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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


Farm Tour, II

Same thing, different time.


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

24 responses to “Open Farm Tour, Food, and Demos: August 29

  1. you said it would be on Saturday, right?

  2. I’ve got vacation time around then. You’re tempting me to go out west.

  3. ghosttownfarm

    yup, august 29!
    come on over nicola!

  4. Novella! I so want to come to this–but drats, I have signed up for a kimchi-making class in Oakland that day. I send my positive thoughts–and one of these days, I’ll come ’round so you can sign my book. 🙂

  5. Robin Netzer

    My dad listened to you in NYC when you were promoting the book (on radio). He was thrilled to hear your thoughts & share a East Coast /West Coast passion with me for what you do. I have been following your rss feed for about a year. So I am sooo happy to have the Aug.29 opportunity to vist the farm & you.

    Want to get you to visit us in Sacramento. There are so many here who share your passion. From my garden to your farm, with good growing and good thoughts- robin

  6. I’m teaching worm composting at the Outlands Festival until 3 that day, but I definitely need to come see Ghosttown. (I live fairly nearby, at 53rd and Market.) You are my new hero. –Amy

  7. I am reading your book with passion and am sad to miss this for my vacation since I would love to see your farm.
    You inspired me to look into how to get bees in the city and I am going to a workshop at Glide Church tomorrow. They have a rooftop garden, which was new to me. It’s great that so many things can be done in the city…
    Thanks for your inspiration!!

  8. I finally went to the nursery you told me about, (added 2 kinds of blueberry, a strawberry, and a grape to my garden!)

    They had chicken and ducks, and a duck that thought it was a chicken, and so so so many plants and I got the idea that I think once I finally get bored of being the BioDiesel Hauler (its been 3 years this week!!) that I am going to want to be a farmer someday.

    And so this is perfect timing, I am excited to finally come and see Ghost Town in person and learn a little about what may well be my future.

  9. Amanda Joost

    Hi there- I wanted to know if I should rsvp for coming on Saturday the 29th? Samin has raved and raved about the experience of doing that dinner with you, and I am very interested in seeing a chicken slaughter, and of course meeting you. Thanks,

  10. Hey woman! We’re neighbors-ish (MLK and 60th) and we are soooo excited about attending your August 29th fete. Like Amanda Joost, I too want to know if we need to RSVP, and also if there is any help we can offer the day of. Looking forward to it, Sera

  11. Hey Novella! Thanks so much in advance for opening your home and way of life to all of us! I wouldn’t miss this! I just moved to Oakland a few weeks ago to pursue a job in the local food movement. I’m volunteering at EatReal. Should be a wonderful event. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you out. I mean it! Looking forward to meeting you soon.


  12. Looking forward to attending the chicken slaughter et al. I guess this servers as an rsvp…


  13. Thanks for doing this. I can’t wait to tour your farm and pay my respects! Make sure you get yourself some backup in case a mob scene ensues… see you in a couple of weeks.

  14. Laura and I will be there!

  15. How exciting – and very generous of you! I loved your book and Charlie and I would be delighted to come – especially for chicken slaughter and to meet you. You didn’t mention RSVP’s, let us know if we need to do something more official.

  16. Paul Salinger

    I’m there! Absolutely loved the book and we live close by (lower Rockridge area), and I’d love to see the farm and meet you. Thx for doing this.

  17. Novella-
    My husband (james) & I heard your forum interview on kqed the other day. He bought the book and now we are both reading it. It has really been an inspiration to us.

    We are also in Sacramento & would love to have you come. The natural foods co op has a community of folks that would love what you have to offer.

    By chance ( I was waiting for my veg oil car to warm up) I googled you to see if you had a blog. And lo & behold this farm tour gig is advertised! Well, I’ve made arrangements to get the day off for us & will be surprising James with a day trip.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  18. I’m looking forward to the chicken slaughtering! Thanks for opening your farm to all.


  19. I’m looking forward to this, I hope I can make it.

    It’s interesting that wood has accumulated unused. I’ve read a lot lately about how wood can improve soil, either with or without pyrolysis (terra preta or hugelkultur, respectively).

  20. Pingback: Adventures of an Urban Farm Gal « Lettuce Eat Kale

  21. Kitty Sharkey

    Ooooh! Ooooh! Count me in!!!

    I currently have chickens and a garden. I’ve been giving serious thoughts to goats. Oh, you tempt me with your latest blog about selling goats!

    Is there a specific ay to RSVP? Or do we just show up?

  22. Pingback: August 24-30 Oakland Political & Community Events « Living in the O

  23. I’ll be driving in from Blue Diamond, Nevada, Novella, on behalf of the whole neighborhood. Thank you for holding this event. I really need the lessons on chickens and goats.

  24. Pingback: What happened to Alana, plus an urban farm open house – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset

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