Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Novella Carpenter - Farm City

I am reading.....
Farm City

The Education of an
Urban Farmer

by Novella Carpenter

It's interesting how you come to read certain books at times. This book was lent to me by my good friend Simcha who blogs over at Turkish Cooking, Everyday.

Simcha has recently come back to Australia to live after many years of living in Turkey. This book was sent to her while she lived in Turkey by an American blogging friend (sorry can't remember their blog)
When Simcha & her family recently returned to live here - bringing only a suitcase each, it was one of the things she just had to bring. Goes to show how much this book has been enjoyed.

You can listen to Novella Carpenter on utube here

I have nearly finished this book & I can thoroughly recommend it, especially to people that may wonder how much food can really be produced on a small amount of ground.

She is one very Cool! lady.

Urban and rural collide in this wry, inspiring memoir of a woman who turned a vacant lot in downtown Oakland into a thriving farm

Novella Carpenter loves cities-the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. Especially when she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door. She closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop.

What started out as a few egg-laying chickens led to turkeys, geese, and ducks. Soon, some rabbits joined the fun, then two three-hundred-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals weren't pets; she was a farmer, not a zookeeper. Novella was raising these animals for dinner. Novella Carpenter's corner of downtown Oakland is populated by unforgettable characters. Lana (anal spelled backward, she reminds us) runs a speakeasy across the street and refuses to hurt even a fly, let alone condone raising turkeys for Thanksgiving. Bobby, the homeless man who collects cars and car parts just outside the farm, is an invaluable neighborhood concierge. The turkeys, Harold and Maude, tend to escape on a daily basis to cavort with the prostitutes hanging around just off the highway nearby. Every day on this strange and beautiful farm, urban meets rural in the most surprising ways.

For anyone who has ever grown herbs on their windowsill, tomatoes on their fire escape, or obsessed over the offerings at the local farmers' market, Carpenter's story will capture your heart. And if you've ever considered leaving it all behind to become a farmer outside the city limits, or looked at the abandoned lot next door with a gleam in your eye, consider this both a cautionary tale and a full-throated call to action. Farm City is an unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmers' tips, and a great deal of heart. It is also a moving meditation on urban life versus the natural world and what we have given up to live the way we do.


Simcha said...

It is one of those good reads that you want to give to people to get them into gardening or to those already hooked to see how others do it. Thankyou to Chelle at Girl Gone Granola for giving me this book.

Jackie said...

How timely is this book it sounds wonderful. I am just organising my veggie garden. I dont have a lot of space and most of our block is shady but am determined to grow something.

Caroline said...

If you can get hold of it Jackie & your interested in that type of book I am sure you won't be disappointed.

dee said...

I've ALWAYS wanted to read that book. It's on my to read list for ages but i haven't seen it in portuguese libraries so far.
Now i want to read it even more.


Related Posts with Thumbnails