Motto and Tags

“Farm City”

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer“Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer,” documents Novella Carpenter’s experiences growing a paradise of sustainable food in the most unlikeliest of places: Oakland’s ghetto. In the midst of car alarms and gunfire, Carpenter manages to raise pigs, chickens, goats, and an array of produce—all of which she consumes herself. Of course, it’s not all about cute animals and tasty vegetables; The Christian Science Monitor points out that “she takes us through the full range of her experience—her sometimes shaky relations with neighbors and landlord, her pangs of hunger as she tries to live solely on her own produce, and the impact of her experiment on her relations with those she loves,” adding that “the hardest part of the whole thing (for both Carpenter and the reader) is the knowledge that her animals will someday be served as dinner. Much of ‘Farm City,’ in fact, is about Carpenter’s angst over the need to become a butcher.” Thankfully, she handles with an easy levity a topic that could easily become disheartening. “Her way with narrative and details, like the oddly poetic names of chicken and watermelon breeds, gives her memoir an Annie Dillard lyricism, but it’s the juxtaposition of the farming life with inner-city grit that elevates it to the realm of the magical,” Publisher’s Weekly writes. The result, according to the Sac Rag, is a book that “embodies the passionate social movement surrounding locally grown, sustainable food practices.”

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