Book Review – Farm City by Novella Carpenter

Farm City, written by Novella Carpenter, published by Penguin Books, 2010.

This book is directly responsible for the 8 chicks and 2 turkeys currently living in my kitchen. Novella Carpenter’s memoir is a hilarious collection of stories about gardening and raising bees, chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits and pigs – all on  land belonging to someone else.

Raised in Idaho by two back-to-the-land hippies, Novella was taught an appreciation for nature as well as self-sufficiency. Those early lessons translated into the now-city girl’s desire for a backyard barnyard. As we learned in this video, chickens are the “gateway animal” leading into bigger farm animal ventures. That was certainly what happened to Novella, as chickens led to turkeys, gees ducks, rabbits, and eventually two pigs.

Novella never lets us forget that these animals are there for one purpose – dinner. She dispatches her furred and feathered pets with dignity and, of course, humor. She, um, prepares a duck in her bathtub and notes that it “went from being a happy camper to a being a headless camper.”

Her stories of raising animals and vegetables in the ghetto of Oakland, CA will leave you laughing, crying, and ready to order a box of bees for your own back yard. Farm City is a perfect book for the coming lazy summer afternoons. Get yourself a copy today! I’m off to read it again now!


Have you read Farm City? Let me know how you liked it!

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2 Responses to Book Review – Farm City by Novella Carpenter

  1. Along A Path says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve never heard of the title before and will be on the lookout for it.

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