There’s always something new to learn. Like, you can eat carrot greens (in moderation).
Here they are, frying with some bacon. I enjoyed them with some coconut oil/goat milk/whole wheat flour waffles that my sister, Riana, left before she left, going back to France. I won’t lie, the day she left, I cried like a baby. Partially because I have a baby. My sister was a whirlwind during the week she was here, helping me with baby Francis. She reorganized the baby clothes, figured out what was making all those cupboard moths in my kitchen (a bag of Hoody’s peanuts), made me breakfast, and took care of the baby ducklings (photos coming soon).
Then there was more: When her friend Dean arrived, they chainsawed (thank you Oakland Tool Lending library) down that horrible feral plum tree, found me a new couch and kitchen table, scrounged and fixed four dining room chairs, cleaned my nasty turquoise kitchen chairs, and much much more. It was humbling and contagious. I even rearranged my kitchen cupboards. I feel like a new woman.
She also taught me some new tricks, like using duck eggs to make pound cake, trim baby fingernails, and–eating carrot greens. They taste like slightly bitter carrots. She sautees hers with maple syrup. The flavor will always remind me of my sister and her kindness and love. I’ll never forget it.
As much as I hate driving, sometimes it gives me a good idea. The other day, on the hour drive up to Dixon to buy hay and a manger, I realized that I should invite other urban farmers to my pop-up farmstand so they can sell their produce. It’ll be like an urban farmers market!
This is happening Oct 27th (next Wednesday) from 4pm-7pm; and again on November 17th 4pm-7pm; at 665 28th street at MLK.
If you live in the East Bay and are an urban grower/farmer, consider this a call to contact me (novellacarpenter at gmail), to sign up to sell. In your email, tell me what you’d like to sell, where you live, and we’ll figure it out. Obviously you have to have grown it yourself! Added value is neat, but let’s start with veg, fruits, eggs first and go from there. I’ve noticed that things like eggs, honey, and potatoes are huge sellers! I’ll have some tables but if you have a table, by all means, bring it. I’ll be selling dino kale, figs, salad mix, and a few plant starts. You’ll be selling what?
Also, note that tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct 20) I’ll be selling stuff at the Pop Up General Store at Martin Luther King Jr Way and 49th Street, 5-7pm. See you there!
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!
Hey, thanks to everyone who came out to the open farm!
It was lovely having so many people in the garden, asking questions, and feeding the ducks. The crab cakes, ruled, right? Because it was so fun, I’m planning on opening the place up again next week: Wednesday, July 14 from 5-7pm. We’ll have tested the pizza oven by then, so it’s possible (if it works) there might be pizzas being sold, hot from the oven. I also harvested from my beehive this weekend, and got 17 quarts of the most gorgeous golden honey. I’ll be selling a little bit of that, plus preserved lemons, t-shirts, and greens. I could be persuaded to bring the goats out for a pat or two. Stop by after work or whatever and get some veggies. Hope to see you!
Wednesday July 14
665 28th street, oaklandia
Howdy y’all. Just wanted to make it more official: there will be an open farm day July 5, 10am-1pm. The address is 665 28th street, at MLK. If you can, please ride your bike or BART/walk. If you can’t, park on Martin Luther King, not 28th Street (it’s a short street). Note that this won’t be a full-on tour. That is, I won’t be leading tours into the backyard where the animals are, but I will bring the goats out on the hour (10am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1pm). I’ll set up a duck pen in the garden so people can see them, likewise with the rabbits. The bees will be buzzing and I plan to have signage so people can do a self-guided tour around the garden. There will not be a bathroom, so plan accordingly. It’s important to note that this is my home, so I’m trying to set up some boundaries–please don’t just drop by my house/farm except on tour days like this one.
I’ll be selling books, greens, and the t-shirts/western shirts with the new design. Yay!
Also: today, Wednesday, I’ll be at the Pop-up General Store selling GT salad greens, arugula, and preserved lemons. It’s in that big red building–Grace Street Catering, 49th and MLK, 5pm-7pm.
Rain or shine!
Lord, the Fire Marshall came to the farm early this week. They’re doing an assessment of all the “vacant” lots in Oakland, looking for fire hazards. I saw them idling their truck at the gate, looking curiously in, so I walked up to ask if I could help them. He asked if I had the land zoned for agricultural use. Um, er…I didn’t even know that was an option. Long story short, I impressed him with my stripped car that is serving as a greenhouse, and told him I would clear away brush and other fire hazards. Before he left he said, “And no parties or events here. What if someone has a cigarette?” So there you go. I think I will NOT be building a cob oven out there this Saturday.
Still, I will be popping up, and have the Pop-Up Farm stand on Sunday from 10-12 (note time change). I don’t want to risk getting busted, so it’ll just go for two hours. I’ll be selling pet food yogurt/cheese, favas, beets, leeks, tee-shirts, and books. See you there, and remember don’t park on 28th Street, park on MLK. Note: Unlike last time, I will not be doing tours. This is just a farm stand. You’re welcome to look around the garden but I’ll be focused on sitting behind the table and talking to people. As that one lady demanded last open farm: “I was told there would be animals!” There will not be animals, gotta wait until the next Open Farm day, which will be in July. 665 28th street, at Martin Luther King Way in Oakland.
If you can’t make Sunday, I will be part of the Pop-up General Store at Grace Street Catering Tuesday 5-7. It’s a really fun food event, with lots of yummy goodies to be had. Plus, Samin is so rad. 4629 MLK at 47th Street.
See you out there! And remember: no cigarettes.