Greetings Arlington Readers,
In case you haven’t yet read Novella Carpenter’s wonderful “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer,” we’ve got good news: thanks to our friend Jeri at Barnes & Noble, you can buy a copy and get it signed on Thursday night when the author herself speaks at Central Library Auditorium. The program begins at 7 p.m. We’ve got a seat for you.
And even if you have read “Farm City,” I thought I’d share just one of the many great moments in this very funny read. Here’s how Novella describes her first time feeding some former country pigs that she and her boyfriend transplanted in their city farm in Oakland, California. The “pig feed” had been the discards of local businesses:
“Bill and I, coated with Dumpster grime, looked at each other in wonder. What had we gotten ourselves into? When the pigs discovered, at the bottom of the trough, the lopsided cake we had dredged from the Yummy House Bakery, they let out peals of delight louder than the squealing brakes of a municipal bus. They bit each others ears in order to get a bigger share of the cake. I made a mental note for next time: more cake.
Reassured by these eating machines, I knew that–with the help of a pork-motivated boyfriend–it was going to be easy to raise pigs in Oakland. We had seen enough evidence in Chinatown to make our case: All that food could support several pigs. I would soon learn, though, that in this moment of self-satisfaction I was forgetting one key thing: these pigs would grow. As they steadily gained weight they would demand more food than I could ever have dreamed.”
In case you’re wondering, it is not legal to raise pigs in Arlington, Virginia. So since most of us are denied that pleasure, we’ll just have to share the second-hand thrills listening to the tales of our special visiting urban farmer on Thursday. I know the laughs will be more than sustainable.
See you there.
In section 2.2 of the Arlington Code for Animals and Fowl (right next to the part about no pigs in the county) it says it's illegal to allow your chickens to trespass on anybody else's land. Does that mean it's legal to have chickens, as long as they stay home?
Reidy, it's funny you should ask. . . .I was just thinking that I don't want pigs in Arlington, I just want several chickens!