Kathleen Alcalá

The Clueless Eater

Vending Veggies

May 9, 2017

Tags: food hubs, farming, local food, work, asparagus, sustainable, The Deepest Roots, Port Townsend, Imprint Books

Sam Lillie of Veggie Vinder with giant kale leaf. or is that Swiss Chard?
At a reading from The Deepest Roots in Port Townsend, Washington, at the Imprint Bookstore, I met food purveyor Sam Lillie. His business is called Veggie Vinder.

-First of all, did you grow up in Port Townsend? If not, why did you choose to locate here?

I'm originally from San Diego. I moved to Port Townsend in December of 2015 about a month after I finished thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It took five months to complete and, because I solo hiked, I spent the majority of it alone. I returned to San Diego but felt claustrophobic from the amount of people. I have family in Port Townsend and was offered a place to stay while I transitioned back into the "real" world. It's been perfect. I get to wake up, have coffee, see deer, and be a part of such an incredible community. I applied to, and was rejected from, 106 companies across 4 states before starting Vinder. (more…)

The Earth is Flat

April 7, 2017

Tags: trees, sustainability, development, Sound to Olympics Trail, Bainbridge Island

Breaking Ground on the Sound to Olympics Trail
The Earth is Flat

It seemed like a good idea at the time. A non-motorized trail that would run all the way from the ferry terminal to the Olympic Peninsula, providing a safe way for bicyclists, wheelchairs, and pedestrians to get closer to the ground. Wilderness would be accessible to all, and cars would be kept in their place. I supported it. I thought it would maintain a green corridor through the middle of the island.

This was a case of “be careful what you wish for.” (more…)

"Another World is Possible"

January 24, 2017

Tags: women's march, womxn's march Seattle, Rosalinda Guillen, social justice, organic food, Community to Community, Rural Development Center

I was thrilled and humbled to walk with upwards of 100,000 people in the Womxns March Seattle last Saturday. 50,000 had been expected by the organizers.

Women of all ages, colors, religious backgrounds and agendas turned out to say we have better things to do than help this man take away our rights - to education, (more…)

Another Trip Around the Sun

December 28, 2016

Tags: environment, sustainable, new administration, food, Taking Things for Granted, Joel Sackett, The Deepest Roots

Another trip around the sun. I have spent the last two weeks contemplating what to write in a year-end blog post. Like many of you, I was more than surprised, I was shocked at the election of - I have avoided even writing it - Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States. While I have always been actively engaged in politics, I only contributed to (more…)

The Deepest Roots is Launched!

October 31, 2016

Tags: Deepest Roots, book launch, dia de los muertos, food, history, Mexico

Altar for dia de los muertos - in memory
The Deepest Roots is launched!

In spite of a major windstorm, fifty or sixty people turned out to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art to celebrate the release of The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island.

The celebration included luscious food locally sourced from our farmers, including Butler Green (more…)

Ten Things

October 2, 2016

Tags: food, sustainable, Bainbridge Island, PNBA, clueless, eater, land, pie, book, Washington

Pie judging at the Harvest Fair
The launch for "The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island" is scheduled for October 13, 7:30 pm, at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. I am very happy to be able to present the book to the general public.

Yesterday, I was able to present it to (more…)

Desperation Salad

December 17, 2015

Tags: Bainbridge Island, sustainability, climate change, sustainability, kale

It's been a long road and a long week, but I am almost finished writing my book about our relationship with food on Bainbridge Island.

I started out as The Clueless Eater, and now I am - slightly less clueless. Almost thirty people indulged me in interviews where I asked about their families, their (more…)

Decolonize Your Diet

October 19, 2015

Tags: food, sustainability, health, indigenous diets, cookbooks

Squash growing in my garden.
Luz and Catriona's story started in sorrow. Luz, who had been a vegetarian for fifteen years and considered herself very healthy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. As Luz endured surgery and follow-up treatment, Catriona struggled to find food that her partner would eat, and that would enhance healing. Their research showed that Latinas have (more…)

Utopia, or Dystopia?

September 21, 2015

Tags: food sovereignty, Nogales, NAFTA, Teresa Leal, Octavia Butler, utopia, dystopia, food, refugees

Teresa Leal, indigenous activist
"God is change." At least that is what Lauren Olamena, the main character in "The Parable of the Sower," by Octavia Butler, believes. My students are reading books about dystopias, or very imperfect worlds and societies, right now. Each of these books makes me reconsider the world we live in. It is a dystopia (more…)

Golden Summer

July 25, 2015

Tags: Sustainability, Bainbridge, The Big One, summer, local food

Golden Summer

As we feast on Copper River salmon, roasted vegetables and fresh greens from our community garden, followed by rhubarb and ice cream, I say, "We will remember this after the 9.2 earthquake takes out everything west of the Cascades. All the old people who survive will be shipped to the Midwest, where they (more…)
With Cowichan Elder Hyamiciate, Della (Rice) Sylvester at the The Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium

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Selected Works

Creative nonfiction, memoir, environmental sustainability.
Combining memoir, historical records, and a blueprint for sustainability, The Deepest Roots shows us how an island population can mature into responsible food stewards and reminds us that innovation, adaptation, diversity, and common sense will help us make wise decisions about our future. And along the way, we learn how food is intertwined with our present but offers a path to a better understanding of the future.
Creative Nonfiction
Essays on Family and Writing

The Desert Remembers My Name makes an important contribution to discussions of ethnicity, identity, and the literature of place.”
Bloomsbury Review
Fiction
"...a mesmerizing tale... the author explores the fascinating confusions and contradictions plaguing a culture precariously poised between tradition and modernization."
Booklist
"She never forgot the power of storytelling as testimony."
The Utne Reader
"Kathleen Alcalá's Spirits of the Ordinary is an enthralling book..."
–Paul Yamazaki, City Lights Books

"This book entered my dreams."
–Alberto Rios
Short Fiction
"Thoroughly satisfying."
The New York Times Book Review

"By turns touching, entertaining, and surprising, and uniquely her own."
Publishers Weekly

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