California

Urban and rural collide in this wry, inspiring memoir of a woman who turned a vacant lot in downtown Oakland into a thriving farm

Novella Carpenter loves cities-the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. Especially when she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door. She closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop.

What started out as a few egg-laying chickens led to turkeys, geese, and ducks. Soon, some rabbits joined the fun, then two three-hundred-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals weren't pets; she was a farmer, not a zookeeper. Novella was raising these animals for dinner. Novella Carpenter's corner of downtown Oakland is populated by unforgettable characters. Lana (anal spelled backward, she reminds us) runs a speakeasy across the street and refuses to hurt even a fly, let alone condone raising turkeys for Thanksgiving. Bobby, the homeless man who collects cars and car parts just outside the farm, is an invaluable neighborhood concierge. The turkeys, Harold and Maude, tend to escape on a daily basis to cavort with the prostitutes hanging around just off the highway nearby. Every day on this strange and beautiful farm, urban meets rural in the most surprising ways.

For anyone who has ever grown herbs on their windowsill, tomatoes on their fire escape, or obsessed over the offerings at the local farmers' market, Carpenter's story will capture your heart. And if you've ever considered leaving it all behind to become a farmer outside the city limits, or looked at the abandoned lot next door with a gleam in your eye, consider this both a cautionary tale and a full-throated call to action. Farm City is an unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmers' tips, and a great deal of heart. It is also a moving meditation on urban life versus the natural world and what we have given up to live the way we do.
The second edition of The Jepson Manual thoroughly updates this acclaimed work, the single most comprehensive resource on California's amazingly diverse flora. This work integrates the latest science, the results of intensive fieldwork, institutional collaboration, and the efforts of hundreds of contributing authors into an essential reference on California's native and naturalized vascular plants.

For the first time, the University of California Press is offering this resource as an e-book. The Digital Jepson Manual provides an unparalleled new level of interactivity, portability, and convenience. Extensive linking and e-book–friendly illustrations make it easier for users to learn about plant characteristics and identify the native and naturalized plants of California—all in a format ideally suited for use in the field. Using readily available e-book readers, field researchers, students, and enthusiasts can click on links to rapidly navigate through keys to families, genera, species, and subspecies or varieties. Specific features of The Digital Jepson Manual include the following:

—Keys link forward and backward to other taxonomic levels.

—Plate references in taxonomic treatments link to plates for rapid reference.

—Plate captions link to taxonomic treatments.

—Individual taxon figures appear next to species descriptions, and full plates are gathered in a special section.

—Glossary terms link to any relevant illustrations.

—List of families links each family to its taxonomic treatment.

—Index is fully linked to taxonomic treatments.
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