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.

Throwback Thursday

Fun at the Formal

An Evergreen formal in 1975

The minimal accompanying caption for this image left me wondering, what formal happened at Evergreen in 1972? Did you attend this dance or do you know the fancy folks in this photo? I would love to hear from you!

2/1/2016 Update: We had a great response from our Facebook community and a comment from the man pictured! Hap Freund wrote, “Yes, of course that is me and my lovely wife of 36+ years, Claudia Chotzen. I think this was taken in 1975. I came to Evergreen in the fall of 1973, met Claudia in 1974. The other person is Claudia’s life-long friend Diane Berger (was Diane Hucks). The ‘occasion’ was an Evergreen prom. Probably the only time I wore a suit during my time at Evergreen!”

Next month you can don your best threads and join us at The Art of Living on February 20th from 5:30pm-9:00pm at The Hotel Murano in Downtown Tacoma. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Annual Scholarship Fund to support Evergreen students in pursuing their dreams and create opportunities for those without means.

Click here to register today!


Evergreen Gallery Features New Exhibit “Prison Obscura”


The Evergreen Gallery presents Prison Obscura which features pieces from Evergreen faculty member Steve Davis, Josh Begley, Paul Rucker, Alyse Emdur, and Robert Gumpert. Prison Obscura runs from January 14th 2016- March 2nd 2016 For more information please feel free to click the links below for more information.

Prison Obscura


“Prison Obscura considers this fundamental distortion that characterizes vision and viewing, how we see and don’t see the people we incarcerate, the people we put in boxes. Guiding the viewer through the visual culture of America’s prisons, the exhibit traces the contours of that box, to attempt to make sense of the dominant narratives and stereotypes that somehow justify a U.S. system now locking up people at an unprecedented rate. What do we know of our prisons? Do photographs help us know? Are the images of prisons we see reliable? Are they even useful? How do images relate to the political, social, and economic realities that exist within our prison industrial complex? Do prisons, as closed sites, present any challenges to the claims photography makes as a medium of communication?  – Pete Brook”

Guests mingling during opening night of Prison Obscura



One of the exhibits featured in Prison Obscura







Throwback Thursday – Hitting the Gym #tbt

Students in the gym. 1974.

Students in the gym 1974

Did you make a fitness related New Year’s Resolution for 2016? Have you been thinking, “Running outdoors in February sounds fun!”? Join me for the Geoduck Gallop on Saturday, February 6th! Choose between the half marathon or 10K race, and enjoy a jog through the Evergreen campus and picturesque surrounding rural areas.

A Supreme Week for Evergreen Faculty Stephanie Coontz

Stephanie Coontz, Faculty member. Photo by Tao Ruspoli

Stephanie Coontz. Photo by Tao Ruspoli

An historic decision by the United States Supreme Court on Friday, June 26 established that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the ruling, directly citing Evergreen faculty emerita Stephanie Coontz twice in the groundbreaking opinion.

Seattle Times editorial columnist Danny Westneat uncovered the story, investigating the unlikely front and center role Coontz’s work played in swaying the Reagan-appointed swing vote.

Westneat ends with a nod to Evergreen:

Evergreen’s alternative style was crucial to developing all this, Coontz says. It’s not a traditional research university. For example, she said, “They insist you talk about your work extensively with your students. So the students have contributed to a lot of my thinking over the years.”

Coontz, 70, is semiretired from Evergreen now. But she plans to teach her seminar, “American Families: Historical and Sociological Perspectives,” there next spring. That’s going to be one sought-after class, I’d guess.

I still sometimes hear people deride Evergreen as “too weird” to be a public college that gets taxpayer money.”Well, Geoducks, you showed them. Weird made history.

An Unusual Path to Professional Racing for Boo-Shoot Gardens Founder Jackie Heinricher ’86

Jackie Heinricher and GRC Race Car

Jackie Heinricher, pictured at Watkins Glen International with her #57 Car. Source – @Racer_Jackie

Throughout years of research and development in the labs of Boo-Shoot Gardens in Mount Vernon, Washington, Jackie Heinricher ’86 was convinced the company’s research greenhouses were the hottest office spaces she would ever have. After more than 15 years as chief executive officer of the biotechnology company now called Provitro Biosciences, “Racer Jackie” stepped into an even hotter office, the inside of an unventilated race car in the Ferrari Challenge North America Series. Continue reading

May’s Big Idea Strikes The Right Chord

Group applause for Nancy Koppelman's talk

Group applause for Nancy Koppelman’s talk

“What Are Families For?” That’s the question that sparked May’s Big Idea, which brought together an exciting combination of thoughtful minds, relevant conversation, and good food and drinks together for a truly memorable and fun evening at Three Magnets Brewing Company in downtown Olympia. The star of the evening was faculty guest speaker Nancy Koppelman ’88, who had a lively crowd of Greeners alternating between laughter, asking questions and examining assumptions for upwards of an hour after a relaxed social hour in the restaurant’s Barrel Room. Once guests had drinks in hand, food ordered, friends made, and old friends greeted, we slid the rustic sliding doors closed and initiated a conversation that unquestionably had everyone’s full attention. Continue reading

Portland Greeners In The News

Two stories have come across the wires the past couple weeks about Evergreen alumni in Portland, Oregon making news.

Nancy Haque ’96 was named co-director of Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s largest nonprofit gay and transgender advocacy group.

Nancy Haque '96 (left) and Jeana Frazzini (right). Photo Credit: LGBT Weekly

Nancy Haque ’96 (left) and Jeana Frazzini (right). Photo Credit: LGBT Weekly

According to LGBT Weekly, “Nancy Haque joins the Basic Rights staff after serving on the Basic Rights Board for three years and serving as a consultant on the organization’s strategic planning process this past year… Haque has more than 18 years of professional experience, including seven years as the Building Political Power Director at Western States Center, where she led a voter organizing training and empowerment project and managed the 2013 Racial Equity Report Card for Oregon. Haque also spent eight years working on economic justice issues, including stints with Portland and National Jobs with Justice and with AFL-CIO. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College and a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.”

Lauren Hall-Behrens. Photo Credit: Joshua McCullough, Portland Monthly

Lauren Hall-Behrens ’94. Photo Credit: Joshua McCullough, Portland Monthly

Lauren Hall-Behrens ’94, owner of Lilyvilla Gardens, a landscape design company in Portland, was featured in Portland Monthly.

In the piece, Hall-Behrens talks about her path to landscape design after Evergreen and  inspiring ideas for spring gardening and the perspectives that make her successful. Finally, she gives her top picks for planting this year, including Fairy wings and Korean feather reed grass. Enjoy this fascinating glimpse into the mind of a Greener landscape designer.

What stories from Evergreen alumni in Portland did I miss? Share your stories in the comments section.

The Greeners Behind Our Cities Gather in Seattle

Jennifer Gerend Ph.D AICP welcomes alumni and friends

Jennifer Gerend welcomes alumni and friends

On April 18, 2015, Evergreen faculty member Jennifer Gerend Ph.D AICP hosted a gathering of The Greeners Behind Our Cities: alumni, friends, and several of her most promising urban planning students. Over thirty attended the event at the Tap House Grill, located within walking distance of the American Planning Association’s national conference at the Washington State Convention Center.

Alumni and friends enjoying remarks from one of Jennifer Gerend's urban planning students

Alumni and friends enjoying remarks from one of Jennifer Gerend’s urban planning students

About an hour into the event, the clink of a glass drew Greener’s attention away from small group conversation, steak skewers, crab cakes, 14 Hands wine and other delectable appetizers and drinks to Jennifer’s opening remarks. She shared a multitude of exciting field trips, class readings and guest speakers her planning programs have experienced over the years, since joining Evergreen’s faculty in 2008, and introduced several of her recent and current students:

Acacia Weeks, Carlos Gemora '15, Alex Shields and Shira Moch '14

Acacia Weeks, Carlos Gemora ’15, Alex Shields and Shira Moch ’14

– Shira Moch ’14 studied with Jennifer and Ralph Murphy before being accepted into the first year of Evergreen’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, doing research for the same faculty in 2013. Shira, who is currently a session aid to Washington State Senator and Evergreen Adjunct Faculty Karen Fraser, announced that she will begin graduate school at UCLA in urban planning this coming fall.
– Carlos Gemora ’15 also studied with Jennifer and Ralph, during which time he also started a planning internship with the City of Tumwater. When his internship ended, Carlos was offered a full time position in planning with the city, which he continues to hold today. Carlos will begin graduate school at Cornell University in urban planning this fall.
– Will Hamlin also studied with Jennifer, and while still a current undergraduate student,  he has begun a full-time position with Pacific County as one of their two staff planners.

Gil Kelley '79 begins introductions

Gil Kelley ’79 begins introductions

Following those special introductions, Jennifer asked everyone in attendance to introduce themselves and what brought them to the event , which encouraged some of the evening’s many highlights. Introductions started with Gil Kelley ’79, Director of Citywide Planning for the City of San Francisco. Gil noted the strange circumstance that the latest Evergreen Magazine, stacked on the table behind him, bared him on its cover. A former classmate of Kelley’s, Michael Bergstrom ’75, was also in attendance. They reminisced on the paths they’ve taken since doing the same life-changing planning internship as Evergreen students in the 1970s.

There were also several graduates of Evergreen’s Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program in attendance: Rita Robison ’75 MPA ’91 and Lynn Scroggins MPA ’97. Rita has since retired, and was joined by fellow retiree and long-time Olympia City Council member Holly Gadbaw, while Lynn works for the Nisqually Indian Tribe.

There were several Greeners new to the planning and development world, including Lynn Schneider ’88 and husband/wife David Wagner ’90 and Ann Marie Crane ’00. Lynn has just started a job with King County, while David and Ann are new to the Seattle real estate industry. As developers, David and Ann were well received by the lively group of planners.

Alayna Rose Leibman, Alex Shields and Acacia Weeks talk about Evergreen's new urban planning student club

Alayna Rose Leibman, Alex Shields and Acacia Weeks talk about Evergreen’s new urban planning student club

There were countless other stories from the group, and their conversations will undoubtedly continue, both professionally and personally. It was a memorable evening of engaging conversation, new friends, and great connections among students and alumni, colleagues, and old classmates. Some alumni will go on to serve as mentors, internship sponsors and employers of the students and recent graduates in the room. Some will rekindle friendships, and others will use new connections in their professional lives.

Jennifer Gerend Ph.D AICP

Jennifer Gerend Ph.D AICP

All in all, it was a celebratory evening for The Greeners Behind Our Cities and the passionate, systems and interdisciplinary thinking they bring to their work. A very special thank you to Jennifer Gerend, not only for her collaboration in planning the event but for carrying on Evergreen’s evident legacy of educating future planners.


Education, and Kindness, is Life for Andy Smallman ’88

Andy Smallman

Andy Smallman

“Why did I have to wait until college to get an Evergreen style education”? That’s been the driving question Andy Smallman ‘88 has been asking since becoming a teacher, and then co-founder of Puget Sound Community School (PSCS), an independent, progressive private middle and high school in Seattle.

Despite doing well in a traditional high school himself – the Seattle-area native was told “you can go to any college you want” – Smallman didn’t apply anywhere initially, and ended up in Alaska as a disk jockey at a small radio station. From there, he studied audio engineering in Ohio, sold used records in Seattle, and worked for the Daily Racing Form. It was during this time that a friend suggested Smallman was well-suited to volunteer helping kids. A year later, he was honored with Match of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound and knew he was destined to work with children. That’s when he started to look at colleges. Continue reading