Area Woman (booter) Fri 26 Jun 09 17:48
Erm, yeah. I'm looking at the Oakland City code on Lexis/Nexis and see things that indicate that lots of the barnyard animals Novella keeps are not allowed in city limits. There seem to be a lot of contradictions. One thing I saw indicates that you cannot have them at all. Another indicates only on less than one acre. I recall Alameda county code has restrictions on the number of animals, too. But, given that Oakland has to deal with cops getting shot, huge riots, and other malfeasance, I'd suspect that this is a wee bit low on the list.
Novella Carpenter (novellacarpent) Fri 26 Jun 09 18:02
yeah, fish gut collector to book tour glamor-puss--it's been a weird trip. a friend called me to say that i'm rising from the gutter. i didn't even know i was in the gutter, actually. oh boy, nappy dynamite sounded like a handful. i've heard similar stories about roosters. that's why i'm just going to "borrow" a rooster for some breeding programs. actually, oakland's municipal code only disallows roosters. any other animal is allowed as long as it doesn't make the neighbors angry, and has to be a certain distance from their house. it is illegal to kill turkeys and rabbits, etc. but yeah, the opd has bigger fish to fry. in terms of my flagrant fanning of my illegal activities, i never thought i'd be on an oprah list (see fish guts). but at the same time, i'm squatting on some land that isn't mine and i never expected to be farming here for so long. all things are transient, and so i'm assuming everything will crack up and blow away soon. oh well!
Area Woman (booter) Fri 26 Jun 09 19:46
Your new found fame might net you some more land, however. Look at it that way. BTW - are you still raising pigs or was that just Too Much To Deal With?
Novella Carpenter (novellacarpent) Sat 27 Jun 09 16:11
the pigs grew up and went to a salumi college, if you know what i mean. i haven't attempted it again (it's been two years now) because i raise goats now, for dairy, and i think they would hate pigs. also, i've become less pork motivated because i may have od-ed on bacon and salami.
Nancy White (choco) Sat 27 Jun 09 19:48
Goats are getting very popular here in Seattle, and I have friends making goat cheese from their goats on a farm south of here. Does that work with the mini goats (which are allowed in the city. The big-un's aren't. Yet.) Signed still-waiting-to-build-my-chicken-coop-in-Seattle
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Sat 27 Jun 09 22:32
I would love to have goats but I travel and it's hard enough to find someone to take care of the chickens when I go out of town. What are you going to do with the boy kids?
Strangest I Could Find (miltloomis) Sun 28 Jun 09 09:57
Out here in suburbia where I live, the law states that you cannot have poultry within less than 50 feet of a property or fence line. I had to invoke that law several years back when a next-door neighbor acquired a rooster that began crowing at dawn every morning. I was working nights at the time and barely 3 or 4 hours into my sleep when this started each day. They were letting him run free in the yard and there is a very narrow sideyard setback between their house and ours. Our bedroom is right next to that narrow passageway. The rooster would strut up and down that space crowing, waking us up each day way earlier than we preferred. After several complaints, Animal Services served notice on them and they gave the rooster away. Ironically, I had to invoke the authorities again a couple of years later when they acquired three shepherd-type dogs that were left outside all day every day and who bark at everything, literally. We could not go into our back yard without them erupting. It took much longer to get them to keep the dogs under better control, and that happened only after we and two other neighbors threatened to sue. It seems the animal control ordinances vis-a-vis dogs are much more lenient and much harder to invoke than laws about poultry and livestock. And dogs aren't even considered food in our culture. So while I empathize with those who would like to raise chickens in their back yards in the 'burbs or city, I want to point out that there is a noise factor, especially when roosters are involved. Not to mention a fly and health factor. We had a calf raised on the other side of our property for several years, and while it was not a noise problem, the resulting heavy fly population was annoying. One of my uncles raised two calves and numerous rabbits each year in then-rural Hanford, CA, to help a tight budget. I used to watch him string the rabbits on a line and go down the row rabbit-punching them at slaughter time each year. He would freeze the meat of both kinds of animals. Needless to say, he always had a large vegetable and fruit garden, too (and still does, in his 80s, though he no longer raises animals). I haven't read your book yet, but I'm wondering if city/suburban folks have tried using co-ops to raise meat animals/fowl on rural property away from heavily populated and dense areas. Thanks for the forum.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Sun 28 Jun 09 11:35
Roosters aren't necessary for eggs -- a fact that some people don't seem to know, so sorry if anyone's feeling I'm insulting their intelligence -- and a number of cities allow hens but not roosters. >co-ops I belong to a meat CSA. I get a box of about 15 pounds of hormone-free meat every month for $50. And there's a fair number of people on the Well who go to the farmer's market and buy half a lamb, a quarter steer, that sort of thing.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 29 Jun 09 04:41
From off-WELL reader Gary Gach... <23> "Some arrows are well-timed." Writing about small farming is the next chapter after Fast Food Nation became a national phenomena and Michael Pollan's sharp voice being heard in Congress. Anyone seen Food, Inc yet? I haven't, but adored How To Cook Your Life. (Another notworthy title catching this wave is Jonah Raskin's Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating and Drinking Wine in California.) I look forward to reading Farm City
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Mon 29 Jun 09 07:16
Yes, I'd be interested in hearing more about what sort of influence Michael Pollan had on your life direction.
Area Woman (booter) Mon 29 Jun 09 09:50
Novella, I cannot imagine the sweet sweet sensation of actually being OD-ed on bacon. I did enjoy the parts of the book about how you and Chris the Chef made all of those sausages and salamis. Are you still in touch with him? He seems like a really neat guy.
no disrespect to our friends the chum (wiggly) Mon 29 Jun 09 13:59
The scene of the fateful dumpster dive behind Eccolo is hilarious.
(dana) Mon 29 Jun 09 14:21
Courtney Squier writes: I'm wondering how forward thinking you are about the transitory nature of your urban farm. You've said that you want to stay in an urban environment, so where can you imagine yourself putting down roots next, if & when you must leave your current location? Congratulations on the book, I enjoyed reading about your adventures.
Nancy White (choco) Mon 29 Jun 09 17:33
I also loved the dumpster diving and salumi passages!
(dana) Tue 30 Jun 09 10:11
San Franciscans -- Novella is going to be reading at Green Arcade Books tomorrow night at 7pm. 1680 Market Street.
(dana) Tue 30 Jun 09 13:52
CNN article on urban farming, with a focus on UF in African-American communities: http://bit.ly/14u8T6 And from that article, one person's answer to my earlier question about whether this is all a fad: "It's beyond a movement at this point. Its more like a revolution,"
Lisa Harris (lrph) Tue 30 Jun 09 15:45
I need to go across the street to my neighborhood Texaco station and take some pictures of the garden the owner and his brother have behind the place. It's amazing, mostly because unless you know it's there, you just think it's random weeds/brush behind the place.
Nancy White (choco) Tue 30 Jun 09 17:13
That would be fun - sharing pictures of unexpected gardens!
(dana) Wed 1 Jul 09 11:05
Novella interview coming up on KALW's webcast (and perhaps their over-the-air broadcast) right now. http://www.kalw.org/listen.html
Novella Carpenter (novellacarpent) Thu 2 Jul 09 10:30
hi guys! sorry, i've been off the computer. michael pollan was really influential in my life before i met him and worked for him at ucb. he wrote that steer article in the nytimes magazine and really made me question my own meat eating. and i loved botany of desire--his ability to boil down the essence of a plant amazed me. i was working at a nursery when pollan came in to buy some plants. and i remember being like--oh my god! he said he was teaching a the journalism school at berkeley. i applied and got in a few years later. as a teacher, he is very generous with his time and insights. now everyone is into mp, and i think that's great. as for chris lee, i see him quite often and he is a wonderful, funny, giving person. he's so skilled at what he does and is so low-key. sfmagazine is running an excerpt of my book in august and there are lots of photos of chris and i in the salumi room. so check it out! regarding collectives: there's an egg coop in portland where people who live in apartments share chicken ownership/duties on a large urban farm south of the city. it's a great model, and one that i can see working for pigs and goats as well. my farm is very temporary, and it could be shut down at any moment. but remember in the flannery o'connor story, a good man is hard to find? having a gun to my head at all times makes me a good woman. since land is pretty cheap right now, i'm looking at big lots in urban oakland and hope to buy something and start a proper (and more long-term) farm.
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 2 Jul 09 15:06
That's interesting. Still, isn't rural land even cheaper (including taxes) than urban land? I'd always thought so. But if you love the city...
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Fri 3 Jul 09 12:28
I love the idea of a goat or pig coop. I'd love to have them but I go on vacation and things. But it would be great to sign up to take care of some animals for a few days a month. So you knew of Michael Pollan before you started taking classes with him. I was wondering about that. I was interested about how little theft and vandalism you suffered. I would think the conventional wisdom would be that raising animals and vegetables in the city like that would end up with a lot of lossage. What do you think is the reason that didn't happen?
no disrespect to our friends the chum (wiggly) Sat 4 Jul 09 09:01
Unfortunate news for posh urban farmer Michelle Obama -- the WH lawn appears to be chock full of lead, and therefore the veggie patch she started is probably ornamental. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-kimbrell/the-obama-organic- family_b_224398.html Wingnuts will be happy to learn that they can probably blame Bill Clinton. Too bad she didn't consult with you, Novella. Seems like a lead check would have been the first thing she would have done, but I guess they don't teach urban farming 101 at Princeton. Speaking of the White House, here's a gratuitous shot of sheep on the lawn back in the Wilson era: http://www.presidentialpetmuseum.com/Pets/Sheep.htm
Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sat 4 Jul 09 09:24
Yes, note also that the sewage sludge fertilizer that caused the White House problems is widely used commercially.
Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sat 4 Jul 09 09:25
And thanks for the gratuitous sheep.
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