Tara Austen Weaver writes about food and agriculture, travel, the environment, art, and adventure in its many guises. A Northern California native, she has lived in five countries on three continents and is happiest either exploring with a notebook and camera, or spending the day in a kitchen learning how people feed themselves (the best stories always get told in the kitchen). Tara loves to write about farmers, environmentalists, artists, and other passion-driven individuals. She has a hard time picking a favorite spot on earth, but it might just be at 7,000 ft. in the backcountry. Or on a small island. Or in a sailboat. And definitely at a dinner table, surrounded by friends or intriguing strangers.

Tara’s book Orchard House (Ballantine, 2015) is the story of a family, an abandoned half-acre garden, and all they learned when they tried to grow. It’s about planting hopeful seeds, harvests that provide food for the winter, and all that is possible when we care for the land and each other. It’s about wild weeds, the sweetest strawberries, and a broken family growing together. The book was a 2015 finalist for the Washington State Book Awards in memoir. You can read more about it here.

Tara’s writing has won awards and been published in numerous anthologies. In addition to her own books, she has coauthored a guidebook, a children’s book about art, and ghostwritten a photography book. She’s written for Edible San Francisco, San Francisco Magazine, FoodandWine.com, Chow.com, and Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn. She served for two years as editor-in-chief of Edible Seattle.

For ten years (2006-20016) Tara wrote the blog site Tea & Cookies, which was selected by the Times of London as one of the top 50 food blogs in the world, and by The Independent (UK) as one of the 50 best food sites in the world. It was featured on Saveur.com, Epicurious, Slashfood, Simply Recipes, and Oprah.com. An essay written for the site won best post in the 2008 Food Blog Awards.

Tara is also the author of The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis (Rodale, 2010). The book tells the story of Tara’s foray into the world of meat, after a vegetarian childhood filled with tofu and alfalfa sprouts, and her often humorous struggle to figure out what she should be eating. At its heart, it is a story about the choices we make in life, though there are a lot of cowboys, cute butchers, and bacon along the way. You can see all the reviews/press mentions here.

Tara is a book industry veteran, having worked for several publishing companies, at a literary agency, and as a freelance developmental book editor. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Mills College and for many years served on the executive committee for Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival. There she founded the wildly popular Lit Crawl, a literary pub crawl that annually draws five thousand attendees to wander the streets of San Francisco’s Mission District in search of authors, literature, and a few stiff drinks.

Someday Tara plans to spend her days writing in an office that looks very much like a greenhouse, with a dog at her feet and a garden and orchard outside. For now she lives in Seattle, with a view of snow-capped mountains, and tries to squeeze in as much traveling, hiking, biking, kayaking, and rowing as she can.

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