Category Archives: ghosttown

Farm Stand

I was laughing the other day when I had my farm stand and no one showed up. Laughing because I remember how the City of Oakland had been worried about traffic and parking. Yes, just swarms of people showing up to buy some kale. Ha ha.

gtfarmstand

Actually, two people showed up. Jillian, who took these cute photos! and Jared, my upstairs neighbor. Thanks guys.

I really don’t mind the low attendance. It’s good for me to clean up a bit, harvest what’s ready, and put up what always feels like a kid’s lemonade stand.

It being a literal ghosttown at my GT Farm stand this month did make me face facts: I have to get out there and sell my farm products.

So, I’m excited to announce that I’ve started selling produce to the following restaurants:
Sweet Bar. Just around the corner from my house, this bakery and restaurant makes some really excellent food (cauliflower pizza; bacon scones, crispy flatbreads with hummus). The owner, Mani, is buying dry-farmed early girl tomatoes, Paul Robson tomatoes, Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, beets, and Pink Beauty radishes from me. They are having a story night August 22, and a Michael Jackson dinner August 29 (Mani used to cook for MJ, who apparently loved chilaquiles).
Cafe Bartavelle. My friend Suzanne opened this coffee/wine bar in the old Cafe Fanny location. The coffee is epic. The little wooden plates of tasty tidbits are adorable. She’s buying honey for her honey ricotta french toast, and kale for their kale/arugula/ricotta sandwich. Simple elegance.
Cosecha. Authentic Mexican in Housewives Market in Old Oakland. The posole, the wild shrimp tacos, the guacamole…it’s all delicious!! Chef Dominica is buying purslane and Pink Beauty radishes from me. She even uses the greens from the radishes to make mole and the green posole.
Township (Not yet opened but doing private parties). I’m selling tomatoes and table grapes to Abeni’s new restaurant slash urban farm store.

The hustle is on.
But still, come by to the next farm stand, if you can. Next one is Saturday, September 28, 10am-1pm; then October 4, 4pm-7pm.
gthoney

Hibernation

Hey y’all. Really, I’m here. But just for a second. There are big plans brewing over this winter, getting ready for a big spring. In short, I’m dormant right now, but rooting around the deep depths.
One new thing to share: I graffitied my own damn fence. I have been really bummed around a certain posse of taggers that kept tagging my fence with their name: Bob. Bob? In bubble letters? In expensive silver spray paint (cans thrown into the garden post-tag)? Fuck you Bob, you are hitting my vegetables with your spray paint. So I hired some locals and they tagged my fence and made it look purdy.
graffiti
I’ve heard that taggers won’t tag other respected taggers graffiti. Hey, I’m working with what I’ve got, fighting fire with fire.

Farmstand: Friday, November 4

Before daylight savings comes along to ruin our lives, I’m going to have one last Pop-farm stand! No, don’t congratulate me yet: I still don’t have my conditional use permit from the city of Oakland as they are still dotting the “i”s and crossing the GhostTown Ts. But in the meantime, I guess it’s ok for me to sell a little veg.

It’s also my way of kicking off the Community Food Security Collation’s 15th annual conference which is being held in…Oakland! If you want to attend the conference, go here. It’s running November 5-8, but you can sign up for individual days. Please, conference attendees, feel free to come by the farm and hang out. I’ll build a fire in the cob oven and we can circle the wagons. But don’t expect a rager: I go to bed early these days, what with the growing baby and all…

Rain cancels!
When: November 4, 4pm-dark
Where: GT Farm, SW corner of 28th and MLK Way
What: Dino kale, salad greens, braising mix, last of the tomatoes, herbs, GT tshirts–all for sale
What else: Duck viewing

Hope to see you there, this will probably be the last one of the year….

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!

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