Turkey, Rabbit, Pig.
January 29, 2010
I liked Farm City because it was honest, funny, and a great way to live. Novella Carpenter goes into her backyard and harvests delicious animals and vegetables from her vibrant urban farm. What she calls Ghost Town is a dingy neighborhood in Oakland, CA, complete with a speakeasy, a man who lives in various broken down cars in front of it, and the regular sound of gun shots. In walk Carpenter and her bio-diesel engine converting, car mechanic boyfriend Bill and suddenly the neighborhood is foraging for tomatoes, carrots, and er watermelon, as bees whiz artfully in and out of their hive. A kid begs to take one of Carpenter’s rabbits home and the convenience store owner begs for honey. After a month-long challenge to only eat food that she had grown or foraged turned out to be mostly hoarding everything she had planted and eating it alone, Carpenter realized that the joy in growing and raising food is to share it. I definitely wish I was at her wine and prosciutto parties which followed this realization.
The book is broken down into three sections: Turkey, Rabbit, Pig. They are the stories and times when she was learning how to raise, kill and eat these animals. There were both tragic and funny accidents. She triumphed over the tragedies, either through massacring a gang of slugs (literally) or catching a swarm of bees. She came to terms with her feelings because she knew continuing on was the only way. Even if someone steals your sole watermelon, and even if a dog kills your turkey, feeding yourself is righteous and rewarding.