SGT May Book Club: Farm City

Spring is just about the perfect time to be reading a book that might just inspire you to turn that little plot of unused ground into something productive. You certainly don't have to live in Oakland California, although as you find out in this excellent read, it might make it much more interesting. Of course if you are as bold a spirit as is author and urban farmer Novella Carpenter, you find your own way to make things happen, education included.


Consider that she had the gumption to start farming an abandoned lot next to her home regardless of the fact that she didn't know who owned it, or even how to find out. Her adventures take her through the process of finding the owner, watching the property get sold to a developer and daily wondering if all of her hard work would just be bulldozed. “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer” is both a memoir of someone with a lot of imagination and drive, as well as a learn-as-you-go how-to guide to urban farming. It is also a love story: one that finds not just the author, but inner city neighbors falling in love with growing things. It certainly will get your imaginations blooming with ideas for your own small spaces, be they urban or otherwise.


Here is the synopsis from the book...

When Novella Carpenter-captivated by the idea of backyard self-sufficiency as the daughter of two back-to-the-earth hippies-moves to a ramshackle house in inner-city Oakland and discovers a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door, she closes her eyes and pictures heirloom tomatoes, a beehive and a chicken coop.

What starts out as a few egg-laying chickens leads to turkeys, geese and ducks. And not long after, along came two 300-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals aren't pets. Novella is raising these animals for dinner.

An unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmer's tips and a great deal of heart, Farm City offers a beautiful meditation on what we give up to live the way we do today.


Come join one of our book clubs, everyone is welcome: 

In Minneapolis, the book club meets at the Linden Hills Co-op in the community room on Wednesday, May 30 from 6:30-8:30.

In Bemidji, we decided that this month we would enjoy the warm weather as we discuss Farm City. On Thursday, May 31st we will meet at 5:30 on the patio at Tutto Bene. It would be wonderful to have some new readers join us. Invite anyone you know who loves to read and is concerned about our environment, good food and healthy living to read our May selection and join us. If you plan to join in, please contact: I will need an exact number to reserve a table on the patio at Tutto. It fills up fast!

In New Ulm, we will be meeting Thursday, May 31st from 6:30-8:30 at Lola's Larkspur Market. Please note that our May book selection is Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness.  For more information go to or contact Brooke at


Hope you can make it!!