Green and urban


“Essential” doesn’t begin to describe this encyclopedic (almost 600 illustrated pages) handbook for urban farming. Novella Carpenter (author of the fun and funny Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer) is the homesteader of GhostTown Farm—located on a dead-end street in Oakland, while Willow Rosenthal is the founder of City Slicker Farms, also in Oakland. They’ve put together a compendium for turning everything from your backyard to your fire escape into organic agricultural space. Even better, the detailed illustrations give a clear picture of what Carpenter and Rosenthal describe. That makes The Essential Urban Farmer easy to use for even novices in the art of local—as in, “outside my door”—food. The message: Put a little work into it, and feed yourself well, even if you live in a city. And if you eat, this book belongs on your shelf, right next to the Michael Pollan row.