Coming to a Town Near You?

I wish I had the gumption (and could convince the goats, rabbits, hens, and bees) to load up into a car and drive around the US of A to promote urban farming. Based on some of the comments you’ve sent from places like DC, Philly, San Diego, and Boston, I would be welcomed with open arms. That sure is a good feeling. I was in Los Angeles yesterday and couldn’t believe how many people were into urban farming and wanted to show me their farms and learn more about what I’ve been up to–but there just wasn’t enough time.

And so hatched the DIY Farm City Tour idea.

My dear publisher paid for me to go to Seattle, Portland, New York, and Los Angeles. But I want to see what’s doing in Chicago, Boston, Detroit, St. Paul, etc, etc, etc–I want to see urban farms all over America! But how will I pay for that?

That’s where you come in. If you’d like me to come to your town, please send me an email at novella.carpenter at gmail, or just comment belo with ideas. Let me know if you’d like me to teach a class about chickens, rabbits, or just give a reading from my book. Include the names of bookstores or spaces where workshops could happen in your town. I’m targeting October as the perfect month for the DIY tour.

In a nugget:

What: Novella in your town, teaching or talking about urban farming

How: She’ll need to raise money to cover airfare (you and your friends have to promise to put money in the hat or hold a fundraiser or charge for a cool class that I’ll teach)

How 2: She’ll sleep on your couch

Where: urban farms in your city, bookstores, master gardener classes, universities even

When: October-November

Please send me proposals, ideas, criticism, as soon as possible so I can start contacting venues and setting up dates. The ideal is to pair up with a local bookstore so they can sell copies of my book.


Can’t wait to meet you! And yes, that is a fake smile that I promise not to make when I’m in your town.

31 responses to “Coming to a Town Near You?

  1. I am going to start the machinery to get you to come to Ann Arbor MI. There are a TON of people in Ann Arbor, Ypsilani and Detroit who would love to meet you.

  2. sara teeter

    Come to Palo Alto, Kepler’s in Menlo Park!
    You could stay on my couch for sure! I’m sure ZKepler’s would LOVE to have your book and sell it.

  3. I can’t possibly be the only Philly area person. I will try to find some of our urban farmers and see what we can do. We have a huge slow food/urban farming/CSA scene here (one of the few areas where we are so behind the curve, we’re ahead) and I can’t imagine we can’t drum up stuff for you to do here. Thinking cap officially on!

  4. I am reading your book and enjoying it very, very much. Thank you! When you’re done touring, I hope you’ll start giving farm tours again. I really want to bring my stepson! If you’re in Oakland on August 4th, stop by our National Night Out Block Party – we’re right here in the McClymonds neighborhood in West Oakland. Corner of 28th and Myrtle.

  5. I’d love to come to a Philly event, too!

  6. My parents live in San Diego and are trying to get into the eating local movement. They have always had an organic garden in their yard, and are starting to frequent Farmer’s Markets- but are amazed that in southern CA, there is not more of a market for organic veggies and fruits. It is tough to find much of anything organic in the local grocery stores.

    I know they would be interested and would even pay to tour urban farms in San Diego with you. They are also interested in local sources of pasture raised meats.

    I live in SF and would love to tour local urban farms here as well. I stay at home with my kids, so kid friendly tours would be a lovely idea. I would gladly pay to be guided along- plus extra for your fundraising effort. What is your budget? You should put a donate button on your blog.

  7. Yes! This was my next step, and you beat me to it – I guess they call that kismet. I devoured your book this weekend, and a blog post about it is pending. Will you come to St. Louis in early October? I am organizing a HOMEGROWN Urban Country Fair of sorts with skillshares, demos, various sundry NGOs and appropriate businesses, and, of course, music – Saturday October 3rd.
    Venue is tbd, but I’m hoping for one of the incredible farmers markets in the city.
    You could do a class, read from your book – we may even be able to find an independent book store to come sell the book (unless you can sell them yourself) and more!
    THEN, Sunday is the Farm Aid concert. Our big show at the Verizon Wireless amphitheater. What publisher wouldn’t love a national audience for their author? 🙂 In past years we’ve done a pre-show press event, that could continue as the trend this year, or we’ll do something similar.
    There are several urban farms/homesteads that I know of so far in St. Louis. If you aren’t able to sleep on one of their couches, there’s always a pull-out in my hotel room!
    If your publisher is not interested in footing the bill, we can pursue other ways of underwriting your travel / expenses.
    You really have me so inspired with your book. I’ll be sure to send you a link to the post once it’s published.
    HOMEGROWN Shepherdess
    Farm Aid
    Somerville, MA

  8. ghosttownfarm

    ok, jack, oonie and i are working on it! would you be into taking a class about raising chickens or rabbits–or would you rather have a slideshow and reading?

  9. ghosttownfarm

    hi jessica!
    interesting. i’ll have to research urban farms in san diego and get back to you.

  10. ghosttownfarm

    wow! cornelia, this sounds really impressive. of course i want to do it. what’s your email, let’s chat about logistics and i can send you my list of classes, etc.

  11. Novella, I just sent you and email and look forward to setting a plan in motion! Thank you!

  12. I would be extremely interested in a rabbit raising class! A chicken class would be useful, too. I know at least one friend who would definitely want to come, as well.

    I’m enjoying your blog so much! I only found it recently, and I’ve been poking through the entries of the past. I’m really looking forward to getting a copy of your book.

  13. Hi there, Samin is a friend of mine and mentioned that she may be joining you on this tour. I live in Seattle and you are more than welcome to stay with us. I think there is a lot of general interest in food/farming in this town and you could generate some good buzz. I look forward to meeting you, as Samin thinks you’re fantastic.

  14. Hi Novella, I will talk to the owner of our independent bookstore as well as the farmer’s market managers we know. We do lots of classes here at the Funny Farm so we could surely set something up here as well. We have plenty of room and would love to have you stay with us. I will email you soon!

  15. Ooooops, didn’t think to check your blog first, to see what the latest goings-on were, before blathering my last post! (somebody please smack me!)

    Okay! Since you’re getting responses from folks in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area . . . very, verrrry cool. Follow up on that lead, I’d say. That area’s always been known for being pret-ty hip (&, dare I say “eclectic”) & I think you’d be very, VERY well-received, there. (grew up not too far from A.A., actually) I’d recommend also seeing abt marketing to the Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo area, if you can. (west side of the lower peninsula that’s also seemed to have gotten pretty “hip” in recent years)

    I, unfortunately probably cannot offer much more than . . .The Place To Crash/Cross-Cultural-Experience, since we live in No-Mand’s-Land BFE where there aren’t any decent-sized, bookstore-having towns/cities w/i close proximity (depending upon what the definition of “close” might be, anyway) &, b/c these sortsa things you’re into just plain ol’ aren’t considered “novel” right around here. Buttttttt . . . w/ this “back to the land movement” that’s been going on the past few years, we do seem to have quite a bit of “Big City” transplants moving out here from Detroit & Ann Arbor & etc. (many of whom always seem to find me online, LOL), wanting to hop into farmerism & the self-sufficiency stuff. Soooo, not completely out of the question for the potential to actually get some sort of something-er-other planned for out here in BFE, too.

    Any/either way, I COULD however offer animals for butchering (chickens &/or goats – could “find” other species you might be interested in, too, I’m sure) &/or the stuff required for fresh cheese-making (cow &/or goat milk), or canning/preserving/etc.-ing – stuff like that – &, maybe even “assist” you w/ putting on any classes (behind the scenes, of course!). Might even be able to scrounge up an Amish neighbor/friend to come along to offer her/his input, since they ARE after all, THE Putter-Upper Extraordinaires. I say “behind the scenes” b/c I’m just not so sure how much actual “help” I might be able to offer w/ your particular venture of the whole “Urban Farmer” thing, even though I don’t do things “conventionally”. . . b/c I do live on a farm & have the abilities to free-range the fowl, & pasture the other livestock, & have gardens where ever & etc. . . . just don’t really have the various obstacles that urban folks encounter, when wanting to hop into “farmerism”, so am not sure how much “valuable input” I might have to offer, y’know? (not to mention: remember the fetal-position-in-the-corner thing? Yeah. That. *feeble chuckle*)

    An-y-way – who cares abt my boring blathering.

    Point: VERY blankin’ cooo-OOO-oool to see the interest being exhibited from all over the U.S. & ***enthusiastic high fives*** from me/us in BFE Nowhere.

  16. Not much of a big city, but in Humboldt County, CA we have a huge CSA following, farmer’s markets, backyard farming, hydroponics, etc. Especially in the Arcata area, where we have CCAT

    I’d be happy to house & feed you! There are a few local book stores that do signing events too, like Northtown books.

  17. Madison is hosting the Wisconsin Book Festival October 7-11 – dozens of speakers including Wendell Berry and Will Allen (an urban farmer from Milwaukee). I just finished your book and think you would be a wonderful addition. Try contacting them at

  18. I would love to have you stay with me on my mini farm in downtown Charles Town, W.V. I have lots of aging hippie friends who are into the idea of raising their own food. There are great places to speak in Shepherdstown and Charles Town, WV, and we are close to Washington, DC., where I’m sure you could find tons of interest in urban farming.

  19. I second the Madison idea- there’s also the Food for Thought festival (end of Sept.) and the keynote speaker is Micheal Pollan this year. I am a local preserve maker who has lots of connections in the farming community. There’s a struggle right now to save Drumlin farm- a 5 acre CSA farm that’s being threatened with development. You are absolutely welcome to stay at my house. I will feed you very well. I heard about you from your sister on flickr. I bet we can find a bookstore that would host a reading or you could teach a class at the Willy St, Coop. Please consider us!!

  20. adriankrebs

    Dear Novella, looks great your farm and book, hope I’ll be able to get it here in Switzerland. Made a little commercial on my blog: Unfortunately its just in german, but theres pix, too. Thx for visiting and all the best with your Farm.
    Yours Adrian

  21. Urbana-Champaign would love to have you – we’ve done v well with book signings at our farmers’ market,tho it might be a bit cold when you tour. Maybe do Madison first, then travel down here? It’s about a 5 hour drive.

    V active food co-op might be able to help host, too.

  22. Novella –
    Started reading your book last night – wonderful, inspiring and funny – thank you! Gives me hope about my own neighborhood and pushes me to venture out and meet my neighbors. We would love to have you come to the Twin Cities – I am not an Urban Farmer yet though we do garden and I am a landscape designer. You are welcome to stay with us and I’d be more than happy to get the process rolling. Lots of love for what you are doing in this part of the world.

  23. Celsa Bowman

    How about visiting Salt Lake City, Utah? We have an amazing local bookstore, the King’s English ( that should host your trip! Also, it would be great to have you partner in some way with our non-profit organization in town, Wasatch Community Gardens ( Think it over! Oh, and I loved your book. My family had an urban farm outside of Sacramento in the ’70s. Pigs, chickens the works. Let me know what I can do to help set up your visit.

  24. Toronto!
    Independent book stores w/ more than one location:
    Book City:
    focused on environmental issues, Fertile Ground:
    Amazing resources, organizations and growing interest in local, sustainable ag…Slow Food, Farmer’s Markets, Community Gardens, CSAs, Toronto Community Gardening Network (TCGN), etc.

  25. Novella – I sent you an email with an idea for a gathering in my area (Kittitas County (Ellensburg), WA – judging from the response here, I would guess you might be overwhelmed with opportunities, but would much appreciate it if you could check your emails for mine and respond. I’ve already contacted Tilth in Seattle and received a tentative show of interest. Also, talked with the local bookstore (Brick Road Books) and think they would be interested. We have an active gardening/farming community, with a full fledged farmer’s market from May to October, so I don’t think there would be a problem with getting a decent turnout. We would cover your travel expenses, meals, and your could stay with me or another community member, so those matters shouldn’t be of concern. No matter how this works out, I wish you well. Keep up the good work!

  26. We definitely have a couch if you find your way into Nashville! Chickens are trying to cluck their way through the city council now…

  27. Hi Novella! Heard you on the radio a few days ago and found this website. Your farm sounds great! I would love to learn about raising chickens and rabbits. Here are a couple of places in the area that might be open to a reading/class.

    If the second looks interesting to you I’d be happy to get in touch with those folks and see if they are into the idea.

    I only have a smallish chaise lounge to offer to sleep on! But it has been slept on before.

  28. Hi Novella, I read your book over our vacation weekend and LOVED IT! I hated the B from the slaughterhouse.
    I don’t have an urban farm but 4 acres in a mostly yuppie area. (I’m the only room mom with chicken poop on her shoes)
    Anyway if you make it to the Ann Arbor MI area, i can offer a place to sleep, an extra car and/or my driving to get you places, and have chickens to butcher in the next couple of months if needed.

  29. Hi Novella,
    This is sad that I am the first person to give a shout out from Chicago, but here it is- we love what you are doing! Yay, urban farming!!! But, if you are coming to the Midwest and it seems that there are a bunch of great places here that are vying for your attention, we would love to have you too. There are a ton of great urban agriculture initiatives taking place and we are always excited to learn more. Let me know when a trip to Chicago could take place and for how long. There are a ton of urban farms, meet-up groups, master gardeners, schools, farmers markets, community gardens, bookstores, apiary co-ops, and more that would love to meet you and learn some new tricks!

  30. Where is my comment? Are only those comments that adovocate what Novella Carpenter’s supposed “urban farming” the only ones being posted? I did not use profanity in my comment. I merely stated that I for one do not want Ms. Carpenter slaughtering any more innocent rabbits in the Willimsburg section of Brooklyn. Is it safe to say that we are a little biased here?

  31. hi marysia;
    i’m not sure where your comment is. as you can see in the winter bunnies post, i allow all and sundry to post their points of view. do you remember where you posted? and, what is your email address?

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