Reading Fest
Up in the Air (with a book)

Urban Farmer

I'm so glad that I actually read the paper on Friday; otherwise, I would have missed Dwight Garner's terrific review of a terrific new book, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, by Novella Carpenter. Garner, one of the New York Times' book critics, writes,

I had a feeling I might like this memoir when I came upon on its first sentence, a gentle twist on the opening of Isak Dinesen’s “Out of Africa.” Here is Novella Carpenter: “I have a farm on a dead-end street in the ghetto.”

But I didn’t truly fall in love with “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer” until I hit Page 38. That’s when the bees that Ms. Carpenter has purchased from a mail order company arrive at her post office in Oakland, Calif. A panicked postal employee calls, begging her to pick them up because they’re attracting other bees and “freaking everyone out.”

I knew I had to have this one, and sure enough, I bought it yesterday afternoon and barely stopped reading until I finished. Very good, and funny.  The author, Carpenter, also blogs at GhostTown Farm.


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Oh, man. MUST READ. My TBR pile will not thank you, Susan, but I do!

Susan, I'm noticing that the more adult books you're reading and blogging about, the more adult books are creeping into my holds list and to read pile. Not a bad thing, although they do slow me down a little. Maybe that's not a bad thing though, either, eh?

Melissa and Adrienne, I really, really enjoyed this book, but parts are not for the faint of heart. Carpenter raises animals for food--and has to make her peace all that that entails (helping them, er, meet their maker). But I find urban farming, homesteading, community gardens and such completely fascinating. I'm even planning to re-read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Adrienne, just yesterday I was thinking that I may need to change the blog's tag line at some point. I did read a kids' book that I loved today. The "new" Arnold Lobel.

I cannot imagine shipping bees to the Oakland post office. That alone cracks me right up. There are some places in Oakland that I could see farming... but they're where rather posh houses are, so... Huh. This looks like one I've GOT to get. It sounds a bit like my childhood!

Hey, Tanita. The neighborhood where Carpenter keeps her farm on a vacant lot is right near a highway. She had the soil tested and surprisingly there was no lead.

I hope you'll write about your childhood "farm" too!

I have a friend who's trying to do the urban farmer thing. Definitely not for the faint of heart! This week they're learning how to slaughter bunnies for meat. Me, I think I'll read the book and leave it at that.

Yeah, me, too! I'm sticking with plants and hens who lay eggs! Yet I am so intrigued by urban farming. Does your friend have a blog?

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