Kathleen Alcalá

The Clueless Eater

An Early Storm

November 15, 2014

Tags: Early storm, towhees, mortality, gardens, North Puget Sound, children

An adult and an immature towhee caught in a storm
This is the time of year when our gardens produce their last fruits and vegetables. I could tell you how clever I was today for combining a pear with the last of the rhubarb to make a tart and sweet compote.

It is a time that reminds us all of our mortality, as theleaves begin to turn and fall. The berry bushes that looked as though they would take over the neighborhood have begun to retreat, close to the ground for another season. We preserve, we line our nests and contemplate the seasons when we spend more time indoors.

But this has been a time of terrible loss. A freshman in high school shot four (more…)

Let's Garden! with Michelle Obama

September 5, 2012

Tags: White house, Obama, kitchen garden, garden, children, Bo

Review:
American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
by Michelle Obama
2012, Crown Publishers 271 pages

First Ladies are expected to champion causes, but as we learned during the Clinton era, it can’t be a cause that implies policy, such as a plan for affordable health care. Previous First Ladies tried to Make America Beautiful, or Make America Read, or just wore clothes really, really well.

Obama’s original project was “Let’s Move!” a plan to encourage school children across the country to get more exercise. One out of three children in the United States is considered overweight, and/or suffering from weight-related illnesses, such as diabetes. But as soon as she started this, Obama realized that diet and nutrition are integral to our health and well-being. By starting a kitchen garden, Obama hoped to “begin a conversation about this issue – a conversation about the food we eat, the lives we lead, and how all of that affects our children.” (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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