inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #26 of 79: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #27 of 79: 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! 
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #28 of 79: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #29 of 79: 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. 
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #30 of 79: 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
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #31 of 79: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #32 of 79: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #33 of 79: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #34 of 79: 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
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #35 of 79: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #36 of 79: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #37 of 79: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #38 of 79: (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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #39 of 79: Nancy White (choco) Mon 29 Jun 09 17:33
    
I also loved the dumpster diving and salumi passages!
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #40 of 79: (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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #41 of 79: (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,"
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #42 of 79: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #43 of 79: Nancy White (choco) Tue 30 Jun 09 17:13
    
That would be fun - sharing pictures of unexpected gardens!
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #44 of 79: (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
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #45 of 79: 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. 
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #46 of 79: 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...
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #47 of 79: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #48 of 79: 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
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #49 of 79: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.356 : Novella Carpenter, Farm City
permalink #50 of 79: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sat 4 Jul 09 09:25
    
And thanks for the gratuitous sheep.
  

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