Party on the 28th

18 Jul

Just when things were getting good around here, I “have” to go on vacation. Billy and I are pulling up stakes in early August and taking a crazy cross-country road trip. Of course this causes much consternation on the farm, so I have to find a place to board the goats, set up the ducks, and chickens. The bees, well, they don’t care if I’m around or not.

The garden is another thing to worry about. Last time I left for that long, many plants died. So I’ve decided to just harvest everything, pull up all the rows and beds and plant a cover crop just before I go. So there’s going to be a big mid-summer harvest party at my place July 28, 5-8pm. I figure I should make it a fundraiser for my trip, too. We’ll be going to Detroit to check out the urban farm scene (dream of mine) but as you know, biodiesel is expensive. Accordingly, I’ll be selling some items to pay for “gas” money: t-shirts, preserved lemons, greens, radishes, pickles, and books. My new friend Becky of Local 123 coffee shop will be on hand making salads using produce from the garden, iced tisanes (mint/verbena/elderflower) and we might even serve some hot stuff out of the cob oven. Please feel free to stop by:

July 28, 5pm-8pm

665 28th street, oaklandia (ride bikes or park on MLK, please)

If you can’t wait–I’ll be at Samin’s Pop-up General store this Wednesday, July 21 at 47th and MLK.

And finally, I’ll be at the North Berkeley Library (1170 Alameda at Hopkins)  reading and discussing Farm City on July 22 at 6:30. Come on by!

23 Responses to “Party on the 28th”

  1. Ben July 18, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    If you pass through Kansas City, and need a place to crash , let me know. I have been following your blog for a while and would be more than happy to have you.

  2. MotherLodeBeth July 18, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Heard about the Pop Up Store on NPR’s All Things Considered and Market Place this past week.

    So sad you cannot find a trusted friend to watch and care for the place while you are gone. But I so look forward to hearing about your trip and all you learn.

  3. Spike July 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Hey are you going to do a reading/speaking/pr thingy in Detroit? Please post news on your blog, would super cool to see you.

  4. Amber July 19, 2010 at 6:35 am #

    Detroit–I’m jealous!! Husband & I were just talking about a trip out there to check things out–being a steel sculptor, I always thought setting up shop in Detroit would be perfect. I hope you take lots of pics 🙂 You wouldnt be passing through Boise on the way, would you??

  5. Yolanda July 19, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    What’s going on with LaBrie? Can you board the animals there? How is the growing season going out in San Lorenzo?

  6. Jenn Holt July 20, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    Let me know if you guys need a place to stay in Salt Lake on your way through.

    You said you wanted to see our setup last time you were here, a free crash pad may be the ticket.

    It’s a hovel, but it’s clean and there are no drive-by’s… just chickens, bunnies and bees in the city…

  7. novella July 20, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    thanks y’all, for your invites. i think we’ve got too much on our plates already to stop anywhere else. i’ll see what i can do about a reading in detroit, but i think i’d rather just go and absorb all that’s going on there.

  8. MotherLodeBeth July 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Its my humble belief that doing a reading and getting media attention in Detroit or any other region of the country that needs urban farm wisdon would be a wise suggestion. Heck, I bet some bookstore owner in Detroit who is told about your website, may well contact you.

  9. kpj July 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Novella, I just read your interview on Shareable, and I was taken aback by your negative attitude about students from well-to-do schools visiting your farm because their privilege means they can “go whereever the fuck” they want and you don’t want to contribute to their excess of privilege.

    Who you let on your farm is up to you, but I might suggest that refusing access to the children of the well-to-do on the grounds that they are well-to-do is not just silly, but misses the point. Perhaps those students’ teachers want to take their charges to your farm precisely to expose them to something different from their normal milieu. Also, the students are just kids, and their teachers are just good hearted professionals trying to do a good job, perhaps you should cut them some slack. You’re not doing anyone in your community any favors by keeping them out.

  10. MotherLodeBeth July 20, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    KPJ makes an excellent point. Am thinking of John Robbins of the Baskin Robbins family and how he had privilege yet changed how he live because he was open to new ideas and knew those outside his peer group held answers. I grew up lacking nothing, but this doesn’t mean I wasn’t open to seeing how others less well off or marching to a different drummer lived. In fact I would venture that if anyone asked most back to earther types who came from homes lacking nothing, what made them take a different path, it may well have been a field trip to a homestead or urban farm. How many young people want to try being vegan or vegetarian, yet live in homes where food is plentiful and meat is the norm? Yet these young people seek their own path.

  11. michelle July 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    I’m about 45 mins away from Detroit (just south of Ann Arbor) if you need a place to crash.

  12. Sherri July 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    I am reading your book right now and I love it. I will be missing your stories when I am finished. Thank goodness I found your blog. I hope you decide
    to write a part two! I live in AZ and my neighborhood is considered “ghetto”, but you know what? I am proud to live here–more exciting and colorful than the swankier areas! You go, girl, keep farming and inspiring us. Thanks for sharing your life.

  13. Lynn July 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    KPG is absolutely right. I didn’t know there was such a thing as garden Elitism. I always thought the ideal of food to table had no boundaries.

  14. CallieK July 23, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Toronto is a mere 4 hours from Detroit and we have some awesome projects going on here too like Not Far From The Tree ( and FoodCycles (
    If you get a chance, come up and visit!

  15. sex July 24, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    Very good blog ..

  16. novella July 24, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    wow guys thanks for all the invites. toronto is sounding great.
    as for the reverse elitism, kpg. sorry, my bad. i can’t be perfect, now can i?
    i actually had a great sweet kid come by over from head royce and we had a lovely conversation. i was just in a bad mood that day of the ernest callenbach conversation, as you can tell. i don’t want to be like a politician, always saying the “right” thing. so excuse my warts but rest assured they’ll keep springing up…

  17. Joanna July 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Hi! I just picked up your book and I am really enjoying it! Your book is written with such detail, and I find myself feeling as though I am right there next to you experiencing things at your farm.
    Anyways, I am a farmer’s daughter (organic, too!) and I’ve just started a blog writing down various things from my past. I’m doing this as an educational thing, and as a way to raise money for a trip to Chicago for a social media seminar (tweeting farmers, can you imagine?) 🙂
    Best wishes to you and Bill on your trip. I wish I could come for your little get-together, but Ohio State is a closer university than Berkeley.

  18. Joanna July 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    I just wanted to add, when I said “your book” I meant your Urban Farmer book. It’s wonderful. 🙂

  19. patrick July 26, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    when are you going to be in detroit? we should be sure to meet, and you should check out earthworks while you are in town. do you have a plan of where to go? i can make recommendations.

  20. janet czarnecki July 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    having a hard time understanding why you are leaving your garden at the height of the season!

  21. novella July 30, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    janet: i know, how silly huh? i’ll be back on the 23rd so will just miss a few weeks. our housesitter and the neighbors will enjoy the harvest. i think the height actually arrives in september, especially considering this freezing july. enjoy your summer!

  22. heather t August 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    Hey, Detroit! Please let us know if you are doing any public activites. Here is a blogger who, as the name indicates, homesteads in a condo in downtown Detroit – She seems to have gone AWOL, but maybe you can get in touch.

    Good stuff going on here, just needs some boosts in the right direciton.

  23. Conny August 18, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I know you’re still on vacation today, but I was excited by:: the fact that your interview with Allison Aravalo appeared in the SJ Mercury News today in the SV Food/Life section! Good PR that I hope sells more books that will in turn allow you to continue doing what you love! I finished reading Farm City a couple weeks ago – it was the best reading this summer. Thanks for writing it! Cheers ~ Conny

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