Thursday, March 24, 2011


"When we would talk about our future in private, I would ask Mark if he really thought we had a chance. Of course we had a chance, he'd say, and anyway, it didn't matter if this venture failed. In his view, we were already a success, because we were doing something hard and it was something that mattered to us. You don't measure things like that with words like success or failure, he said. Satisfaction comes from trying hard things and then going on to the next hard thing, regardless of the outcome. What mattered was whether or not you were moving in a direction you thought was right. This sounded extremely fishy to me."
-Kristin Kimball in The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love

I love reading memoirs and recently have been delving into the agricultural. In addition to The Dirty Life I have been absolutely inspired by Novella Carpenter's Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. While the journeys of these two women couldn't be more different given the comparative size of their farms, they both show that it is possible to raise food for your family (or 100 families!) despite your comparative lack of experience; you don't need to be born a farmer to become a farmer. All you need to do is research, plan and DO. If you start small, you will be amazed at how much food you can grow for your family.

Here is a video of Novella's farm in Oakland, California. Check it out!


  1. very interesting! he made a good point - coming from someone who is abou to make yet another lfie changing decision - it is all about doing what you gotta do. not measuring is terms of "success" and "fail". I think I needed to hear this today!

  2. I listened to Novella on SIRIUS a long time ago and I loved her story of finding that abandoned lot.
    I loved what she said about when she noticed that her food was missing. At first she was angry and then she thought something like, "Hey -someone is eating healthy tonight instead of eating Cheetos." and changed her attitude. I wish we had more urban farms to help those in the same way.

  3. That video was great, I totally want to read her book now.