Friday, November 5, 2010

Farm City

Today I finished the book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. It was a page turner for me. The setting was Oakland, and having lived there previously I'm surprised and disappointed I never heard of her farm. It was interesting to imagine a farm in the big city and I could easily imagine and relate to a lot of what she wrote about. I found myself nodding my head or thinking, "yep, that's about right" when she would mention something that reminded me of my own experiences in Oak Town, like her neighbor living in the warehouse, her other homeless neighbor living in abandoned cars, the monks, and the other one-of-a-kind characters that you could only find in a place like Oakland. I think the craziest part of it all, was that she went all out and raised pigs. Not pet pigs, not potbellies, but full-on porkers! Novella is much braver than I though, because she was raising her animals mainly for meat. While I respect people who kill their own food more so than those who buy it in a grocery store, I know that I could never do this myself and so my diet will remain mostly vegetarian. (I will sometimes accept a bite of steak or chicken if I am a guest and I know the meat was humanely and organically raised.) I'm a big chicken, so I don't eat my own, heh.  There is an excellent bibliography and I can't wait to track down some of the books listed in it. Novella is still in Oakland, still farming, and even has a Pop Up Farmstand that you can visit.

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