If you ask my close friends and family what has been on my mind lately, they will tell you one thing: my garden. Interested in living a more earth-friendly, sustainable lifestyle, I decided to actively participate in the slow food movement by growing my own organic food. My efforts to learn more have led me to devour any book related to gardening and food production. Recent reads include Carrots Love Tomatoes, In Defense of Food, and Fresh Foods from Small Spaces. If it’s about gardening, let me at it.
By far, my favorite garden read has been Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. Farm City is one-part memoir, one-part garden meditation that details Carpenter’s experiences cultivating a farm in the inner city of Oakland, California. Surrounded by abandoned buildings, drug pushers, and a noisy highway, Carpenter manages to create a mini-farm on a vacant lot next to her apartment building; the farm is replete with vegetables and fruit trees, not to mention a bee hive, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. I was fascinated to read about how gardening and raising her own food affected not only her own life, but the lives of her neighbors, too. I highly recommend Farm City to anyone interested in urban farming.