|Now||2020||Previous||Articles||Road Essays||Road Reviews||Author||Title||Source||Age||Genre||Series||Format||Inclusivity||LGBTA||Portfolio||Artwork||WIP|
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer: 10/28/18
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter is a memoir of urban farming Oakland. To someone outside of Alameda County, that might seem revolutionary or unbelievable. For someone living here, I can say it isn't and it's become more commonplace every year I've lived here.
Novella Carpenter moved to Oakland from Seattle. She had an urban farm up there and set about turning an abandoned lot adjacent to the place she rents into an urban farm. She began with bees and fowl. Things didn't go as planned but she had some successes among her failures.
This book isn't a DIY urban farming book. It's a memoir about the trials of urban farming, especially as a newcomer to a place. It's about farming and living on a street with homelessness, gangs, shootings, and so forth.
That said, there is still enough of a cross sectional culture of urban farming (including beekeeping and poultry raising) that Alameda County encourages the practice (within reason and of course, and within the discretion of local city ordinances). Oakland's rules (for poultry) are that it is unlawful to keep fowl unless a cage or kennel can be provided that is 20 feet from any dwelling, church or school. Stick said chicken coop in the middle of an abandoned property and you're golden.
To learn more about urban farming and animal husbandry in Alameda County, please see my pathfinder: Resources for Raising Livestock in Unincorporated Alameda County (April 2011).