Tag Archives: farm city

Manny Howard Update

Remember awhile back when I was all pissed off about Manny Howard, the urban farmer in Brooklyn? I just reread my post, and man, I was being such a bitch. I think I was scared that his book would come out and Farm City would look derivative, and I worried that he was mocking something–growing food in cities–that I hold near to my heart. My fears retreated once Farm City was published and I started getting letters from readers and fellow urban farmers who were so supportive. It’s great to get email from people who are now raising chickens or keeping bees, or growing some food, partially inspired by Farm City and the urban farming movement. I suppose I was pissed at Manny for telling people “no you can’t,” when I know they can–I’ve even seen some kick-ass farms in New York, where Manny lives!

Now I just watched his appearance on the Colbert Show, and I felt sorry for him–not that he was on Colbert, that is a sure-fire way to sell a lot of books! But that he seemed so beaten down and defeated by the whole experience. When he talks about killing (in self-defense) a rabbit then discovering she was pregnant, it made me feel bad for him and her. I did glance through his book, My Empire of Dirt, and it definitely had some funny moments, and he’s a good writer. Anyway, what I’ve learned, almost three years later, is that a book lives on–it can inspire, it can horrify, and it becomes a reflection of who you were. It’s pretty humbling, and it’s hard because you’re ultimately revealing so much about yourself. Anyway, Manny, if you’re out there, I wanted to let you know that I’m sorry for being such a bitch back in 2007.

And when are we doing that rumble? I’ll be in NYC September 25ish. Get your scythe out.