Episode 63: Soil Regeneration, Blueberries & Poetry – Local GOODfood+wine podcast

Food That Nourishes The Soul – Happy Mother’s Day & In Honor of National Poetry Month

Episode 63 for April/May is all about soil regenaration, blueberries and black raspberry powder (the new goji berry?) and poetry when the subject is food or wine.

Episode 63 o f Local GOODfood+wine

I recently learned a most extraordinary thing. That I had not known this or learned this anywhere before is of great surprise and also concern. It’s the following: Native American cultures refer to their basic sustenance crops as The Three Sisters. They are – corn, beans and squash. Together, the three sisters provide both sustainable soil fertility as well as a heathly diet. Perfection!

Each of the sisters contributes something to the other plants:

  • the corn offers the beans necessary support.
  • The beans pull nitrogen from the air and bring it to the soil for the benefit of all three.
  • The large leaves of the sprawling squash protect the threesome by creating living mulch that shades the soil, keeping it cool and moist and preventing weeds.
  • As the beans grow through the tangle of squash vines and wind their way up the cornstalks into the sunlight, they hold the other plants, the sisters, close together.
  • The prickly squash leaves also keep away raccoons and other pests, which don’t like to step on them.

Have a look at our show notes to find the wonderful new PBS documentary series, Native America for more history on the genetic evolution of corn and other seeds originally cultivated by Native Americans, such as potatoes and tomatoes which, to this day, supply roughly 60% of the world’s food crop source.

So, with Mother’s Day in mind and the need for us as a species to nurture our soil, we have a great interview for you this episode with Oregon farmer, Bob Wilt of the Sunset Valley Organic Farm in Corvallis, Oregon who specializes in the best blueberries you’ve ever tasted as well as the burgeoning Super Food, black raspberries from which they make their organic black raspberry powder.

Follow us on Twitter @localfoodwine and also @parisfoodwine

And to round out our Mother’s Day Show, we’re honoring April’s observance of National Poetry Month in the U.S. The French have a saying: Sans la poesie, ça sera quoi la vie? (Without poetry, what would life be?)

So, interspersed throughout my pre-recorded interview with Farmer Bob (also here below in this video), you’ll hear readings of some of my favorite food and wine themed poems. Find more info about these poems as well as Sunset Valley Organic Farms and how to order your own black raspberry pwder and fresh blueberries on our show notes at LocalFoodAndWine.wordpress.com. Or LocalFood.wine. And onTwitter @localfoodwine.

The Benefits of Regenerative Systems in Berry Production : Bob Wilt

LocalGOODfood+wine podcast


William Carlos Williams was born the first of two sons of an English father and a Puerto Rican mother of French, Dutch, Spanish, and Jewish ancestry, and he grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey. He was a medical doctor, poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright.

“Williams … sees the real function of the imagination as breaking through the alienation of the near at hand and reviving its wonder.”

This Is Just To Say


I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably


for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

William Carlos Williams,”This Is Just to Say” from The Collected Poems: Volume I, 1909-1939, copyright ©1938 by New Directions Publishing Corp. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Pablo Neruda – Ode To Wine (see .jpg)

Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market.

The fruit in this classic 1862 poem

Poet Christina Rossetti was born in 1830, the youngest child in an extraordinarily gifted family. 

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
‘Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
In summer weather …’

In Defense of Our Overgrown Garden


Last night the apple trees shook and gave each lettuce a heart

Six hard red apples broke through the greenhouse glass and

Landed in the middle of those ever-so-slightly green leaves

That seem no mix of seeds and soil but of pastels and light and

Chalk x’s mark our oaks that are supposed to be cut down   

I’ve seen the neighbors frown when they look over the fence

And see our espalier pear trees bowing out of shape I did like that

They looked like candelabras against the wall but what’s the sense

In swooning over pruning I said as much to Mrs. Jones and I swear

She threw her cane at me and walked off down the street without

It has always puzzled me that people coo over bonsai trees when

You can squint your eyes and shrink anything without much of   

A struggle ensued with some starlings and the strawberry nets

So after untangling the two I took the nets off and watched birds

With red beaks fly by all morning at the window I reread your letter

About how the castles you flew over made crenellated shadows on   

The water in the rainbarrel has overflowed and made a small swamp

I think the potatoes might turn out slightly damp don’t worry

If there is no fog on the day you come home I will build a bonfire

So the smoke will make the cedars look the way you like them

To close I’m sorry there won’t be any salad and I love you

“In Defense of Our Overgrown Garden” from Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form. © 2000 by Matthea Harvey. Reprinted by permission of Alice James Books.

Maya Angelou

(Once a fry cook who grew up in Arkansas)

The Health-Food Diner

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).

Not thick brown rice and rice pilaw
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I’m dreaming of a roast).

Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).

No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
Are sure to make me run


Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.

Jonathan Swift

Cooking Poem: How I Shall Dine

Gently blow and stir the fire,
Lay the mutton down to roast,
Dress it nicely I desire,
In the dripping put a toast,
That I hunger may remove:
Mutton is the meat I love.

On the dresser see it lie,
Oh! the charming white and red!
Finer meat ne’er met my eye,
On the sweetest grass it fed:
Let the jack go swiftly round,
Let me have it nicely browned.

On the table spread the cloth,
Let the knives be sharp and clean:
Pickles get and salad both,
Let them each be fresh and green:
With small beer, good ale, and wine,
O ye gods! how I shall dine.

Waste Not Wine – annalies Z (see.jpg)

Honorable Mentions – (copyright prohibited from reading out loud or re-printing )




for Philip Hobsbaum

Late August, given heavy rain and sun

For a full week, the blackberries would ripen…… (no re-print permission, see website)

Seamus Heaney, “Blackberry Picking” from Opened Ground: Selected poems 1966-1996. Copyright © 1999 by Seamus Heaney. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC,  http://us.macmillan.com/fsg. All rights reserved. 

Wallace Stevens, ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream’.

Call the roller of big cigars,

The muscular one, and bid him whip

In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.

Let the wenches dawdle in such dress

As they are used to wear, and let the boys

Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.

Let be be finale of seem.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,

Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet

On which she embroidered fantails once

And spread it so as to cover her face.

If her horny feet protrude, they come

To show how cold she is, and dumb.

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Chocolate Cake by Michael Rosen (kids’ favorite)


In Honor of both Earth Day celebrated this month and the latest human crew delivery to the International Space Station, which had not only French astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard, but also a fresh door-to-Low Earth Orbit meal delivery of gastronomic treats prepared by French Michelin starred and MoF-certified chefs for the rest of the crew… Enjoy…

Michael e – And The View

PS – There are still a few weeks left to register for the NASA and Canadian Space Agency sponsored competition: The Deep Space Food Challenge – find their page on Instagram for more INFO or go to deepspacefoodchallenge.org.




Show Notes: LocalFoodAndWine.wordpress.com BordeauxFoodAndWine.wordpress.com ChérieduVin.wordpress.com 

Contact Host-Producer, Paige Donner @http://PaigeDonner.info

Show INTRO & OUTRO Music

BadAss by BensoundMusic.com

© Paige Donner 2021



All photos (where noted) copyright 2021  Paige Donner  FoodWine.photography

iTunes – Paris GOODfood+wine / 

Media Engagements, speaking and collaborations: contact PaigeDonner.info


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