Tag Archives: Chewonki

The Pleasures of Eating

Last week for farm talk I read a few essays by Wendell Berry, a great farmer, writer, and thinker. Here is a quote from Berry that I really like, relevant to everyday life as well as agriculture: “In order to have leisure and pleasure, we have mechanized and automated and computerized our work. But what does this do but divide us ever more from our work and products–and, in the process, from one another and the world? What have farmers done when they have mechanized and computerized their farms? They have removed themselves and their pleasure from their work.” Therefore, I think we can ask ourselves: did the farmer take pleasure in his work of caring for the things he grows? Was he close to his “work and products”? Could the things living on his farm take pleasure in their lives? And if we can know that the answer is yes to these questions, it is probably a food we can take informed pleasure in eating. Below is a really cool essay I read for farm talk last week. I like what Berry has to say about being an active consumer rather than a passive one as well as what it means to truly be able to take pleasure in eating. Here is The Pleasures of Eating by Wendell Berry (1989): http://www.ecoliteracy.org/essays/pleasures-eating

Botany of Desire

I apologize for not having posted in a while. I am now pretty settled at Chewonki so I’ll be able to post once a week, probably about this time. One of my favorite classes here is called Literature and the Land. In this class, we read a variety of stories, poems, and essays which explore the relationship between humans and our environment. It has been interesting to spend time finding a definition for nature and decide what is included in the term nature. While exploring our concept of nature, we read an excerpt from Michael Pollan’s book Botany of DesireHere is a talk by Pollan which I found very thought-provoking and eye-opening. It is a pretty old book, but I like how it reverses the default human thought that we are in charge and can have control of nature. I think this change in thought can cause a great change in our actions and choices. I think Pollan’s exploration of human consciousness and its effect on our perspectives is important as he attempts to step outside this “disease of human self-importance.”

On a different note, we have a farm here at Chewonki which I’ve had the chance to work at. The farm produces vegetables, meat, wool, eggs, and milk. Once a week, we have a “farm talk” to learn about and discuss different aspects of agriculture as well as look at what happens on our farm and other farms. Every farm talk shows me something new, and farming is getting excited as we just got three beef cattle and triplet lambs were just born. I will definitely be posting soon about different things to do with the amazing farm here.

-Simon