If you have not yet read Farm City, by Novella Carpenter…give yourself a Big treat and get your fanny out to a bookstore near you and buy it! This woman is awesome, and dare I say, the kind of person that I would call a local hero to us all. Carpenter and her boyfriend moved from (if I remember correctly) Seattle, to a run-down section of Oakland, CA, and quickly turned an abandoned dirt lot into a verdant, abundant, living, thriving, urban farm. She began planting edibles, with a focus on eventually helping to feed the people in her neighborhood…where there is nary a grocery store that sells fresh produce. And then came the animals: bees, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, 2 very large pigs, and (guessing by the back cover of the book) somewhere down the line, goats. Awesome, right! This book is an education in the down and dirty, pulsating, thriving, loving world of farm life (albeit, in a run-down neighborhood filled with a cast of crazy characters) from raising livestock, to dumpster diving to feed all these animals, to slaughter that is humane, though messy, to the divine act of eating the animal that you raised with love. And it’s all told with Novella’s dead-pan humor, “tell it like it is” sense of humor that keeps you wanting more. Farm City is one of my favorite books of the year…and I think it will remain a favorite for years to come.
Novella teaches classes at her farm that allow others the skills to begin their own adventures, and she blogs about it all @ ghosttownfarm.wordpress.com. And definitely check out her new book also, Gone Feral….