Saturday, October 27, 2012

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

Novella Carpenter created a farm in an abandoned lot in a ghetto in Oakland, California. She didn't stop at growing vegetables and fruit. Novella also raised poultry for eggs and meat, as well as rabbits and pigs. I listened to the Tantor audio of Farm City [10 hours], read by Karen White. Novella describes her surprising education as a farmer in this charming memoir.

From killing an opossum with a shovel and feeling an urge to place its head on a spike to warn other predators to stay away from her birds, to scolding a teenage would-be mugger about the dangers of carrying a gun, there isn't a dull moment in Novella's life. When she experimented with a 100-yard diet for a month, vowing to eat only what she either grew herself or foraged, Novella resorted to consuming home decor -- the ornamental indian corn she had grown a few years earlier.

Today at an excellent Edmonton Litfest event, Food Matters, I listened to Kevin Kossowan talk about supporting his family with food grown in his small urban garden, supplemented by hunting and fishing. Check out Kevin's blog, complete with videos. The other authors at the event were Jennifer Cockrall-King and Dee Hobsbawn-Smith. I was delighted to have received complimentary tickets to the event AND a signed copy of Jennifer's book (Food and the City) because I won a review contest earlier this year. I also own a copy of Dee's excellent guide to small Alberta food producers, Foodshed, and must get around to reviewing it soon.

Readalikes for Farm City: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver); Trauma Farm (Brian Brett); The Omnivore's Dilemma (Michael Pollan); and Food and the City (Jennifer Cockrall-King).

1 comment:

Claire G said...

I want to be called Novella Carpenter.