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State of the Bay

Urban Farms: Your Neighborhood Market Just Got Closer


Earth Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate the Earth than by putting our hands in it.  Manipulating the soil, harvesting crops, tending bees, and even raising livestock is not just for those living in the country anymore. Guest host Matt Fidler talks to Novella Carpenter and Willow Sommer about the ins and outs of urban farming in their new reference book The Essential Urban Farmer.


Novella Carpenter, Author of the best selling memoir, Farm City: The Education Of An Urban Farmer, and Co-Author of The Essential Urban Farmer - both published by the Penguin press. Novella helped start the urban farm store at the Biofuel Oasis in south Berkeley, that sells beekeeping supplies, poultry feed, and other urban farming gear.  She founded Oakland's GhostTown Farm in 2003, where she still lives with her boyfriend Bill, 4 chickens, 8 ducks, and 30,000 honey bees.

Willow Rosenthal,  Gardening Educator to children and their parents at Berkeley Rose School, and Urban Gardening workshops. She consults with various groups to implement urban farming strategies. Willow has worked with various groups to improve community food access with a variety of organizations such as The Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment, Food First, the Organic Consumers Association, and The West Oakland Neighborhood Improvement Initiative.  She is also the Co-Author of The Essential Urban Farmer.

David Latulippe is host of On the Arts, KALW's weekly radio magazine of the performing arts, as well as for Explorations in Music, and the Berkeley Symphony broadcasts. He has also hosted and produced the radio series From the Conservatory, Music from Mills, and Music at Menlo, and is principal guest host for Revolutions Per Minute.