We Visited Novella’s Farm Today

Oakland’s gaining a reputation for urban farming due to its rock star, Novella Carpenter.  She runs the Ghost Town Farm, on Martin Luther King and 28th, and also has written a popular and well-reviewed tome about farming in the ‘hood, called Farm City.

Today, Carpenter held an open house at her farm.  Some animals were introduced, though this event took place in the garden area.  We just had to see what this urban farmer had done with her own two hands – and it’s very impressive!

The Farm Footprint

You might blink and miss the farm, so we took several pictures to share with you.  Let’s start with what you see after stepping through the gates, a verdant array of plants and walks.  This mini-farm is a true oasis, and is very orderly to boot.

When you step across the street, you only notice an unbuilt and fenced corner lot.  In fact, the farm would be impossible to detect as you drive down Martin Luther King, a stone’s throw (well a block or two) from Highway 980.

Now look across the street at this marvelously blighted building, boarded up with gang graffiti above and colorful decoration for a now-vacated (we think) temple below.  Forgive the Jeep driving by, but it’s a fairly busy thoroughfare.

Continue reading