A Once-in-a-lifetime Culinary Experience

Guests dined alfresco under twinkling lights.

“Oooohhh… Aaahhhh… Mmmm… Wow… Delicious!” were heard throughout the evening from the 22 guests who had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the amazing alumni-coordinated and student-supported Organic Farm Dinner. Top bidders at The Evergreen State College Foundation’s annual Art of Giving Gala & Auction won invitations to the unique culinary experience on September 9, 2017 helping to raise more than $200,000 for scholarships at Evergreen.

Annie Sloan and Archer Hobson-Ritz, who graduated in 2017, spearheaded the unparalleled event that resulted in a heartfelt volunteer capstone project in appreciation of their Evergreen education. In true Greener fashion, Annie and Archer created and designed the menu using an Evergreen education as the theme. Each of the 21 courses were paired with either an alumni-owned beverage or a drink they made themselves, like parsnip milk or bay leaf juice.

Justin Roberts, student and Shellfish Club member, demonstrates how to shuck an oyster.

As the other guests and I arrived at Evergreen’s Organic Farm, we were warmly greeted by students and invited to enjoy a glass of Whitewood dry cider on the porch while the finishing touches were completed for the cocktail hour. We then moved into the Sustainable Agriculture Lab (SAL) and enjoyed music by MonkFlower while sampling a variety of hors’d’oeuvres including Kumamoto oysters donated by Taylor Shellfish, Olykraut tapioca pearl mignonette, cured ham, lamb (grown on the Organic Farm) prosciutto, Sikkim cucumber and geoduck, broccoli leaves with cured egg yolk and cured salmon roe, and sublime chicken stock pie paired with a Salish Sea Hibiscus Liqueur, sage, and egg white cocktail as well as a non-alcoholic sparkling strawberry top shrub.

Glenn Tippy, current student, led a tour of Evergreen’s Organic Farm.

A student-led tour through Evergreen’s Organic Farm transitioned the party from the SAL to the dinner table. Guests popped the largest raspberries ever seen into their mouths as they strolled through the farm. The steamy cup of corn silk and cover crop broth (illustrating how even the parts of the vegetation that would normally be discarded or used in compost can create a nourishing meal) greeted us at the end of the tour. The broth was matched with a rose and shiitake rosé vermouth.

Archer Hobson-Ritz ’17 presents Three Magnets Vanilla Smoked Urban Farmhouse Ale.

We dined alfresco with centerpieces of candles and potted flowers and twinkling white lights, and dried herbs decorating the canopy. Before I go into the main courses of the dinner I want to remind you that everything, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, was prepared completely from scratch by recent Evergreen alums.

Annie Sloan ’17 serves gourmet pizza during the “Freshman Year” course.

Beginning with “Freshman Year,” lamb tongue pizza with truffles and nasturtium was distributed in a cardboard pizza box and paired with Three Magnets Smoked Urban Farmhouse Ale while Pink Floyd played in the background with a lava lamp illuminating the darkness. Then an array of delicious bites—sourdough fried mushrooms with lavage, fried eggplant with honey, fried Olykraut, candied hemp, and hazelnut butter wrapped in beet (to mimic a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) plated on cedar rounds. Each bite was more delicious than the last. “Freshman Year” was also paired with Iggy’s kombucha.

Guests read their original poetry during “Seminar.”

The next course was “Seminar.” Served on edible paper with original student poetry and three different perspectives on tomatoes. We were encouraged to discuss our poems, use the edible paper to eat the tomatoes, and share our thoughts on each of the tomato varieties. This dish was paired with Mercer Viognier Culloden Vineyard 2015.

Bonnie Zion learned to make Sichuan buttons while studying abroad and she prepared individual bites of lamb broth Sichuan buttons that burst with flavor in our mouths. This course was matched with COR Alba Gewürztraminer or Pinot Gris Celilo Vineyard 2014. Next up was freshly baked bread with seasoned lardo, pickles, and bay leaf juice.

The Longhouse-inspired course was served on compostable palm plates and consisted of Ozette potatoes, smoked sockeye salmon, greens from the Longhouse Ethnobotanical Garden, and paired with Mercer Reserve Chardonnay Zephyr Ridge Vineyard 2014. Armando DeLao ’17 caught the wild salmon as well as the salmon roe served during the cocktail hour.

Next up was “Fall Quarter” where lamb sausage (remember, made by scratch!) was paired with charred pear, served on burnt leaves, and paired with Mercer Mourvedre Horse Heaven Hills 2013.

“Winter Quarter” was a delicate parmesan and white sweet potato cappelletti with hazelnut snow and pine oil coupled with parsnip milk. The creamy white parsnip milk was refreshing and mildly sweet.

“Spring Quarter” was a delicate plate of light pink rose granite and pea tendril yogurt served with fermented honey and pineapple weed juice.

Guests were delighted to discover the flower pots were filled with cookie toppings!

“Week Ten” was full of surprises—just like life at Evergreen! As a dish of ice cream was served to each guest, we were informed the dirt in the flowerpots in front of us was actually squid ink and chocolate cookie toppings for the ice cream! Squeals of delight burst out at this revelation—those who had been inspecting the flowerpots earlier had exclaimed, “I know that’s dirt!” We didn’t know what “woodruff” was, is that an ice cream brand we asked? No. Woodruff is a flowering perennial plant that was harvested from the Evergreen forest and used to make the ice cream. The final touch to this incredible dessert was coconut sugar caramel to pour on top. Three Magnets Vanilla Tompkins Stout was served with this dish.

The lead chefs were Bonnie Zion, a current student, and Daniel Saunders ’16.

For “Evaluation,” we walked along a path lit-up with tea lights to the rustic Farmhouse dining room, where we enjoyed anise pinwheels, raspberry and lemon verbena pavlova, and, drumroll please, lamb bacon donuts with rosemary and black pepper! For nightcaps, Salish Sea Honeybush Liqueur and Batdorf & Bronson coffee were offered.

Gathered around the farmhouse table, with Paul Simon’s Graceland in the background, participants were presented with gift bags including a wall hanging of the menu with original student artwork, sweet pea and angelica seeds, raspberry jam from the Organic Farm, pouches of dried pepper and lavender, and two small decorative stones.

Those of us who were lucky enough to indulge in this incomparable feast will treasure the experience for years to come. Annie and Archer, along with all of the supporting volunteers and alums, appreciated their ability to give back to Evergreen by supporting scholarships for future generations of Evergreen students. If you’re interested in helping coordinate next year’s Organic Farm Dinner, feel free to contact me at wonderwm@evergreen.edu. In the meantime, save the date for the next Art of Giving Gala & Auction—you are sure to be inspired—March 10, 2018.

Evergreen Student Civic Engagement Institute Wraps Up Successful Second Year

Group picture of the 1st ESCEI cohort from 2013. Photo: Shauna Bittle

Group picture of the 1st ESCEI cohort from 2013. Photo: Shauna Bittle

On November 19th, 2014, graduates of the second annual Evergreen Student Civic Engagement Institute (ESCEI) gathered for their final cohort meeting to present and share their service projects. They first met in a five day pre-orientation program and under the leadership of Member of the Faculty Nancy Koppelman and Recreation and Athletics Director Matt Newman, they embarked on a journey that will define their academic and social experiences at Evergreen. Continue reading

Evergreen Students Take Eighth Place in National Cyber Security Competition

Last weekend, a team of four computer science students from The Evergreen State College traveled to New York, where they participated in the annual Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) at New York University’s (NYU) Polytechnic School of Engineering. The team, GNU E-Ducks, named for the Evergreen mascot, the Geoduck, and the GNU open source software movement, became Top-15 finalists in a pool of 300 college teams. The top 15 teams met in Brooklyn Thursday, November 13 through Saturday, November 15, and solved numerous cyber security puzzles, from reverse engineering to cryptography, in a game of virtual “Capture the Flag.” The Evergreen team took eighth place in the national competition, dubbed the world’s biggest student cyber security contest. Continue reading

Inkwell 9: Meet the Writers

The front cover of a book. It has a grey background with a black repeating geometric design and says "Inkwell 9"

Inkwell 9: A Student Guide to Writing at Evergreen

[Writing for Inkwell gave me] a sense that my words and my story matter to someone beyond myself. I think it also helped me to help others in their writing—to ask more questions that could lead to greater levels of inquiry into self, into language.
– Roxana Bell, Inkwell author

The newest edition of Inkwell: A Student Guide to Writing at Evergreen is done!

In this article, Writing Center Publications Editor Thane Fay met with four of this year’s Inkwell authors to talk about their experiences writing for the publication, what they hope the Evergreen community will take from their pieces, and their goals now as alumni.

You can pick up a free copy of Inkwell 9 at the Writing Center, read the digital version online, or come to InkFest: Wednesday October 15th, from 1-3 p.m. in the Olympia campus library lobby!

Read the full author interviews here.

Writing in Collaboration: The Student Editors Who Create Inkwell

This is the second article exploring the Inkwell project and how students, faculty, and alumni can benefit from its influence on Evergreen’s writing culture. The first article of this series introduced the history of Inkwell at Evergreen.


Four students sitting together at a round table looking at a piece of writing. In the background is a colorful mural featuring abstract designs of letters from different alphabets.

The editorial board (from left to right: Matt Turner ’15, Nicole Christian ’14, and Mary Kallem ’14) working with writer Katelyn Peters ’14.

The Inkwell process begins each fall. Over the course of the school year and countless hours of meetings, Inkwell’s editors and writers—the student tutors at the Writing Center—hone their skills, developing articles from still-forming ideas into the finished versions that appear on paper.

In this interview, Publications Editor Thane Fay ’13 sat down with Inkwell editorial board members Mary Kallem ’14 and Matt Turner ’15 to discuss their experience with the project.

“Inkwell [is] a process that I immediately identified as something that would enrich my experience not only as a student, writer, and tutor, but as a human who values collaborative engagement.” – Matt Turner

Inkwell is a publication born out of Evergreen and the Writing Center’s unique approaches to collaborative learning, student empowerment, and linking theory to practice. The in-depth cooperation between Inkwell’s writers and editors reflects the Writing Center’s value that all writers, no matter their skill level, can benefit from supportive and comprehensive guidance from their peers. With articles centered around the experiences of student writers, Inkwell serves as a fulcrum for conversations about writing at Evergreen.

“Unlike other publications, I don’t think Inkwell’s ‘final result’ is the published artifact that sits on my shelf. The ‘results’ I’m in it for are the benefits the Evergreen community gets from reading it: the circulation of grassroots knowledge gleaned from working with students.” – Mary Kallem

Keep your eyes out for Inkwell 9, coming soon in Fall of 2014. You can read digital copies of past editions of Inkwell on the Writing Center’s website, or find physical copies in the Evergreen Archives.

Read the full interview here.

The Inkwell Project: Part of Evergreen’s Writing Culture

Inkwell volume 1 cover 300 px

Cover of the first Inkwell, 2006.

Editor’s Note: The Writing Center, located in the Library building just off Red Square, is the creative home of Inkwell, A Student Guide to Writing at Evergreen. In this interview, Writing Center publications editor Thane Fay, ’13 talks with Inkwell co-founders Shaun Johnson, ’07 and Victoria Larkin, ’07 about the history of this student publication

This is the first of a series exploring the Inkwell project and how students, faculty, and alumni can benefit from its influence on Evergreen’s writing culture. 


Inkwell cover 2012

Inkwell is written, edited, and designed entirely by Writing Center peer tutors, students dedicated to helping others find their voices through the writing process. Each year, authors discuss writing specific to Evergreen—such as seminar papers, evaluations, and academic statements—as well as exploring themes like developing a writing process, finding your voice as a student writer, and learning tools for academic and creative writing. With its emphasis on cultivating student voices and creating a culture of student empowerment in academics, Inkwell inspires student writers to think about how they write and invites them to become part of the Writing Center community


Inkwell cover 2008

Inkwell co-founder Shaun Johnson, ’07 reflected that “Evergreen puts incredible emphasis on writing in curriculums across disciplines, so it seemed especially appropriate to draw a map for students to navigate.” Inkwell was created to be this kind of map.

The Writing Center distributes over a thousand free copies of Inkwell annually, both on campus and to the wider community. Inkwell co-founder Victoria Larkin ‘07 sees the publication as providing “a common ground, a jumping off place for conversations,” inspiring writers to “go into and beyond their preconceptions of the writing process, of writing in general, and of their own abilities.”

Learn more about The Writing Center. Read digital copies of past editions of Inkwell.


Continue reading

Learning Opportunity on Campus: A Bee Fair – Where Are the Bees Going and Why Does it Matter?

beeeA Public Event at The Evergreen State College:
The Olympia Beekeepers Association and Evergreen Academic Programs present a Community Bee Fair, featuring “More than Honey,” an internationally acclaimed film describing the looming, world-wide crisis of disappearing bee colonies.
March 8, 2014, 6:00 – 10:00 pm
A Film, Community Bee Fair and Student Displays
The Evergreen State College, Lecture Hall 1 and Lecture Hall Rotunda

  • 6:00 pm – Informational displays and student art show in the Rotunda.
  • 7:00 pm – A short film, created by Evergreen students, on the bee crisis.
  • 7:30 pm – A presentation of the “Pollinator Protector Award” will be given to local business owner Robert Thompson, Jr. of Lincoln Creek Lumber.

The feature film “More than Honey” will be followed by a Q & A with a panel of local bee experts and the filmmaker via Skype from Berlin.

Please Note:

  • Seating is limited.
  • Admission is free with Evergreen I.D.
  • For non-Evergreen attendees, tickets are $10 each, available at Traditions and Radiance in Olympia, Gordon’s Garden Center in Yelm.
  • For more information: www.olympiabeekeepers.org

Sponsored by:

Salimatou Pratt ’13: Putting Theory into Practice at the EPA


SalimatouPrattRead with Greener pride this blog post by Salimatou Pratt ’13, now an intern at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. The post is published in Greenversations: The EPA’s blog about our world.

If you’re like me, talking about environmental issues is normal, especially around the dinner table with family and friends. Coming from Conakry, Guinea, and learning about how I may have been exposed to toxicity from local industries while growing up, has intensified my desire to be part of the bigger environmental discussion. Interning in EPA’s Office of Public Engagement has given me a unique perspective on how the agency connects with communities, both nationally and internationally.  Continue reading

The Academic Statement: Recommitting to an Essential Evergreen Experience


Faculty member Rita Pougiales ’73 and first-year students during academic statement session, Orientation Week ’13. Photo: Shauna Bittle

Reflection upon one’s learning, as all Greeners know, is a hallmark of an Evergreen education. It will be even more valuable in the future.

As part of a multi-year review of teaching and learning at Evergreen, the commitment to self-evaluation has become more rigorous – and probably a lot more meaningful to students in the long run.

Read the full post in “Inside Evergreen,” the excellent blog from Evergreen Photo Services.