The Evergreen Food Guide

Welcome to Evergreen, home of the Gwíd?qs!

Geoducks are food too!

You are at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, one of the centers of our country’s revived sustainable food movement! Did you know Thurston County has the most small farms per capita in the United States, or that the Pacific Northwest is home to a vibrant and booming shellfish industry? ‘Gwíd?q’ is the traditional Lushootseed (Nisqually) tribe spelling of our school’s Geoduck mascot, one of the world’s largest burrowing clams and a delicious delicacy!

Our stretch of beach along Eld Inlet is protected by the beautiful acres of the Evergreen Woods, providing the pristine water quality that enables the Evergreen Shellfish Club to farm some of the tastiest oysters in the world! Those woods, perfect for a relaxing walk, are abundant with edible shrubs, berries, mushrooms, and roots. Make sure to consult a trustworthy guide like the Lone Pine Publishing’s Revised Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska before harvesting any wild species.

From our position at the base of the Salish Sea (Puget Sound), we have access to some of the finest local food and opportunities. We can enjoy the produce and meat at our farmer’s markets and farm stands, adventures in the endless forests, ease of travel to the Pacific coast or the mountains, and the powerful passionate energy of a community dedicated to fighting for good, clean, fair food! This guide has been compiled as an introduction to the many food-related resources at Evergreen and in the extended community.

Free Food

Thurston County Food Bank - Located just a block from the Olympia downtown transit center. Provides a week’s worth of food for each family/individual, including fresh (often local) produce. Additional selections are offered to those with special needs, including dietary restrictions.
The Evergreen State College Food Bank Satellite - Located on campus in the CCBLA in SEM II E2115

Both locations accept donations of nonperishables (drop-points also at the Olympia Food Co-op). See for current hours of operation.

Campus Food Pantry - Located in SEM I in Police Services. Open 24/7 for immediate food needs. Identification not required. No perishable donations accepted.

Food Not Bombs - An activist group for food justice since 1980, with over 1,000 chapters around the world. Food Not Bombs gives away free food in communities and at protests, in solidarity with non-violent direct action. Food Not Bombs “recovers [though donations from the Farmers Market, the Food Bank, the Co-op, and community members] and shares free vegan or vegetarian food with the public without restriction.” All people are invited to share in their food: “rich or poor, stoned or sober,” as stated in their main principles.

All are welcome to join the Olympia group as they meet at Media Island (816 Adams St SE) at 2:30pm every Saturday to prepare food. The food is served outside the Olympia Timberland Library (313 8th Ave SE) at 4:30pm on Saturdays.

Waste Less Food

Food waste is a growing problem in our country, with the average American household throwing out roughly 25% of the food they buy. Take the Waste Less Food Challenge by the Thurston County Public Works Department Solid Waste Program to find simple ways to reduce your household’s food waste.

Follow these guidelines for storing Produce:

  • avocados, tropical fruit, stone fruit, eggplant, melons, and tomatoes should never be refrigerated unless they’ve been prepared
  • basil, parsley, and cilantro can be stored on the countertop in a glass of water
  • leafy greens and brassicas (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower) should be stored dry in the crisper drawer in a loosely fitting bag and/or loosely wrapped in a towel
  • wilted lettuce will rehydrate and become crisp again if soaked in water
  • mushrooms should be kept dry in a paper bag in the fridge
  • onions, potatoes, garlic, and winter squash fare best in a dark cabinet with some air flow

Shopping the Bulk Section at the Co-op

Don’t be intimidated by the bulk section - it’s a lot cheaper than packaged items and you can get exactly the amount you need!

Bring your own containers, purchase one from the Co-op, or ask an employee for clean used containers brought in by other customers. Grab a clipboard, paper, and pencil on your way in the store. Weight your container before filling it! Write down the weight of the container and the PLU# located on the bulk bin label. Take as much or as little as you want of the bulk item. At the register, tell the check-out person the PLU# of the item and the tare (weight) of your container.

Dirty Dozen

High pesticide residues, whenever possible, purchase organic:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes


  • Hot peppers
  • Blueberries (domestic)
  • Lettuce
  • Kale/collard greens

Clean Fifteen

Least likely to hold pesticide residues, okay to purchase non-organic :

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas (frozen)
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes


Looking for something more than Safeway or Grocery Outlet? Here are some places to buy Olympia-made products and sustainably-sourced items:

Farmers Markets - the best place for local products; EBT benefits can be used (visit the Market Office to receive tokens)         

Olympia Farmers Market - on Capitol Way downtown, a few blocks from the transit station. Open Thursday through Sunday from 10am-3pm.

West Olympia Farmers Market - off Harrison Ave, by Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, accessible by both the Route 41 and 48. Open Tuesday nights from 4pm-7pm.

Olympia Food Co-op - Anyone can join the Co-op and receive close-to-wholesale prices by paying a $5 annual membership fee. Free memberships are available to seniors, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes. All members are eligible to become Volunteer Working Members and receive an additional discount.

Westside location at Rogers & Bowman, off of the Route 41 bus; Eastside location off Pacific Ave, more extensive selection.

Olympia Local Foods - on Black Lake Boulevard, past the freeway ramp

Little General Food Shop - downtown Olympia, next to Rainy Day Records

Jay’s Farm Stand - on Harrison Ave & Kaiser Road

Spud’s Produce Market - on Capitol Boulevard, across from Capitol Lake

Food Nook - Olympia’s smallest local-products-only grocery store, located at the corner of 9th and Adams St. downtown at The Commons at Fertile Ground, also home to the Tamale Fusion food cart. Open Monday-Friday from 10am-2pm.

Stewart’s Meat Market - local sustainably-raised meats; at the Olympia Farmers Market

Sound Fresh Clams & Oysters - affordable, local shellfish at the Olympia Farmers Market

Olympia Seafood Co. - downtown on Columbia Street, by the water; a great selection of local and exotic fresh fish and shellfish to fit any budget, hot clam chowder, and seafood cocktails to go

Local Organizations

Want to volunteer with some rad non-profits and organizations that are working to improve our community? Check out these groups online and contact them for more information on how to get involved.

Enterprise for Equity
A South Puget Sound microenterprise initiative that helps people with limited incomes start and sustain small businesses.

EcoBuilding Guild South Sound
Provides leadership, education, and tools for sustainably transforming the built environment through classes and workshops.

The Commons @ Fertile Ground
A community gathering space open to the public during daylight hours, with an Edible Forest Garden managed by various local organizations and persons. Located by the downtown post office and library.

A food-growing organization that partners with youth and people with low-incomes to create empowering individual and community food solutions through their GRuB in the Schools Initiative and Kitchen  Garden Project.

Olympia Kiwanis Food Bank Garden
The Kiwanis Club of Olympia grows organic vegetables for the Thurston County Food Bank in donated spaces around Olympia.

Olympia Meat Collective
A group dedicated to connecting farmers and consumers through hands-on meat butchery and charcuterie classes.

Olympia Seed Exchange
A small, volunteer-run organization that teaches people how to save seeds and provides free seeds to anyone who needs them. They welcome cleaned home-saved seed, as well as new and partially used store-bought seed packets. Located at the Eastside Urban Farm and Garden Center.

West Central Park Project
A local effort to bring a community park to the corner of Harrison and Division, with a permaculture food forest and ample space for events and picnics.

Slow Food of Greater Olympia
A branch of the worldwide Slow Food movement that advocates sustainability and biodiversity through education events and public outreach promoting consumption of seasonal and local foods and the support of those who produce them.

South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust
A membership-based nonprofit organization that uses the Community Land Trust Model to purchase property rights to farmland and lease it to farmers, so farmers are assured secure land tenure and the land remains in active farming forever.

Sustainable South Sound
A grassroots member-based organization to promote a sustainable community in South Puget Sound through citizen-initiated actions. Designs an annual Buy Local Coupon Book and operates an educational Local Food Systems Program.

Thurston County Food Bank Downtown Distribution Center
Volunteers needed to manage stations in the food bank’s grocery store model, pack bags with no perishables for satellite food bank locations, help with office work and client intake, and much more.

Thurston County Food Bank Gleaning Program
Brings volunteers to local farms to harvest surplus produce for families in need in the community.

Thurston County Food Bank School Gardens Program
Works with at-risk youth at schools in Olympia, engaging students in gardening and nutrition activities, and supports the maintenance of grade school gardens.

For comprehensive information on local farms, see the South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust’s South Sound Direct Sales Farm Map, available online and at local farmers markets, farm stores, food co-ops, or at the Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater Visitor and
Convention Bureaus. Many farms accept interns and work-trades in exchange for fresh produce!

Aramark corporation

Evergreen dining services is currently contracted with multi-national corporation ARAMARK, following a competitive bid process with large community input in the spring of 2013. Aramark is an American food service, facilities, and clothing provider that – in addition to managing our campus’ Greenery, P.O.D. Market, MarketPlace, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and The Alcove - provides contracted services to businesses, educational institutions, sports facilities, federal and state prisons, and healthcare institutions in 22 countries around the world.

Why would Evergreen choose to contract with a giant company like Aramark? Why don’t we kick them out and run our own cafeteria?
For the last year, with the support of campus administration and Aramark staff, Campus Food Coalition students have been running the Real Food Calculator to determine the percentage [by dollar amount] of ‘real food’ purchasing on campus. The Calculator was designed by the Real Food Challenge, a national non-profit that empowers students to improve the food purchasing at their universities to create a healthy, fair, and green food system. After completing the Calculator, student groups across the country use the data to lobby their college administrations to sign the Real Food Commitment: to achieve at least 20% real food purchasing by 2020. After researching every item purchased for Evergreen’s cafeteria and contracted food venues, it has been determined:

ARAMARK at Evergreen is purchasing 25% real food! That’s a higher percentage than most comparable liberal arts schools and beats the minimum requirement for signing the Real Food Commitment. (Of course, there is always room for improvement. See Speak Up! below for how to get involved in future purchasing shifts.)

College and university food service is big business. The three largest food service providers in the United States – Aramark, Sodexo and Compass Group North America (owns Bon Appétit and Chartwells) – hold the contracts of 63% of US college and university dining facilities, and together spend roughly $3.1 billion dollars on food for college students and staff. Combined, these three companies have more than double the annual revenue of McDonald’s.

What can we do to fight this complex and unsustainable corporate food system?
The Evergreen mission statement includes the line: “Evergreen supports and benefits from local and global commitment to social justice diversity, environmental stewardship, and service in the public interest.” The massive scale-of-operations for Aramark means their purchasing demands have effects on all levels of the food system, from chemical use during cultivation to working conditions of those on the farms, in the factories, and in the cafeterias on our campuses. By signing the Real Food Commitment, universities across the country are pressuring Aramark, Sodexo, and Compass Group to increase transparency of operations and improve their purchasing practices.

By maintaining contracts with these huge companies, we as universities can demand more conscientious food purchasing. By encouraging our college administration to request food produced locally with minimal pesticides/processing by workers receiving a living wage, we have the power to positively influence the corporate food system in America in a very real way. This campaign can have an impact much larger than just changing what’s for dinner in The Greenery.

ARAMARK at Evergreen

  • The people who work for Aramark on our campus are unionized, receive benefits, and are the highest paid of workers at any college food service Aramark account.
  • Dining Services instituted a Food Donation Program in Fall 2012 to dispose of edible food waste in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. They donate 30-40 pounds of excess food from Campus Dining Catering, The MarketPlace, and The Greenery to the Thurston County Food Bank each week.
  • The Greenery offers reuseable take-home containers for purchase and promotes trayless dining to reduce water use from dish-washing.
  • An average of 150 gallons per week of used fryer oil is donated to Encore Oil and converted to roughly 104 gallons of biodiesel.
  • Evergreen Dining is one of local company Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters’ top 10 purchasers in terms of volume - purchasing fair trade, organic coffee for all Aramark locations.
  • Produce from The Evergreen Organic Farm is purchased for The Greenery’s salad bar during months when the academic year and growing season overlap.
  • Aramark purchases meat and eggs from local producers: Stieber’s Farm (eggs), Smith Brother’s Farms (milk), Fulton Provisions (beef), and Draper Valley (chicken)

For more information on current vendors, see the Campus Dining web page at

What does ‘natural’ mean?

Food shopping can feel like a pain sometimes: the balancing of a student budget with the desires for all-organic all-local food,  navigating the Olympia Food Co-op’s bulk section, and decoding claims like ‘natural’ ‘GMO-free’ and ‘free-range.’ Here are a few tips to help your procurement of tasty, good-for-you food!

Common Food Terminology

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) - a locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution wherein CSA members pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit (some include dairy and meat, too)

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) - A genetically engineered (GE) organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques known as recombinant DNA techniques, where DNA from different sources are combined to create a new set of genes which is then transferred to an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms are a subset of GMOs that contain DNA originating in a different species.

According to the Environmental Working Group, genetically engineered/modified food is not often found in the produce section of American supermarkets. A small percentage of zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet corn at grocery stores is genetically engineered, and most Hawaiian papaya is genetically engineered. Other genetically modified foods are currently being tested and may be approved by the USDA in the future.

CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) - Defined by government agencies as: an animal feeding operation that confines, stables, or feeds more than 1,000 animal units (equal to 2,500 swine; 100,000 broilers; 700 dairy cows; or 1,000 beef steers) for 45 days or more in a 12-month period and that only has a ground cover of vegetation on less than 50% of the confinement area.

Feedlot/feedyard - A type of CAFO used in factory farming for ‘finishing’ livestock prior to slaughter that focuses on efficient growth and weight gain of the animals through a readily digestible high-energy diet, reduced amount of energy expended to find food, and minimized stress and health problems.

Mechanically separated meat – Must be listed in ingredients. A paste- and batter-like meat product produced by forcing pork or poultry bones with attached edible meat under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue. Mechanically separated beef was ruled inedible and prohibited for use as human food by the FSIS in 2004 due to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease).

Certified Labels

These label claims are defined by a formal set of publicly available animal care standards. Compliance with the standards is verified by a third party audit.

USDA Certified Organic (dairy, eggs, chicken, goose, duck, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, goat, pork) - Certifies that producers met animal health and welfare standards, did not use antibiotics or growth hormones, and used 100% organic feed. Only a small percentage of organic beef is ‘finished,’ or fattened up, on pasture; most of it still goes to a feedlot where it gets organic feed. Standards require some access to the outdoors for all animals, access to pasture for ruminants, fresh air and sunlight, and freedom of movement, but don’t address many animal care issues such as weaning, physical alterations, minimum space requirements, handling, transport, or slaughter. Pain relief for physical alterations is not required.

Food Alliance Certified (dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, lamb, pork) - Non-profit sustainable agriculture certification program. Standards provide for access to natural light, fresh air, and space, but access to the outdoors is not required for all animals. Pain relief is not required for most physical alterations, including beak trimming and tail docking. Farms can become approved based on an average score for some areas instead of requiring that every standard be met. Standards do not include the treatment of animals at slaughter.

Global Animal Partnership (chicken, turkey, beef, pork) - Producers are certified on a six-tier scale from Step 1 to Step 5+ in this animal welfare rating system, with stringency of the standards for treatment of animals varying from level to level. Step 1 standards are only marginally better than those of the conventional industry. Feedlots are permitted for beef cattle through Step 4. Allows tail docking of pigs and beak trimming of turkeys at Steps 1-3. Does not cover treatment of breeding animals or treatment during slaughter.

American Grassfed Certified (dairy, beef, lamb, goat) - Administered by the American Grassfed Association, requiring continuous access to pasture and a diet of 100% forage (with the exception of mother’s milk) from weaning to harvest. Confinement, feedlots, and the use of hormones and antibiotics is prohibited. No requirements for pain relief or treatment of breeding animals, animals during transport, or animals at slaughter.

American Humane Certified (dairy, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, bison, lamb, goat, pork) - The oldest animal welfare certification program in the U.S., administered by the American Humane Association. Provides the lowest space allowances of the main humane certification programs and does not require access to the outdoors for meat birds, egg-laying hens, beef cattle, and pigs. The only welfare program to permit the use of cages for housing egg-laying hens. Allows physical alterations without pain relief and antibiotic use for treating sick animals or preventing disease (but not to speed animals’ growth). Standards include the treatment of breeding animals, animals during transport, and animals at slaughter.

Animal Welfare Approved (dairy, eggs, chicken, goose, duck, turkey, beef, bison, lamb, goat, pork, rabbit) - Issued free of charge by the Animal Welfare Institute only to meat from independent family farms that adhere to the highest welfare standards on range or pasture, including treatment of breeding animals, animals during transport, and animals at slaughter. Beak cutting and tail docking is prohibited and pain relief is required for removal of horn buds of cattle. Standards include the treatment of breeding animals, animals during transport, and animals at slaughter.

Certified Humane (dairy, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, lamb, goat, pork) - Administered by the non-profit Humane Farm Animal Care. Minimum space allowances and indoor environmental enrichment must be provided, but access to the outdoors is not required for meat birds, egg-laying hens, and pigs. Feedlots are permitted for beef cattle and physical alterations are allowed under certain circumstances. Standards include the treatment of breeding animals, animals during transport, and animals at slaughter.

Unverified Claims

These claims have no legal definition and standards are vague and/or weak. Compliance with USDA’s definition is not verified on the farm by the government or any independent third party.

Cage free (eggs) - cage free often have scarcely more space than caged birds and may not be given access to sunlight and fresh air

Free range/Free roaming (all products)

Grass fed (dairy, beef, bison, lamb, goat)

Humanely raised/Humanely handled (all products)

No added hormones/No hormones administered (dairy, beef, bison, lamb)

No antibiotics administered/Raised without antibiotics (all products)

Pasture raised/Pasture grown/Meadow raised (all products) - does not specify how the animal was ‘finished’

Sustainable farmed (all products)

Naturally raised (meat and poultry)

Meaningless or Misleading Claims

The following claims are meaningless or misleading with regard to animal welfare. They may not be meaningless or misleading in terms of other issues.

Cage free (chicken, turkey) - meaningless, since birds raised for meat are not typically caged prior to slaughter.

Natural (meat and poultry) - by USDA policy: contains no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed; not an indication that no hormones or antibiotics were administered or any measure of how the animals were treated.

United Egg Producers (UEP) Certified (eggs) established by the egg industry itself, with very low standards.

Vegetarian fed (all products) - has no relevance to the conditions under which the animal was raised.

Source: Animal Welfare Institute -

What Is ‘Real Food’?

The Real Food Calculator, a comprehensive and decisive tool for calculating college campus’ sustainable food purchasing, defines real food as that which fulfills at least one of four categories:

Local and Community-Based: These foods can be traced to nearby farms and businesses that are locally owned and operated. Sourcing these foods supports the local economy by keeping money in the community and builds community relations. The food travels fewer miles to reach consumers. The food is seasonal, and when it is fresh, it often has a higher nutrient content.

Fair: Individuals involved in food production, distribution, preparation--and other parts of the food system—work in safe and fair conditions; receive a living wage; are ensured the right to organize and the right to a grievance process; and have equal opportunity for employment. Fair food builds community capacity and ensures and promotes socially just practices in the food system.

Ecologically Sound: Farms, businesses, and other operations involved with food production practice environmental stewardship that conserves biodiversity and preserves natural resources, including energy, wildlife, water, air, and soil. Production practices should minimize toxic substances as well as direct and indirect petroleum inputs.

Humane: Animals can express natural behavior in a low-stress environment and are raised with no hormones or unnecessary medication.

Learn more about the Real Food Challenge and the specific certifications that determine these categories at, or by joining the student group Campus Food Coalition and the student campaign Evergreen Real Food Challenge at

Special Dietary Needs 

Evergreen Campus Dining features a Special Dietary Zone in The Greenery which is free of all ingredients containing gluten, nuts, seafood, meat, and dairy. It offers a hot entrée item with a vegetable, hot soup, salad dressings, up to four prepared cold salads, fresh fruit, and hummus and vegetables. A sample menu would feature blackened tofu with sautéed spinach, a Caribbean sweet potato salad, and fresh greens from the Evergreen Organic Farm with a homemade balsamic dressing.

Speak Up!

One of the best avenues for positive change is through providing feedback! Here’s how to let Aramark know that you support even more sustainable food purchasing at Evergreen:

• Participate in NapkinTalk, located by the dish pit in the Greenery. Share feedback, compliments, and requests on the food, staff, and facilities.

• Be a Student Representative on the bi-monthly Campus Dining Food Committee, a group of students, staff, and faculty that provides feedback and information to support Campus Dining’s sustainability actions, food quality, and menu selections.

• Take the Your Voice Counts! survey at and share feedback about your most recent experience. By filling out the survey as often as once a day, you’ll have a chance to win $1,000 daily and other great prizes.

• Go to to learn more about purchasing a meal plan or Declining Balance for use at the Greenery, P.O.D. Market, MarketPlace, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and The Alcove. Choose to eat the ‘real food’ items offered and show that there is a demand on campus for good food purchasing!

The Flaming Eggplant

3rd floor of CAB - Cash only

The Flaming Eggplant Cafe is a flagship student-run, non-hierarchical worker collective started in 2008 by student group Students Organizing for Food Autonomy (SOFA) as an alternative to the contracted dining service. Working with over twenty vendors to source local and organic ingredients, their menu is an eclectic mix of delicious dishes that are respectful of dietary preferences and are sure to excite the palates and bellies of students working within a budget. The Cafe is subsidized by student fees and strives to provide affordable, nourishing meals to all. Work-study employment opportunities are available to all students.

See the Eggplant’s Facebook page for current hours.

Local Vendors at the Eggplant

  • 8 Arms Community Bakery
  • Bearded Lady Bakery
  • Blue Heron Bakery
  • Calliope Farm
  • Dino’s Coffee Company
  • Egg Lady Farm
  • Heritage Meats
  • Lattin’s Country Cider Mill & Farm
  • Magic Kombucha
  • Jalisco Tortillas
  • Mt Townsend Creamery
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe
  • Northwest Natural Foods
  • OlyKraut
  • San Francisco Street Bakery
  • Tunawerth Dairy & Creamery
  • Wobbly Cart Farm

Clean Energy Committee

The Clean Energy Committee is a student, staff, and faculty committee that manages the student-fee-originated Clean Energy Fund. The fund is used to purchase renewable energy credits to offset 100% of the electricity used by Evergreen. The remainder of the fund is allocated to students, staff, and faculty for sustainability research or infrastructure.

Grant proposals for Clean Energy Committee awards are accepted every month and all members of the Evergreen community are welcome to attend the hearings.

For more information, see


Center for Community Based Learning and Action (CCBLA) is Evergreen’s public service center. It serves as a point of contact for community groups and students looking to get involved in community work.  They offer Community Service and Math Science Teacher work-study positions around the community, a bulletin board with current opportunities for community involvement, a library of references on key approaches to community work, workshops and informal talks on skills for community issues, group opportunities for involvement and service projects, and information about Students In Service, an Americorps funded program that rewards students performing community service with tuition awards.

Located in SEM II E2125

Student groups at Evergreen

There are over 60 registered student clubs at the Evergreen State College. From the Psychedelic Club to the Gamers Guild to Abolish Cops and Prison to the Student Art Gallery, you’re sure to find a group of like-minded students and exciting adventures!

For current information and to get involved with Evergreen’s unique clubs, visit Student Activities on the 3rd floor of CAB, find them on Facebook, or attend the fall and spring Student Activities Fairs.

Evergreen Shellfish Club (the only in the nation) raises oysters down at the Evergreen Beach and leads regular field trips to the coast for razor clams and crabs. Their shellfish garden is planted with thousands of delicious Pacific, Olympia, and Kumamoto oysters. Work parties (open to the whole Evergreen community) are every other Saturday night around midnight (dependant on the tides), and provide education about water quality, mainanence of the shellfish garden, and all-you-can-eat oysters.

Community Gardens coordinates the 60 organic garden plots next to The Organic Farm. The 12’x12’ garden plots are free for Evergreen students and $20 per year for community members. The club provides seeds, tools,compost, and advice, and hosts regular work parties emphasizing responsible, ecological gardening practices and the importance of local food systems. Sign up for your own garden plot and supplement your diet with easily-grown vegetables!

D.E.A.P. (Developing Ecologically Aware Practices) maintains Demeter’s Garden, a vibrant permaculture and perennial polyculture system demonstration site next to the Sustainable Agriculture Lab at The Organic Farm. The space is available for student-run projects and exploration.

Evergreen Students for Sustainable Animal Agriculture (Sheep Club) raises and tends a yearly flock of sheep with the guidance of faculty Mike Paros. Students learn all aspects of animal husbandry: from birth to hoof-trimming to slaughter, with ample instruction and manure!

Campus Food Coalition provides a forum for the Evergreen community to address food issues on campus. They are involved in several key food-campaigns on campus: running Evergreen’s Thurston County Food Bank Satellite, the Real Food Challenge campaign, and the Evergreen Farmworker Solidarity Collective, as well organizing regular cooking workshops and food system educational lectures.

Young Roots partners with community organization GRuB to teach nature-based activities to youth that emphasize stewardship of the land, gardening practices, and the importance of local food systems at Demeter’s Garden near the Organic Farm.

The Evergreen Harvest Festival, held in mid-October at The Organic Farm, highlights our school’s strong and active food-centered student groups.  The festival boasts farm tours, garlic tastings, free apple cider, food preserving workshops, and activities for children of all ages. Check the Student Activities bulletin boards around campus for more details!

RAD Projects

Compost heat recovery pile - A mixture of wood shavings and horse manure surrounding a coil of plastic pipe. The heat produce through decomposition of this mixture is transferred to water running through the plastic pipe and is pumped through a recirculating system into the radiant flooring in Mod Building 311. The compost heat recovery pile will be rebuilt every September.

302 Solar - With the help of professionals from South Sound Solar, RAD installed a six-panel photovoltaic solar array on Mod 302. The array produces electricity, reducing demand on the power grid from Mod 302.

303 Solar - A comparison of two hydronic solar hot-water heaters in Mod 303. These generate hot water for a radiant floor system as well as supply the domestic hot water for this building.

Hybrid solar-aquaponics greenhouse  - RAD’s first full building installation. The structure was designed and run entirely by students as assisted by a variety of campus staff departments. It’s a greenhouse designed to interact effectively with the sun and its different locations in the sky throughout the year.  The use of south-facing glazing, east-west roofline axis, and the south-pitch of the roof are dependent on the sun’s location variance during winter months. The structure is heavily insulated on four sides and it utilizes water as thermal mass to collect and save the sun’s energy. The greenhouse is intended to house an aquaponics system for the purpose of academic exploration. If you’d like to be involved in this aquaponics project, please stop by the Mod Shop.

Lower campus garden plots - These plots are managed by RAD and open to gardening use by students. Please stop by the Mod Shop if you are interested in cultivating one!

Freshman dorm courtyard - A complete remodel from what was once concrete and gravel to an area featuring several fruit trees, a garden, a mushroom patch, awnings for rain protection, and convenient place for gathering.

Mushroom path - RAD is propagating mushrooms through the use of logs and mushroom towers. Evergreen residents will be able to harvest three varieties of edible, non-psychedelic mushrooms for personal cooking. RAD staff will be regularly maintaining the space and ensuring that only safe species are available.

Sustainability Lab - Established in 2013 for the purpose of building small-scale models of RAD’s large-scale endeavors. The lab houses a small-scale aquaponics unit, plant starts, and mushroom logs and towers.

RAD Sustainability

Residential and Dining Services is a student-employee and student-run organization that does  maintenance, grounds, and custodial services for Housing on campus, managed by the Residential and Dining Services Director, Sharon Goodman. It is the leading program of its kind in the nation.

Students taking 4 credits or more are eligible for work for RAD Services, with no prior knowledge or skills required – simply the desire to work hard and learn technical skills. Students employed by RAD have been involved in remodels of different housing units on campus, directly responsible for executing all aspects of general contracting work; everything from permitting to interior design to electrical work.  

The last few remodels have been heavily influenced by conversations with members of the WSU Energy Extension, ECHO Energy LLC, and Small Planet Workshop. These groups have informed RAD as to how they can improve the capacity of residential building’s to conserve energy by using green building techniques. For more information on RAD’s green building methods, check out the website or stop by the Mod Shop.

RAD Sustainability is a department of RAD Services. It started six years ago with a purpose to redirect compost and recycling practices in Campus Housing. Since then, it has evolved into a four-person crew whose goals are to expand opportunities for students in Housing to get involved in sustainable efforts on campus, to reduce the energy footprint of lower campus buildings, and enable cultivation of Housing garden plots. RAD also operates a Bike Share from the first floor of A dorm with free rental of locally-crafted bikes!

The RAD projects designated on the Evergreen Food Guide map were designed and implemented by RAD student employees. Stop by the RAD Mod Shop to get involved with their projects!


The Evergreen State College offers a wide variety of food-related and environmental studies programs.

Thanks to the multi-disciplinary tradition of Evergreen courses, you can be learning about physical geology and plate tectonics through studying the agricultural practices on a biodynamic vineyard, or learning about gender roles and feminist movements through a historical study of customary food preparation in the American West. A 25:1 student-faculty ratio allows for in-depth understanding and exploration of the material, and the multiple-professor teaching model encourages dynamic combinations of diverse topics.

For those seeking a Bachelor of Science degree, upper division science credits are available in many of these academically rigorous food-related programs.

Want to research something not currently offered as an official program? Consider these options:

Independent Learning Contracts: full or part-time study contracts between a student and a faculty/staff sponsor who has specific knowledge in the field to be studied. First step: pick a fascinating topic. Second step: pick a supportive faculty. Third step: write a clear and rigorous contract. Fourth step: Pursue your passion!

Internship Learning Contracts: full or part-time applied work experience (paid or unpaid) interning with an organization or business, with sponsorship from a field supervisor and an
Evergreen faculty/staff member.

In-Program Internships: when the student is registered for an academic program and working on an internship as part of the program.

Student Originated Studies: programs loosely-structured by faculty, where self-motivated students can create their own advanced course of study and interact with other students researching related topics through seminars and workshops.

Past and Future Food & Agriculture Programs for the latest program offerings. Search by keywords, course title, faculty, number of credits, or class standing. Programs change frequently, so make sure to look through the full academic catalog each quarter!

Practice in Organic Agriculture (formerly Practice of Sustainable Agriculture - PSA)

Ecological Agriculture: The Science and Policy of Food Systems (EcoAg)

Food: Coevolution, Community, and Sustainability

Ecology of Grazing and Grasslands in the Pacific Northwest

Botany: Plants and People

The Fungal Kingdom

Global Water

The Science and Sociology of Human Health

Seeds, Beads, Bees, and Other Biodynamical Processes

What We Talk About When We Talk About Food

Branching Out: An Ethnobotanical Garden in Community

Field Mycology: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Visualizing Permaculture

Terroir: Chocolate, Oysters, and Other Place-Flavored Foods

Related Faculty

If food/agriculture/farmworkers’ rights is your focus, check out these faculty’s programs or seek them out for an independent contract! Email is usually best, but sometimes you’ll have to stake out their office to get a word. See the Faculty Directory online for current office locations and email addresses.

  • Martha Rosemeyer      
  • Sarah Williams
  • Mike Paros
  • Savvina Chowdhury
  • Zoltan Grossman
  • Anthony Zaragoza
  • Karen Hogan
  • Lori Blewett
  • Steven Scheuerell
  • EJ Zita
  • Martha Henderson
  • Thomas (TJ) Johnson
  • Cindy Beck
  • Marja Eloheimo
  • Noelle Machnicki
  • Paul Pickett
  • Karen Gaul
  • Carolyn Prouty
  • David Muehleisen
  • Paul Przybylowicz

Organic Farm

The Organic Farm is a working small-scale organic farm that serves as a living laboratory for Evergreen to learn about small-scale organic agriculture. Located in the northwest portion of Evergreen’s 1,000-acres of forest, the Organic Farm’s 5-acres includes the Farmhouse, the Sustainable Agriculture Lab, 3-acres of fields and orchards, greenhouses, a closed-tunnel composting facility, and miscellaneous outbuildings.

The Organic Farm is Certified Organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and has been Certified Salmon Safe since 2008. The staff, student farm aides, and faculty work diligently to protect riparian areas, maintain appropriate water use, reduce erosion, practice integrated pest management, animal management, and biodiversity conservation.


Students enrolled in the Spring/Summer/Fall 16-credit course Practice of Organic Agriculture (formerly Practice of Sustainable Agriculture or PSA) study and work on the Evergreen Organic Farm through an entire growing season. This multi-disciplinary course incorporates not only botany and ecology studies through practical experiential learning  with the crops and animals raised on the farm, but also business management through running the Organic Farm’s CSA (a weekly vegetable box subscription available for purchase) and the weekly farm stand in Red Square. The students study academic topics like soil science, nutrient management, animal husbandry, disease and pest management, composting, entomology, water management, irrigation system design, farm and business planning, storage techniques, and cover crops.

Student projects have contributed significantly to the Farm over the years: the building of the Farmhouse in the 1970s, installation of a composting toilet, design and installation of an aquaponics system, expansion of the orchard, the Composting Facility, and a compilation of the history of the Farm (available at One shining example of student contribution is the Sustainable Agriculture Lab, a 2000-square-foot learning space and food-grade laboratory developed by students, faculty, staff, and HKP Architects in Mount Vernon, for use in food and soil science academic programs. The wood-framed building includes rainwater runoff treatment and infiltration, Forest Stewardship Council certified sustainable wood products, and permeable gravel walkways.

The Evergreen Food Guide was originally created as a paper publication for the 2014-15 academic year by Emily Dunn-Wilder and Tiffany Cheezem