October 28, 2009

Farm City

I just finished reading Novella Carpenter's memoir Farm City, which chronicles the start of her urban homestead in Oakland, CA. In an abandoned lot in a not-so-nice part of town, Carpenter grew fruits and vegetables, raised chickens, rabbits, and at one point, pigs. And yes, the animals were for eating. Her writing style is extremely laid back and accessible, and it makes me wish she would invite me to a dinner party at her farm where we could sip homemade wine. Here is a great video of her that summarizes her book quite well.
I love that Carpenter so successfully incorporated elements of country-life into an urban setting-- it doesn't have to be one or the other. It's clear that if more people followed her model, cities would slowly become a better place to eat, and live. While realistically, I know I'm not cut out for the hard work and gross factor vividly described in the book, I do wish the book had a little bit more of "how-to," I want to build a raised bed to grow vegetables, too! I could handle that. And maybe some chickens some day.