The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island Cover Image
By Kathleen Alcalá, Joel Sackett (Photographer)
Special Order - Unavailable

Staff Reviews

"Could this island support its own population if it had to?"  Alcalá's personal inquiry into food history and production on her home island, leavened with insights on her own relationship with food over the years, makes for an informative and inspiring read. Using food as a point of reference uniquely illuminates the individuals and communities-including Japanese-American, Croatian, Filipino, and Native American-who have helped to shape the identity of Bainbridge. Her conversations with local present-day farmers, producers and providers of food suggest useful tools for the world at large.

— John


As friends began "going back to the land" at the same time that a health issue emerged, Kathleen Alcal set out to reexamine her relationship with food at the most local level. Remembering her parents, Mexican immigrants who grew up during the Depression, and the memory of planting, growing, and harvesting fresh food with them as a child, she decided to explore the history of the Pacific Northwest island she calls home.

In The Deepest Roots, Alcal walks, wades, picks, pokes, digs, cooks, and cans, getting to know her neighbors on a much deeper level. Wanting to better understand how we once fed ourselves, and acknowledging that there may be a future in which we could need to do so again, she meets those who experienced the Japanese American internment during World War II, and learns the unique histories of the blended Filipino and Native American community, the fishing practices of the descendants of Croatian immigrants, and the Suquamish elder who shares with her the food legacy of the island itself.

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.

Watch the book trailer: https: //

Product Details
ISBN: 9780295999388
ISBN-10: 0295999381
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication Date: September 1st, 2016
Pages: 360
Language: English