Tara Austen Weaver writes about the big, wide world: food, travel, culture, 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 latest book is Orchard House, 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 a broken family growing together, wild weeds, and the sweetest strawberries. The book was published by Ballantine in March, 2015. You can read more about it here.

Tara also writes the blog site Tea & Cookies, which has been recommended by the Food Network and 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 has been featured in Philadelphia Style magazine, on Saveur.com, Epicurious, Slashfood, Simply Recipes, Alltop, and WineCountry.com. An essay written for the site won best post in the 2008 Food Blog Awards.

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 is currently editor of Edible Seattle

Tara is also the author of The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis, published by Rodale in 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 come to terms with the issues and 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.

The book has been mentioned in Newsweek, on New York Magazine’s Grub Street, in Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Redbook, Women’s Wear Daily, Body & Soul, and McLean’s (yay, Canada). It was a February 2010 reader selection for Elle magazine and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. You can see all the reviews/press mentions here.

Tara has been in love with the written word for as long as she can remember. She’s a book industry veteran, having worked for several publishing companies, at a literary agency, and as a freelance developmental book editor. She has presented at various writing conferences and even judged a few writing competitions (though she’d really prefer not to, it’s no fun being judgy). She’s currently a member of Seattle7Writers, working to promote literacy and reading in the Pacific Northwest.

Tara 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.

• Email her at: tara [at] taraweaver [dot] com, or use this form.
• Read her adventures on the Tea & Cookies blog
• Follow her on Twitter, where she chats about food, writing, photography, and life.
• Learn more about her editing work.
• Meet Tara at an event