An American Dream: Two Snowflakes That Are The Same

Topics: Sustainable agriculture, Urban agriculture, Green roof Pages: 7 (2765 words) Published: February 24, 2013
An American dream

In nature never will you find two snowflakes that are the same. From the time a snowflake starts falling, till the time it finally melts, a snow flake is very fragile. There are so many elements working against a snowflake it’s a miracle if it ever stays on the ground. Like the snowflake the American dream is equally unique and fragile. Under most circumstances both need the right conditions to flourish. You will never see it naturally snow on a hot summer day, but unlike the snowflake the American dream has exceptions, and a dream can flourish anywhere with enough determination. In the book Farm City the education of an Urban Farmer, we see a dream prosper in the most unlikely of places. We observe a woman named Novella carpenter, raised by hippies, and taught to grow food. Novella has a dream to better understand the food she eats by growing and raising it in the most unlikely place, the Oakland ghetto. From 2005 to now, she builds her garden on the roof of an abandoned building and raises, ducks, bees, turkeys, geese, and pigs on her back porch. While she finds out the hardship of killing an animal you cared for and the disappointment of harvesting a crop to find pests instead of food, she never regrets any of her efforts towards her dream. Along the way she learns to not only understand her food, but also the people around her. The lesson here is that thru food and dreams you can unite and restore a community.

Cities aren’t usually associated with lush gardens and farm animals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t strive in this environment. Novella Carpenter is a woman who commits her time and way of life to provide an oasis of life in a dying community. Her dream is to better understand her food, while providing for herself and others around her. In her adventures she meets many different people, all willing to help her cause. She meets a homeless and ex-farmer who gives her advice and moves things. She also befriends a eccentric women who lives in a warehouse, loves all animals, and helps novella plant in her garden. Dumpster diving for animal food, she finds a wonderful cook that teaches her his secret recipes for cooking pig. Novella believes that everyone should have a right to take what they want from her garden because she wants to help unite and provide for others. To do this, she never locks her garden and gives various contributions to friends, family, strangers, and organizations found to help rebuild the community. Some might question the logic of the hard work of tending to a garden and the raising of animals just to let others take what they want. In relation to this, Novella states, “I could have hoarded all the food for myself- processed the tomatoes into cans and pickled the cucumbers. I would have had a groaning cupboard of homemade food. But then I would have eaten alone.” Novella teaches us a powerful lesson in the need to give back and to never forget who you are. In her adventures as an urban farmer, Novella came across numerous obstacles. Unlike rural farmers novella’s garden is located on the roof of a vacant building. While the owner of the building is fine with the garden, if he has his wish and the building is transformed into condos, the garden will be evicted. Novella struggles with the fact that her garden could be destroyed at anytime. She sees her garden as an oasis in the ghost town that is ghetto Oakland. She doesn’t see the reasoning of having it demolished. Over time she realizes that the construction of the condos means that the town is starting to revive. She also comes to the realization that there have been many urban farmers in the past and once one is shut down, another always springs up in the ashes of the city somewhere. This brings her hope that she can continue her garden elsewhere if she needs to. Just like any farmer novella has to deal with Mother Nature. She has to assassinate slugs to protect her plants, kill a raccoon that kills her ducks, and...
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