Novella Carpenter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Novella Carpenter
Occupation Journalist, Urban Farmer
Language English
Nationality U.S.
Genre Non-fiction
Notable works - Don't Jump! The Northwest Winter Blues Survival Guide (2002)
- Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer (2009)
- The Essential Urban Farmer (2011)
- Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild (2014)

Novella Carpenter is the author of the 2009 memoir Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. The book describes her extensive garden in Ghost Town, a run-down neighborhood about a mile from downtown Oakland, California.[1] Farm City was listed by some reviewers as one of the top books of 2009,[2][3] and it was the 2014 selection of the Marin County Free Library, City Public Libraries of Marin County and Dominican University of California "One Book One Marin" reading program.[4]

Carpenter studied biology and English at the University of Washington and graduated from the School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley where she studied with Michael Pollan.[5] She has written for Mother Jones, Salon and SF Gate. She is also the co-author (with Traci Vogel) of Don't Jump! The Northwest Winter Blues Survival Guide, published in 2002 by Sasquatch Books.[6] In March 2011, the City of Oakland told Carpenter she would have to close her Ghost Town Farm because she was selling excess produce without a permit.[7] In April 2011, after an extensive debate that prompted officials' review of the city's policies regarding urban farming,[8] Carpenter was granted a Minor Conditional Use Permit for her 4,500-square-foot urban residential plot, allowing her to keep more than 40 animals, including ducks, chickens, rabbits, pigs, and goats.[9]

Carpenter's "how-to" guide for urban farmers, The Essential Urban Farmer, co-authored with Willow Rosenthal, was released by Penguin Press on December 27, 2011.[10] A memoir, Gone Feral: Tracking My Dad Through the Wild, released on June 12, 2014, also by Penguin Press,[11][12] was selected as a Library Journal Best Book of 2014 and a Northern California Book Award Nominee for Best Creative Nonfiction of 2014.[13]


  1. ^ Garner, Dwight (2009-06-12). "Living Off the Land, Surrounded by Asphalt". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Best Books of 2009: The Complete List". NPR. 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  3. ^ "Dwight Garner's Top 10 Books of 2009 - The New York Times". 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  4. ^ One Book One Marin: 2014 Selection: Farm City by Novella Carpenter,, accessed 2 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Farm City, Novella Carpenter, (9781594202216) Hardcover - Barnes & Noble". Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  6. ^ Community Reviews: "Don't Jump!: The Northwest Winter Blues Survival Guide'", Seattle, Wash.: Sasquatch Books, 2002, ISBN 1-57061-266-8,, accessed 5 Jan 2014.
  7. ^ Kuruvila, Matthai (2011-03-31). "Oakland gardener questions need for permit to sell produce". Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  8. ^ Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer: "Oakland urban farming prompts plan to redo rules", The San Francisco Chronicle,, Published 4:00 am, Sunday, May 8, 2011.
  9. ^ James McWilliams: Backyard Butchery in the City,, June 7th, 2012.
  10. ^ Community Reviews: The Essential Urban Farmer, Penguin Press, ISBN 978-0-14-311871-8,, accessed 5 Jan 2014.
  11. ^ Mark Storer: "Author Novella Carpenter explains in Camarillo how she took up farming", Ventura County Star,, posted March 24, 2013.
  12. ^ Penguin Press: Summary of Gone Feral, release date June 12, 2014, 240 pp., ISBN 9781594204432,,,9781594204432,00.html, accessed 5 Jan 2014.
  13. ^ Praise for Novella Carpenter's "Gone Feral",, accessed December 30, 2015.

External links[edit]