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Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer Paperback – May 25, 2010
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"Easily the funniest, weirdest, most perversely provocative gardening book I've ever read. I couldn't put it down... The writing soars." --The New York Times Book Review
"Captivating... By turns edgy, moving, and hilarious, Farm City marks the debut of a striking new voice in American writing." --Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules
"Fresh, fearless, and jagged around the edges, Ms. Carpenter's book... puts me in mind of Julie Powell's Julie & Julia and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love." --The New York Times
"Carpenter, with [her] humor and step-by-step clarity, make[s] it seem utterly possible to grow the kind of food you want to eat, wherever you live." --Los Angeles Times
About the Author
NOVELLA CARPENTER grew up in rural Idaho and Washington State. She studied biology and English at the University of Washington, where she had many odd jobs, including assassin bug handler and 16-millimeter film projectionist. After moving to California, she attended UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism where she studied with Michael Pollan. Her writing has appeared on Salon.com and sfgate.com and in Mother Jones and Food and Wine. Her adventures in urban agriculture began with honeybees and a few chickens, then some turkeys, until she created an urban homestead called GhostTown Farm near downtown Oakland, where she and her boyfriend, Bill, live today. Her most recent book, The Essential Urban Farmer (co-authored with Willow Rosenthal), was published by Penguin Books in 2011.
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She starts with simple produce, but having raised chickens before, she is soon taking on poultry and bees - and eventually, pigs. There's no punches pulled here; Carpenter talks with frank honesty about the challenges surrounding making a viable farm, small as it is, in the heart of a city - including protecting her livestock from wild animals and the not-so-wild dogs next door. I appreciate the honesty with which she delves into the angst of dealing with her livestock harvesting, and the frankness with which she solves other issues that make up day-to-day problem solving for her small urban farm.
The book is populated with interesting neighbors, too, and remind us that part of making an address a 'neighborhood' are the relationships one builds with others.
Fantastic read, and very eye-opening for anybody who's ever dreamed of setting up their own urban oasis.
Ms. Carpenter: Thank you for having the heart - and courage - to forge your farm. And, thank you for sharing your odyssey with the rest of us. Love it!!!!!!!!!!!
I really appreciated how Novella made farming more attainable without sugar coating the downfalls we all face. Her writing is amazing~ it's like you are sharing her ups/downs/& conundrums facing large & small scale farmers. Novella makes you want to be brave and take on that next level of farming. Bee keeping here I come!!!. Thank you!
This book is not for those looking for self-help gardening but for those looking for a good read
Is it a good read? Yes...
Is it an easy read? Yes...
Would I read it again? Probably not...