There are not many people crazy or weird enough to actually enjoy producing food on a small scale so for me it was really great to read Novella Carpenter’s book. Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.
Her book describes how she got into urban farming in a rough barrio in Oakland California using a vacant lot next to her house. She also has kept pigs, goats, chickens, bees, made wine, grown vegetables, planted trees etc but in an urban environment. The video below has an interview with Novella and it gives a very brief idea of what she does. Like us, Novella is a sociable person who would not want to be socially isolated on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Part of her childhood was spent in the middle of nowhere and it seems that the urban farm satisfies both the urge to be sociable, be part of a city and also the appreciation of nature and a more rural life. We ourselves have a similar dilemma but we solve this problem by having visitors and volunteers. If you like the idea of self sufficiency this book is a great read. Novella has a very pleasant way of writing and I particulary like her no nonsense style which includes plenty of swearing. If I were inventing a fantasy neighbourhood including the most interesting people I would definately have Novella as one of my neighbours. She also has a blog here