City Famer Review

I just realized I never posted my final review of City Farmer by Lorraine Johnson, so here it is.

I really liked this book.  The author is funny and addresses a lot of today’s major food issues in a lighter way.  Rather than making it feel like doomsday is coming, the book gives the reader hope that they can make a difference in their own city.  I liked that she called into question the perceptions of cultural and economic status of the people who garden, from the White House planting their lawn with food throughout different presidencies to HOA’s forbidding vegetable gardens (and the moral grounds to do that), to guerrilla gardeners getting arrested for planting at the offices of public officials (because then we’d have everyone and their uncle doing it).

As I continued reading I found myself inspired to start a community garden in vacant lots around my city and spying out places to plant fruit trees and asparagus patches on my way to the grocery store.  There are countless stories of communities coming together to create successful gardening projects in their home towns and neighborhood streets.  Schools, churches, business people, farmers and urbanites living in harmony, growing their own produce.

Johnson also briefly addresses beekeeping and romanticizes urban chickens.  Though I know a lot of urban homesteaders that are totally into keeping their mini flocks as pets, I’ve learned the difference between food and pets the hard way, so I have a somewhat less romantic view of urban hens.

Overall I recommend reading City Farmer if you want to be inspired to convince your neighbor to try vermicomposting and wonder if your city will allow you to plant vegetables in the medians of the streets.  It was encouraging to read how people everywhere are growing food, truly anywhere.

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