Eats of Eden by Tabitha Blankenbiller

For the Love of Food: Tabitha Blankenbiller’s new book is a “foodoir” interview by Cara Strickland Originally from the Mount Rainier foothills, Tabitha Blankenbiller moved to Oregon for college, and now it’s home. Her recent book, Eats of Eden, celebrates the way food intersects with the rest of her creativity and life, and celebrates the bounty of our region.   Tell me about your book. Eats of Eden is a book about food and writing and how those two passions feed and distract from one another. I found that working on an art form takes so much concentration and energy— sometimes it’s going really well and sometimes it’s not. It’s really helpful to have some other form of expression as an outlet for when you’re feeling frustrated, tired or uninspired. For me, that art form was cooking, and has always been. Creating and loving food has always been a huge…

Foraging for Dinner in Western Oregon

Foraging for dinner in Western Oregon written by Felisa Rogers With its sheltered coves and temperate rainforests, western Oregon is a foragers’ paradise. Fall and spring get the most press, but winter is the best time of year to forage for mussels, and several varieties of local mushrooms are hardy enough to withstand frosty nights. The enterprising scavenger can put food on the table all year—provided you don’t mind getting up early and getting wet. On a cold November morning, I woke up at dawn to drive to the coast. My mission? Combat the winter blues by foraging for dinner. Armed with pliers, a utility knife, gloves, a bucket and my shell sh foraging permit ($10 for residents, good for a year), I parked at Seal Rock, south of Newport. To make access easier, I’d planned my expedition for a minus tide, which occur a few times a month. The…

Old Blue Raw Honey Behind the Scenes

Nectar of the Gods: Old Blue Raw Honey comes in many (nuanced) flavors written by Sophia McDonald | photography by Bill Purcell The jars of thick liquid sitting on Old Blue Raw Honey’s table at the Corvallis Farmers Market ranged in color from spun gold to dark amber. As customers picked them up, company co-owner Camille Storch explained the hand-printed notes on the labels. Storch and her husband, Henry, who has been keeping bees for about twelve years, pay careful attention to the nectar source available to each of their hives. Instead of mixing everything together when they bottle the honey, they keep each hive’s products separate so they can tell customers where the sweet liquid came from and what the bees were eating. Why go to all this trouble? Just as an animal’s diet affects the flavor of its meat or soil influences a wine’s terroir, a bee’s food…

Home Is Where Oregon Is

Home Is Where Oregon Is written by Maiah Miller The love I feel for Oregon grows in my life much like the native pine tree. I have a delicate version inked on my wrist as a constant reminder of the Pacific Northwest, and each flash of the boughs peeking from my sleeve reminds me of home. As a military spouse, I move often, seemingly farther away from my birthplace of Eugene with each duty station. I carry this love for my home state like a security blanket. It is something I can reach for and cling to in times of homesickness. Oregon invades my thoughts when daydreaming, like the fog along the coast. I find ways to weave my love of the state into my life, even when I’m physically far from the valley I grew up in. When I first left the state to move with my twin to…

Alysia Kezerian of Wheelies Around the World

Wheelies Around the World: Alysia Kezerian may use a wheelchair, but that’s not stopping her travels written by Mackenzie Wilson If The Little Engine That Could was a person, it would be Alysia Kezerian. The 24-year-old, from Danville, California, hasn’t let anything get in the way of her seeing the world, not even a devastating injury. In 2015, Kezerian, then a student at the University of Oregon, was paralyzed from a fall at Smith Rock State Park near Terrebonne. She was bouldering up a 10-foot rock face and on the way back down, a section of the rock broke off, sending her to the ground. Adrenaline dulled her initial understanding of whether she was hurt. “I thought, oh I didn’t hit my head, I’m fine,” Kezerian said. “ Then I tried to move my legs and I couldn’t.” It took rescue crews seven hours to get Kezerian out of the…

Ian Sharman’s Approach to Ultrarunning

Grit, training and Bend beer Ian Sharman takes a more casual approach to ultrarunning written by Mackenzie Wilson How does an economist from London who’s lived most of his life at sea level transform into an ultrarunner capable of conquering 100-milers above 10,000 feet? For Ian Sharman, 37 and of Bend, it all started with walking. In 2005, Sharman was living in London and saw a TV show highlighting the Marathon des Sables race, 150 miles in six stages over seven days. It made him wonder if he could do something like that. He played sports growing up, but had never focused on running. “On the TV show, I saw people walking most of it and I thought, I’m sure I can walk for a week, that doesn’t seem like a big deal.” The next year, Sharman signed up for the race. During stage three he got hyponatremia—dangerously low levels…

The giant sequoia of Queen of Angels Monastery

The giant sequoia of Queen of Angels Monastery written and photographed by Betsy L. Howell More than 700 miles from its native range in California, a 125-year-old giant sequoia tree welcomes visitors to the Queen of Angels Monastery in Mount Angel. In 1893, Sister Protasia Schindler found the seedling growing beside the railroad tracks. She immediately dug it up to plant next to the monastery’s entrance. Many years later, she said that if she’d known how large it would grow, she never would have planted it so close to the monastery. The tree now dwarfs the building as well as the other trees on the grounds, including one of its progeny planted in 1982. In 2004, the giant sequoia was designated an Oregon Heritage Tree. This honor is bestowed for an individual tree’s historical significance, accessibility to the public, and general health. The Benedictine Sisters at Queen of Angels welcome…

Design Finds With A Modern ‘Mid’ Look

Design Finds Get the modern ‘Mid’ look of the West Hills bath Go bold with Clayhaus Ceramics’ Futura Collection. It’s comprised of five different tile designs that can be mixed and matched in a rainbow of glazes, all with a distinctive three-dimensional quality to their surface. clayhaustile.com There’s no need to have disparate packaging around when the cotton balls and Q-tips can be decanted into these chic stoneware vessels, available in a variety of sizes. Offered in either white or black and topped with low-profile acacia lids, they’ll create a much more cohesive display. rejuvenation.com For a minimalist treatment similar to the floating light fixtures in the West Hills bath, try the Baird Aged Brass Sconce from Hudson Valley Lighting, which combines a simple brass base with an oversized orbital shade. Pick it up at Globe Lighting, an outpost for fine lighting in the Pacific Northwest since its first store…

Oregon athletic facilities, big and small, are planned around the state

New Oregon athletic facilities, big and small, around the state written by Sheila G. Miller Many track and field buffs are in mourning at the changes underway at historic Hayward Field. The facility, which was built in 1919 to house football and grew into the legendary location of Olympic Trials and USA Track and Field championships, has been torn down and will be rebuilt entirely using funds from the Phil and Penny Knight Foundation and other donors. The new facility is the result of Eugene hosting the 2021 World Outdoor Championships. It will have an expanded capacity—from 8,500 to 12,900 with room for temporary seating up to 30,000—and a nine-story tower with an observation deck, as well as a locker room and an indoor practice facility. Missing from the facility will be the wooden stands where fans have cheered on racers for nearly a century. The project was designed by…

Baseballism Is Creating Baseball For All

Oregon may not have a baseball team (yet), but it has a successful baseball company written by Beau Eastes | photography by Brian Holstein Baseballism has retail shops in baseball hot spots around the country—Cooperstown, New York; Scottsdale, Arizona; Boston; and San Francisco to highlight a few—but its flagship store is in a beautifully renovated warehouse on Northwest 22nd and Quimby in Portland, just seven blocks from the Portland Beavers’ original stadium, Vaughn Street Park. What started out as a youth baseball camp put on by four former University of Oregon club baseball players is now a $10 million a year lifestyle brand built around America’s pastime. That means you can purchase everything from T-shirts adorned with baseball terms like “Southpaw” and “Live Life Like a 3-1 Count” to $85 leather toiletry bags. The company doesn’t have a licensing agreement with Major League Baseball, instead creating products from sayings and slogans…