society; we have a mutual “affection” for the product and awareness of the hard work and care that went in to producing it.

David is a linguist and speaks so many languages I couldn’t possibly name them all. He has traveled extensively, and lived in South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

He grew up on the family farm in Vandœuvres, right outside Geneva, and has never lost his love and respect for the land. He started working on the family farm from a young age, where he remained while studying agriculture and later doing a Ph.D. in environmental management.

Like the Swiss, like Wendell Berry, the love of land and soil is in his blood. With this personal history, need we ask what he thinks about Mindful Eating?

Interview with David John Kong-Hug

We are one of the last Genevan families who sell organic vegetables and fruits grown in our little one-hectare farm in Vandoeuvres (GE) along the Seymaz river. We have been working at the Rive and Carouge farmers market since 1946. For us, eating organic is a misnomer. Food is organic by its very nature! But since the green revolution in the seventies, food has become partly chemical. We have always refused to use chemicals on our land. How could we poison our land and water, add sulfites to the food we eat, feed our animals and serve to people?

Until the seventies, people took seasonal crops as a given. They knew that tomatoes with irregular shapes and apples with flaws were actually natural and tasty. They did not ask for strawberries in winter. Our tomatoes are not calibrated and cannot be kept for two months in the fridge. In winter, eating soups made of seasonal vegetables such as pumpkin, cabbage, leek, radish bring all the nutrients the body needs. Winter salads, such as bitter chicory or endive, are bitter in order to compensate for the extra fat people add by eating more meat when it’s cold.

Organic products are a bit more expensive than the industrial ones for two reasons. First of all, growing organic food is labor-intensive. Soils have to be weeded manually; manure spread evenly with the pitchfork; then fragile crops have to be covered with linen sheets to prevent birds from eating them. Greenhouses also protect from the cold and the predators, but field mice dig from underneath. As a result, a good deal of the production is lost, and only one third is actually brought to the market stall.

The second reason is that organic farming is not subsidized at all. Agro-industries that grow specific crops, sold to certain wholesalers, receive subsidies for mechanization, pesticides and fertilizers. The chemical and agro-industrial lobby in Switzerland is very strong. Pesticides and fertilizers are therefore indirectly sponsored by the government, that is to say the taxpayers.

These chemicals are necessary for intensive, calibrated and zero waste agriculture. Produce is harvested before it is ripe and sometimes kept a month in enormous refrigerators before being delivered to supermarkets. Local organic farmers still harvest at 4 A.M. the very day of the market. Their produce has to be sold within two or three days, or otherwise composted.

Unfortunately, selling bio or organic has become a business niche, not only for the large retail stores, but also for the government. Acquiring a green label is outrageously expensive for small independent farmers. Besides, their norms do not measure levels of pathogenic elements, but concern hedges and fallow, water conservation and soil erosion, which local farmers have been implementing for decades.

Therefore we created our own label “EKO”, for which we claim homegrown organic seasonal vegetables and fruits, aiming at eighty – ninety percent organic and chemical-free, which our customers recognize thanks to the taste and quality. Being an organic farmer is challenging. We just hope that our customers find their way to both the heart and stomach.

  • “Bringing It to the Table” by Wendell Berry
  • Wendell Berry: No technological fix to climate change
  • The Missouri Table: A Response to Ethical Foodies From a ‘Factory Farmer’
  • The Importance of Agriculture
  • Manifesto: The mad farmers liberation front

About Jonell Galloway

By Monday, August 5, 2013 Permalink 0


Jonell Galloway, The Rambling Epicure, Mindful Eating, Spontaneous Cuisine, Editor of The Rambling Epicure.Jonell Galloway

Based in Switzerland and France
Skype telephone number: 1-270-859-1112
Skype name: jonell.galloway.white


Professional History and Experience

I started my culinary career in Paris in the early 80s. At the Sorbonne, where I studied French, I asked for special authorization to write my thesis on the history of French cuisine, which was, exceptionally, granted. I later studied at both the Cordon Bleu and La Varenne, and studied wine in various locations all over France, including Steven Spurrier’s Académie du Vin, often associated with the 1976 Judgment of Paris, and at CAVE S.A. in Switzerland. While in France, I developed and taught a method, Spontaneous Cuisine, a market-based derivation of classic French cuisine; was a contributing editor for the English version of GaultMillau for France, wrote freelance for Paris Voice, and worked as a food translator and interpreter. My articles are available on,,,,, in the Paris Voice archives, as well as those of CityGuide Paris and Gayot Publications for France.

I recently collaborated with Jean-Philippe de Tonnac on Le tour du monde en 80 pains / Around the World with 80 Breads, a bilingual French-English book published by Orphie in Paris. I also collaborated on a review of the life work of contemporary Swiss sculptor André Raboud for Edipresse in Lausanne. I am currently producing an American-adapted version of Christophe Certain’s book Ma Cuisine Méditerranéenne, which I will call Small Plates of the Mediterranean in English.

After moving to Switzerland in 2003, I didn’t work for 7 years. I have recently dedicated myself to a “literary” food website. The Rambling Epicure joins the voices and visions of professional writers and photographers from around the world who promote a mindful, responsible approach to real food shopping, cooking, and eating, as well as wine tasting and pairing, food politics, safety, history, art, literature and philosophy. I invite you to browse the site to see the depth and professionalism of the coverage.

A few years ago, I opened a farm-to-table with my sisters in my hometown of Hardinsburg, Kentucky, where we used local agricultural products and organic ingredients.

I am fluent in English (native tongue), French and Spanish, with rudimentary Italian and Portuguese. Having a scientific background, I thrive on investigative journalism and writing that requires in-depth research and documentation.

I currently divide my time between Switzerland and France, where I have a 1,000-year-old house in Chartres.

Wendell Berry Food and Farming Quotes

By Sunday, August 4, 2013 Permalink 0


Wendell Berry Food and Farming Quotes

“I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.” (What Are People For?)

Wendell Berry, photo courtesy of Festival of Faiths

Wendell Berry, photo courtesy of Festival of Faiths











“Eating is an agricultural act.” (What Are People for Essays By Wendell B)

“The passive American consumer, sitting down to a meal of pre-prepared food, confronts inert, anonymous substances that have been processed, dyed, breaded, sauced, gravied, ground, pulped, strained, blended, prettified, and sanitized beyond resemblance to any part of any creature that ever lived. The products of nature and agriculture have been made, to all appearances, the products of industry. Both eater and eaten are thus in exile from biological reality.”

“Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living in a mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.”

“A person who undertakes to grow a garden at home, by practices that will preserve rather than exploit the economy of the soil, has his mind precisely against what is wrong with us… What I am saying is that if we apply our minds directly and competently to the needs of the earth, then we will have begun to make fundamental and necessary changes in our minds. We will begin to understand and to mistrust and to change our wasteful economy, which markets not just the produce of earth, but also the earth’s ability to produce.”

“But even in the much-publicized rebellion of the young against the materialism of the affluent society, the consumer mentality is too often still intact: the standards of behavior are still those of kind and quantity, the security sought is still the security of numbers, and the chief motive is still the consumer’s anxiety that he is missing out on what is “in.” In this state of total consumerism – which is to say a state of helpless dependence on things and services and ideas and motives that we have forgotten how to provide ourselves – all meaningful contact between ourselves and the earth is broken. We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand. (pg. 85, “Think Little”)” (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)

Bem no sul deste País
Eduardo Amorim / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

“Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating. (pg. 88, “Think Little”) (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)

“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)

“The Satisfactions of the Mad Farmer…the quiet in the woods of a summer morning, the voice of a pewee passing through it like a tight silver wire; …” (The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1957-1982)

“If we apply our minds directly and competently to the needs of the earth, then we will have begun to make fundamental and necessary changes in our minds. We will begin to understand and to mistrust and to change our wasteful economy, which markets not just the produce of the earth, but also the earth’s ability to produce. We will see that beauty and utility are alike dependent upon the health of the world. But we will also see through the fads and the fashions of protest. We will see that war and oppression and pollution are not separate issues, but are aspects of the same issue. Amid the outcries for the liberation of this group or that, we will know that no person is free except in the freedom of other persons, and that man’s only real freedom is to know and faithfully occupy his place – a much humbler place than we have been taught to think – in the order of creation.
(pg.89, “Think Little”)” (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)

“He imagines a necessary joy in things that must fly to eat.”

“Until we understand what the land is, we are at odds with everything we touch. And to come to that understanding it is necessary, even now, to leave the regions of our conquest – the cleared fields, the towns and cities, the highways – and re-enter the woods. For only there can a man encounter the silence and the darkness of his own absence. Only in this silence and darkness can he recover the sense of the world’s longevity, of its ability to thrive without him, of his inferiority to it and his dependence on it. Perhaps then, having heard that silence and seen that darkness, he will grow humble before the place and begin to take it in – to learn from it what it is. As its sounds come into his hearing, and its lights and colors come into his vision, and its odors come into his nostrils, then he may come into its presence as he never has before, and he will arrive in his place and will want to remain. His life will grow out of the ground like the other lives of the place, and take its place among them. He will be with them – neither ignorant of them, nor indifferent to them, nor against them – and so at last he will grow to be native-born. That is, he must reenter the silence and the darkness, and be born again. (pg. 27, “A Native Hill”)” (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)

“Il ne nous suffit pas de comprendre nos obligations à l’égard des autres et de la terre; nous devons aussi les ressentir.”



  • Wendell Berry: No technological fix to climate change
  • Wendell Berry – The Real Work
  • A Poem For Sunday
  • A Poem For Saturday
  • Composer of Wendell Berry songs is interviewed

From GOOD: Procter & Gamble’s Aim is to Send Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfills

By Friday, May 3, 2013 Permalink 0

 Good Things in P&G Corporate Efforts towards Sustainability


English: Logo for Procter & Gamble. Source of ...


GOOD reports that the corporate giant Procter & Gamble’s aim is to send zero manufacturing waste to landfills. Already in 2007, Procter & Gamble launched a team in charge of turning manufacturing waste into worth.

Click here to read the GOOD article.


  • P&G achieves zero waste to landfill in 45 manufacturing sites
  • How Procter & Gamble achieved zero waste to landfill in 45 factories
  • Should it brie in the bin?
  • Gaga with garbage
  • How Procter & Gamble Created Billion in Value With Waste

The Rambling Epicure Made Loads of New Friends at the Wendell Berry Conference 2013

By Tuesday, April 23, 2013 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

“A Rambling Epicure”: a short article about my work

One great thing about spending 3 days with a group of like-minded people, who have come from all over the country (and Switzerland) to pay homage to their “spiritual guide”, Wendell Berry, is that the audience is already filtered, and you can be sure to meet people you can relate to and that you will stay in contact with.

Wendell Berry speaking in Frankfort, Indiana

Wendell Berry speaking in Frankfort, Indiana












Such is the case with Elias Crim, a native Texan who spent “several good years studying classics and medieval Italian at U.C. Berkeley before wasting several more years in financial journalism around Chicago.” Crim has also written for The American Scholar, The American Conservative, the Washington Times and The Chicago Observer.

This is the only photo ID I could muster up and I think it rather amusing.








He also runs a website, Solidarity Hall, which he describes as “as a hospitable old hostelry, a mental oasis in the deserted landscapes that surround us. We no longer have the coffeehouses of eighteenth-century London, where Samuel Johnson and his friends said more of substance in an hour than our blogs today could manage in a week. Nor do we have a local culture of pubs such as Chesterton’s Old Cheshire Cheese, where friendship could flourish easily, even amidst clashing opinions.” I thoroughly recommend that you take a look and start a conversation of your own.

Elias was so kind to publish this article, “A Rambling Epicure,” about my work after the Wendell Berry conference. I invite you to take a look.

Start here and then continue on Solidarity Hall:

Jonell Galloway is surely the only person from Hardinsburg, Kentucky, to ever study Sanskrit. But that’s secondary. More important is the way this spiritual daughter of Wendell Berry has developed the Rambling Epicure, an encyclopedic and literate website which describes itself thusly: “A gastronome’s guide to mindful eating. A serious approach to real-food shopping, cooking, and dining.”

Click here to continue.


Food Poetry: Ancient Mexican Wisdom on Land, Plants and Self Development

By Monday, April 1, 2013 Permalink 0

Poem in English and Spanish

by Adriana Pérez de Legaspi

Care for things of the earth; cut some firewood, cultivate the earth, plant prickly pears, plant yucas.
You will have to drink, eat, get dressed.
Thereafter you will be standing, you will be your true self, you will walk on your own two feet.
Thereafter you will be well spoken of, you will be praised.
Thereafter you will be known.

Ten cuidado de las cosas de la tierra; haz algo corta leña, labra la tierra, planta nopales, planta magueyes.
Tendrás que beber, que comer, que vestir.
Con eso estarás en pie, serás verdadero, con eso andarás.
Con eso se hablará de ti, se te alabará.
Con eso te darás a conocer.



Jonell Galloway: Mindful Eating: Farmers, the Land, and Local Economy

By Monday, April 1, 2013 Permalink 0

Mindful Eating: Farmers, the Land, and Local Economy

by Jonell Galloway

Many times, after I have finished a lecture on the decline of American farming and rural life, someone in the audience has asked, “What can city people do?” “Eat responsibly,” I have usually answered. Of course, I have tried to explain what I mean by that, but afterwards I have invariably felt there was more to be said than I had been able to say. Now I would like to attempt a better explanation.

 I begin with the proposition that eating is an agricultural act. Eating ends the annual drama of the food economy that begins with planting and birth. Most eaters, however, are no longer aware that this is true. They think of food as an agricultural product, perhaps, but they do not think of themselves as participants in agriculture. They think of themselves as “consumers.”

—Wendell Berry, The Pleasures of Eating, Center for Ecoliteracy

The Times They are a-Changin’: Move Towards a Local Economy

After a few very difficult years, we are now only starting  to talk about the importance, and even necessity, of maintaining and supporting a local economy. This is important not only to our health and taste buds, but also to our vital economic self-sufficiency. It is perfectly in line with the concept of Mindful Eating, and, by definition, involves local farmers as well as others who contribute to eating and drinking.