Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

Novella Carpenter obviously had Isak Dinesen in mind when she typed the opening line of  Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer – “I have a farm on a dead-end street in the ghetto”.   The similarities between the two are hard to ignore.  Both women were/are professional writers, as well as farmers.  But I find Carpenter the more likable, and in all honesty, … Continue reading Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

Oh yeah, that other book Michael Pollan wrote…

Garden books and winter go together.  After the garden has been covered over,  – first by autumn leaves, then frost, and finally a dusting of snow – what’s left for a gardener to do until March but read? Of course, by now someone has told you that you HAVE to pick up a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (if you haven’t already).  But before The … Continue reading Oh yeah, that other book Michael Pollan wrote…

How & Where: Michael Pollan vs. Witold Rybczynski

The Michael Pollan book I’m reading reminds me of another favorite author of mine – Witold Rybczynski.  Both writers devote themselves to what could easily become unwieldy topics (gardening & cities in these examples),  yet they succeed in keeping the information manageable by dividing it into short, entertaining and self-contained essays.  I found their writing style to be similar, though Pollan is easily the more … Continue reading How & Where: Michael Pollan vs. Witold Rybczynski

Heirloom: Notes From an Accidental Tomato Farmer by Tim Stark

Every year since owning my own home I’ve grown vegetables in the backyard.  My garden is not for the faint of heart.  The plants start from seeds in the sun room and by mid-July I have a small ecosystem to rival a Brazilian rainforest in the yard.  Carrots, bush beans, thyme, mint, rosemary, peppers, lavender, broccoli, eggplant… all manage to cohabit amiably until the tomatoes … Continue reading Heirloom: Notes From an Accidental Tomato Farmer by Tim Stark

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

*Warning:  contains spoilers. The Lost City of Z:  A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, despite a truly horrendous cover design (compare to the Weekly World News, the sadly defunct supermarket tabloid responsible for such groundbreaking journalism as “Batboy Lives!”) and titillating title, is surprisingly well written. What David Grann lacks in survival skills he compensates for with literary ability.  He also has a journalist’s … Continue reading The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann