Currently I’m on a reading Binge and thought I’d put my thoughts down here.
Farm City, The Education of an Urban Farmer. by Novella Carpenter
This excellent memoir is the story of a young woman who moved to the Oakland Ghetto and started farming on a vacant lot next to her apartment. In the inner city she grew vegetables, raised bees, rabbits, poultry, and eventually even raised two full sized hogs. I found myself rooting for her ever step of the way. My mouth watered as she described the turkey dinner she made from Harold, her first turkey, and my eyes got moist as I shared in the loss of her flock to stray dogs.
The book is at once a description of the joys, heartaches, and challenges of Urban Farming as well as a fresh look at life in the inner city. Choosing to share the bad, but emphasize the good, Novella shows that in the midst of an area riddled poverty, injustice, and bullets from last weekends’ shooting, people still share meaningful community. It is this community that she comes to love and care for, bringing fresh produce to the neighbors, the monks at the nearby temple, and the Black Panther Literacy group. she writes:
The production of food is a beautiful process. Germination, growth, tending, the harvest— every step a miracle, a dialogue with life. But after th
e 100-yard diet was over, sharing became the main point for me. I could have hoarded all the food for myself–processed the tomatoes into cans and pickled cucumbers. I would have had a groaning cupboard of homegrown food. But then I would have eaten alone.
I highly recommend this book. Novella also blogs @ http://ghosttownfarm.wordpress.com/