Farm City by Novella Carpenter
288 pages; Penguin
Marie Antoinette wore potato blossoms in her hair. Novella Carpenter, on the other hand, finds herself up to her neck in gizzards and sizzling compost. Farm City (Penguin) is Carpenter's delectable story of how she turned a "ghetto squat lot" in Oakland, California, into a working urban farm. Making cameo appearances here: a flashy neighbor called Lana (that's "anal" spelled backward, the woman helpfully explains), a pair of turkeys named Harold and Maude, lettuce-loving Black Panthers, and some engaging future bacon.