Monthly Archives: December 2007

Manny responds

I logged onto the glowing computer and found a comment on my blog from Manny Howard, NY mag’s urban farmer. Remember, I was all in a huff about his experiment and was very…ungenerous? I’ve gotten over it and would like to apologize for making fun of how he holds a chicken, and other below-the-belt remarks. Since most of you probably don’t read comments from months ago (I only discovered it myself because I couldn’t remember the code for a link, and went back to that post), here it is. (Riana, don’t get mad.) I should also mention, I don’t know if this is truly from Manny or a poseur.

Novella Carpenter,

Sorry for the delay replying to your post. Sorry about my book deal, too. There is no justice in the world. Calcium deficiency, huh? Yeah, once I got a minute, I researched the problem. You shoulda seen me crushing 20 lbs. of oyster shells with a 4 lb. sledge using only 3 of 4 working fingers. (Yup, that’s right, I could have purchased those shells by the sack, but, as I am certain you already know, crushed oyster shells are hard to come by in the 5 boroughs and the nearest Agway is quite a haul. However, I am sure you’d agree, better to do the work yourself, if at all possible–hard, painful work is intoxicating, is it not?
As with all things Divine, I don’t know about the twister being retribution from an angry and vengeful God (see comments from shrill, scold Riana Lagarde, below), but the thought that the Unmoved Mover had darkened the sky above The Farm had occurred to me: 139 years without a tornado IS an awfully long time. God or no God, at least I was not the author of THAT disaster.
You can imagine my relief, it was so great that it momentarily pierced my growing conviction that no good could come of the project and karmic payback was in the offing–by late July I was given to fantasies of the arrival of Animal Control. In waking dreams an elite unite would sweep through The Farm, taeser me senseless, zip-tie my limbs as I lay twitching on the driveway. The XO pausing briefly to pin a ticket to my filthy work shirt, before the unit pulled away from the curb with ‘my’ livestock safe in their unmarked, white Dodge Sprinter vans.
As re. the kit box proportions, careful reader, even I could tell that the directions I had followed would cause disaster, though, tragically, not until after the fact. Guilt about my gestational oversight and the panic caused by the ‘sudden’ appearance of so many kits temporarily blinded this fool. I worked mightily to remedy the error. But, as with so many of my efforts, projects and plans this summer, the work was all in vain.

Please assure C(h)ristine, the dog (mine, not hers) is quite well.

Either by accident or with grim determination, I am so very tired of killing.
Now, regarding this rumble between urban farmers…

November 26, 2007 9:03 AM

Manny: let’s rumble! I guess we don’t have to kill or pluck anything. We can do a radish sowing (judged ten days later on accuracy and percent germination) or perhaps a mail-order seed catalog scavenger hunt?

Biodynamic MoJo

Hey, my article in Mother Jones is out on the racks. Go to Mother Jones so you can read it online.