by Novella Carpenter
Living in a run-down neighborhood in the city of Oakland, Carpenter eyed the vacant lot next door to her apartment with dreams of growing tomatoes and raising chickens. And then she went ahead and did it. Started building raised beds and growing vegetables. The operation expanded into chickens, turkeys, ducks, a beehive. Then rabbits, and eventually even a pair of pigs. Some of her neighbors enjoyed in sharing the bounty of the garden, others complained about the noise and smell of the animals. She scavenged the city streets for weeds and discarded produce to feed her birds and rabbits, and ended up dumpster-diving behind high-end restaurants to acquire enough food for the pigs. I admired her thriftiness and determination- at one point she tries to go for an entire month living just on what grows in her garden, the meat from her animals, and what she can forage elsewhere in the neighborhood (fruit trees overhanging sidewalks, for example). I\’ve often dreamed of keeping chickens for eggs and bees for the honey, but don\’t think I could go quite so far as Carpenter and slaughter bunnies for the table. I\’m just too squeamish! Anyhow, Farm City was a quick, enjoyable read. The author also keeps a blog about her food-raising exploits.
I found out about this book on Amy Reads. Borrowed it from the public library.
Rating: 3/5 …….. 276 pages, 2009