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Filled with pungent details around what its really like to grow onions and raise pigs in the backyard of an Oakland California tenement, this book reeks of originality and spunk. Some passages, relating to dumpster diving and ‘poultry harvesting,’ are not for the faint of heart, but author Novella Carpenter brings a sense of gritty dignity to her experiment in living off the land in an urban environment. I loved Carpenter’s on-the-fringe neighbors, and I loved imagining what her living room looked like (with bee hives) and smelled like (with rabbit hutches). There’s nothing out there like this book. Breathe deep and enjoy.

A – (minus for occasional ‘narrative meandering’)

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