Category Archives: visitors

Open Farm Tour: March 28

Well hello.

We’re doing it again: the open farm tour, this Sunday, March 28 from 10am to 2pm.

I’m not going to do tours like last time, there will be signs and stuff for a self-guided tour. That way I can have fun and talk to people!

Might have a few items for sale like books (i can sign ‘em) and t-shirts (only a few left). I’ll also have a clipboard and will be surveying people about what they’d like to buy at the pop-up farm stand, what days work for them, etc. If you want to get your hands dirty, bring a pair of gloves and you can help pull up some dreaded bermuda grass.

See you Sunday!

665 28th street, at Martin Luther King Way in Oakland. Bikes get extra credit, and if you do drive, park on MLK, not 28th Street. Thanks.

Goat Town Tour, Dec 20

Due to popular demand, I’m going to have another farm tour!

When: Sunday, December 20, 11am-2pm

What: Signed copies of Farm City, Goat Town t-shirts, fried green tomatoes, and hot chocolate made with goat milk for sale. Goat snuggling and tours free.

Where: Ghosttown Farm, 665 28th Street, at Martin Luther King

How: Don’t park on 28th Street!! Park on MLK, and walk over. Please. I’ll give you the stink-eye if you drive down 28th Street, which is a dead-end street where my neighbors enjoy parking their cars.

My garden looks like hell, especially in December, so arrive with low expectations.

See you there!

So Sweet!

NOTE: does anyone know laura hulse? she left something at the farm.

You guys are the best.

I finally shambled off to bed at 10, totally exhausted; I told Bill to put out the campfire when the last of our guests were ready to go home. I woke up this morning to a totally cleaned up garden–and boxes of amazing goodies like a big jar of preserved lemons, pots of yummy jams and chutneys, the best salsa ever (who made that?), fresh Italian plums, Meyer lemons, some distiller’s grains (for the goats!), a cool zine, two (!) bags of coffee, duck prosciutto, bottles of wine, champagne, eggplants and peppers, and the following poem from my neighbor Demetrius:

“I would be remiss if I did not create a new poem for you on this wonderful date, the day you brought this community close by having us trade our ghosts for goats/

Like a beautiful song, natural, a capella, our wonderous farm lady lovely Novella”

Aw! He’s referring to the “Goat Town” t-shirts, which flew off the dirty tables like hotcakes (I have three left, all fairly big sizes).

I had no idea there would be so many people! Based on the number of questionaire cards filled out, there were probably about 500 people over the course of the day. By far, the most popular event was the chicken slaughter workshop. Samin and I were so lucky that someone brought two roosters to cull, so we were able to divide the class in half to allow more people could see. Sorry to those of you who missed it. There will be others.

One thing that made me really happy was that the neighbors came out in droves, despite the heat! Moses stopped by (wearing all black with a straw cowboy hat!); Grandma made peach cobbler (and we raised $100 for her daughter’s college fund); my neighbor D came over and helped serve hibiscus tea and cobbler: G told people where to park their bikes; and I met tons of people who live within a 10 block radius.

Sorry I was so swamped–I wasn’t able to talk to anyone in depth. I learned that next year (or spring), I should have a shade structure and perhaps have docents who can give people guided tours. This morning, I read the informational cards people filled out and was moved by everyone’s enthusiasm and desire to change the way we eat, and start growing our own food. Today I’m braising the chicken Samin butchered, peeking in at the Eat Real Fest, and opening up many of the jars of goodness you all brought–thank you for sharing!

If you filled out a card, I’ll add you to my email list and let you know about upcoming classes and events at Goat Town Farm–of course, I’ll post stuff here, too.

Reminder: Saturday, August 29 and some tips

Hey everyone!

Just a reminder about the farm tour this Saturday, August 29th. Based on recent conversations and comments, I think it’s going to be a totally packed farm on Saturday. To that end, I’d like to suggest a couple things:

-Ride bikes if possible. We won’t have bike valet parking (I wish!) but there’s a good place to park them against the fence in the playfield and on various street signs. If you do drive, don’t park on 28th Street. It’s a dead-end and I don’t want my neighbors to get mad. Best thing is to park on MLK, better to bike.

-Though I had fantasies of cooking fried rabbit soaked in goat buttermilk, that’s just not going to happen, so I thought: potluck! If you are a farmer/gardener, please bring something from your homestead to share. Make a little label telling us where it’s from, how you grew it, etc. Then we can all learn from each other. There is a grill, so we can cook stuff, too.

-Bring water. I’m trying to find one of those construction crew water dispensers, but it might not pan out. So best thing is to bring a water bottle.

-GhostTown schwag. If you’re interested, I’ll be selling copies of my book, t-shirts (Goat Town), and small plates of goat cheese/tomato/olives. There’s a good chance my neighbor, aka Grandma, is going to make peach cobbler, too.

-Volunteers. I might need 2 or 3 volunteers to act as docents (directing people where to park their bikes, signing people in, etc). Let me know if you can help–just email me at novellacarpenter at gmail.com.

Yay! Can’t wait to see you.

Open Farm Tour, Food, and Demos: August 29

FYI: no need to RSVP!

I’m really excited about the Eat Real Festival to be held in Oakland August 28-30. There’s going to be sustainably-raised meat taco trucks, dinners held at restaurants that feature produce from urban farms like City Slicker and People’s Grocery, ice cream cones and a beer garden.

A lot of people have emailed me to say they’re coming to town for the festival and they’d like a tour of Ghosttown Farm. So I figured, hell, let’s make a whole day of it, with demonstrations, tours, bookselling, and a campfire where I burn all the wood and branches that have accumulated on the property. And it’ll be a good excuse for me to clean-up the damn place. And you can all laugh at my pink and red house (thank you my landlord).

Here’s the schedule:

10am

Chicken Slaughter Workshop

Many people who keep chickens recognize that one day they will need to cull a member of their flock. In this demo we will show best practices for killing the bird humanely, how to pluck, clean, and rest the bird for the dinner table. Chef Samin Nosrat will then demonstrate how to butcher a chicken quickly and efficiently into eight pieces and make a rich stock with its carcass. The class will also include a cooking demonstration with tips on how to season, roast, braise and grill so that you can extract maximum flavor from your backyard bird, as well as recipes for using all the offal, heads and feet so that none of your bird goes to waste.

Noon

Farm Tour and book signing

I will give a tour of the farmlette, telling the story of GhostTown Farm, which has played host to turkeys, ducks, geese, and pigs. It now features rabbits, chickens, bees, and goats. I can sign copies of Farm City and books will be for sale.

1pm

Farm Snacks

Just-picked food from the garden will be plated up and served a la carte in the garden. Items will depend on what’s ripe in the garden but most likely will include heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, green beans, homegrown eggs, goat milk, yogurt, and cheese, and local honey. Donations are encouraged.

3pm

Goat How-to

Many city people are becoming more interested in goat husbandry. I’ll explain how I raise my goats, the trials and tribulations of goat ownership, and give a hands-on demonstration of how to milk a Nigerian Dwarf goat, and a demo of how to trim hooves.

5pm

Farm Tour, II

Same thing, different time.

7pm-10pm

Open Grill

Bring something from your farmstead (or the store) to drink and grill. We’ll have a campfire and a bbq set up for whatever you want to cook. Mostly, though, we’ll just relax and meet each other, and talk about the day’s events with a big smile.

Here it is in a nutshell:

what: GhostTown Farm Tour, Food and Demo

where: 665 28th street, oakland, ca (at mlk)

when: Saturday, August 29, 10am-10pm, see sked above for exact times

how much: free, but donations gladly accepted

Farm Tour: Sunday, Feb 15 CANCELED

Sorry!! But it’s mudsville here. I’ll resked for March…

Okay peps, because of popular demand, let’s do a farm tour Sunday, Feburary 15 at 10am. Maybe we’ll do some grafting and seed sowing…

GT Farm is at 665 28th street, at MLK in oaklandia. Rain cancels!

And in other news, my friend Heather is selling her awesome house in Gainsville, Florida. There is already a chicken coop and fruit trees. Check it out: http://gainesville.craigslist.org/reb/1006372691.html