book review: farm city

31 Oct

“oakland is the detroit of the west”-this line among many others made me think twice about oakland.

oakland is the city i live in. with all of its glory and titles like, “murder capital of the US” (which is no longer true, we’re #4 now).

we’re the city across the bay bridge, SF’s friendly neighbor. Sure, it’s smaller and more “ethnic” but we have sun. and plenty of it.

which is a necessary tool for growing food and a nice little lead in for my review of the book:

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

After reading this book, Novella comes to me in my dreams. We talk of gardening, keeping bees in my yard and urban farming. These are dreams for myself, but not so much for Novella.

The book chronicles Novella’s journey to becoming an urban farmer in oakland. It begins when she and her boyfriend move into a duplex and located next to their home is an empty lot. Their landlord says that it’s abandoned and they can garden there. At first Novella has mixed feelings about gardening in this empty lot but then decides to run with it.

As the audience we follow Novella talk about her neighbors, violence in oakland, the ups and downs of keeping animals in the city and new friendships with other urban farmers and foodies alike. this book truly makes me appreciate what oakland is all about.

Other than this book, Novella has done some great work. She opened up a food stand and started selling her local produce at an affordable rate. She teaches about urban farming and how accessible it is.

You can follow her blog: Ghost Town Farm

Novella and bunny

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