About Rona Roberts


I grew up in Wayne County (Monticello), Kentucky, where my parents farmed and grew vast gardens of vegetables and flowers. As I soldiered along at the Oil Valley Elementary School and then Wayne County Elementary, my parents went to school, too. Dad became a vocational agriculture teacher and Mother became a school librarian.

My earliest memories are of meals on a screened-in side porch in summer, eating the vegetables and meats from our farm, overlooking lightning bugs rising around an old apple tree. And I remember sorghum-making on our farm, days made special by smells, tastes, and happy visitors.

At that age, I wanted to be just like my adored older sister and brother. When my younger brother came along, my first reaction was resentment at giving up my special status as youngest child. Before I realized how much I loved him, I tried hard to make him so miserable he'd have to go back to wherever they found him.

I went to public schools in Wayne County and Monticello, then the University of Kentucky, where I studied music and English, human communication, and organizational communication. I am happy to have served my country as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines.

I have worked for myself most of my lucky life, primarily with clients committed to community, education, and social justice. My work involves helping people figure things out and work things through. I have done a lot of long-term research projects in communities, and a lot of writing. Working on projects in my own neighborhood serves as my best continuing education.

Since September 12, 2001, I have deepened my commitment to food self-sufficiency in Kentucky. On that day, Kentucky's conscience, the visionary writer Wendell Berry, said, "Long supply lines create great weaknesses," and I realized for the first time how much of our heritage of abundant self-sufficiency we have abandoned in exchange for temporary convenience and low-cost food from thousands of petroleum-fueled miles away.

As a writer, I committed to championing the glories of Kentucky food, its flavors, richness, and diversity. I committed to use language (and later, photography) to make a case for re-valuing our food, land, farms, and our capacity for independence. I launched Savoring Kentucky in 2006.

My wonderful family includes husband, three sons, two fine daughters-in-law, and two small, precious grandchildren. My husband and I host Cornbread Supper at our house every week, Monday night at 6 PM. You're invited.
       

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