From an anti-lawn manifesto, to "sophisticated plant porn at its finest," Ketzel Levine shares this year's yield of great gardening books. She finds that geeky plant lust is officially outre, and memoirs of urban homesteads of produce and poultry are a budding new genre.
Novella Carpenter's Farm City is a cheeky manifesto on homesteading. She farms in Oakland, Calif., "on a dead-end street in the ghetto." Her field of dreams is the vacant lot next door. Carpenter's addictive prose is wickedly irreverent and unabashedly big-hearted.
Novella Carpenter, attracted to a rural lifestyle but not rural solitude, sets out to raise food — everything from pumpkins to pigs — in the ghetto. Her very funny account in Farm Cityis never preachy, yet inspires.