Farm City

Farm City

The Education of an Urban Farmer

Format
Ebook
Price
$12.99
 
Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101060179
  • 288 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

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.

Praise

"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




Extras

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