Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land" comes to mind). It is even more interesting to read about someone doing this on the cheap and in a dangerous inner city area.
Novella's account is an adorably honest but very real account of one person's journey to develop a closer relationship with her food, experiencing it from beginning to end. We follow her as she builds a squatter garden that becomes a community focal point (with the constant specter that the owner will raze her garden to build condos), raises and kills her first turkey (after losing her other to a pitbull), learns about keeping and killing rabbits and finally graduates to full-fledged farmerdom when she tries her hand at raising hogs. But of course, this takes place in the ghetto (broken glass, drive bys, and addicts shooting up across the street) so there are some interesting spins:
- How do you feed two hogs in the inner city? By dumpster diving in China town of course!
- How do you get free manure from a Northern California farm back to your urban farm when you have no truck? In the back of your station wagon which you line with a tarp (which it turns out doesn't work well)
- What do you do when your turkey flies on to your neighbor's roof? Get a ladder out.
The only downside to the book is that the very last paragraph leaves the future of the "squat lot" garden in question with the specter of it being sold again raising its ugly head. BUT...luckily Novella has a wonderful blog GhostTownFarm which I am now enjoying and it seems that so far, they have been able to keep the garden (see this post for details). A happy ending :)