Novella Carpenter, author of the bestselling book, “Farm City”, contends that people living in cities are not likely to have a direct connection to a local farmer. One solution? To grow food in the urban areas where almost half the people in this country live. Novella converted a vacant lot next door to her Oakland, California apartment into a thriving garden that feeds her family and neighbors.
Ghost Town Farm
9 December 2010
NOVELLA CARPENTER IS AN URBAN FARMER
(because that’s what she is)
urban = a city like Oakland
farmer = one who raises food for others
Her mission is to grow food for herself, her friends, her neighbors, and the larger community.
“Food in the city is so important, because you are localizing the food in the actual city where people live.”
NOVELLA CARPENTER SAYS, “50% OF PEOPLE LIVE IN CITIES. IN PLACES LIKE MY NEIGHBORHOOD, THEY’RE NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD LOCAL, ORGANIC, SUSTAINABLY RAISED FOOD. We live in a society where supposedly you can vote with your fork, and you can change the system just by buying local food, but the thing is, if you look at our society, that’s great for people who have money…but there are people who don’t have access to ANY food. You look around here: it’s a total food desert. It’s like malt liquor is all that’s available so that’s what people are going to buy.”
“A child of back-to-the-land hippies, I grew up in Idaho and Washington State. I went to University of Washington in Seattle where I majored in Biology and English. I’ve had many odd jobs including: assassin bug handler, book editor, media projectionist, hamster oocyte collector, and most recently, free-lance journalist.
I studied under Michael Pollan at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism for two years. My journalistic work reflects my interests–in farming, food, the environment, and culture. In a nutshell, I like to tell stories about people who follow unconventional paths.
As for the urban farmer in me, I’ve been cultivating the city for over ten years now, and my neighbors still think I’m crazy. It all started with a few chickens, then some bees, until I had a full-blown farm near downtown Oakland.” – Novella Carpenter