City Farms

Herd About It?

by Ana Grarian

I just read Farm City the Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. It is a fun book documenting her exploits into raising everything from fruits and veggies to bees to chicks to pigs in a vacant lot in a not so desirable section of Oakland California. You get to know her and her neighbors through their interactions over her unusual enterprise. Though in her neighborhood nothing is exactly usual.

The daughter of a hippy Momand a recluse woodsman Dad, she is committed to learning about where food comes from and how to be more or less self-sufficient, as well as reconnecting with her parents and her childhood, and reaching out to the somewhat scary neighborhood.

There is a big learning curve here and everything is not hunky dory. This is no urban fairy tale where everything comes out right in the end. Some things work some things don’t. Sometimes Novella learns how to do it better next time and sometimes she learns that there won’t be a next time for that particular enterprise.

What I like most about this book is her gumption. She just does it. Maybe reads a book, talks to a few people, but then, gets into it, gets dirty and does it. Nothings perfect in this plan but everything is tried. People have more talent and skills than they give themselves credit for and Novella stretches her horizons.

What’s stopping you? Got a pot and a window? Try to grow something.

Something to eat!

Bring out your inner agrarian!