On Wednesday night, some friends and I shared a delish Turkish meal at Cazbar in downtown Baltimore and then walked over to the Enoch Pratt Free Library to listen to Farm City author Novella Carpenter speak. Novella was here as part of Baltimore Green Week’s Sustainable Speakers Series.
I had been looking forward to seeing her ever since I read Farm City back in the spring. As I mentioned in a past post, I wasn’t keen on her at first. But after reading the book, I felt unexpected respect for her-for the most unexpected reason-her raising and slaughtering animals. I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years now-mostly for ethical reasons. I often recognize a disconnect with people about where their food (meat) comes from. So I appreciated, in a sort of mixed up way, Novella’s direct connection to her animals and food.
I digress. The auditorium was full of urban farmers, AmeriCorps members, parents with kids, Master Gardeners and more. It was great to see so many like minded people in one place. The first question Novella asked when she started speaking was “How many people are growing their own food?” Almost every hand shot up! Way to go Baltimore!
Novella talked for over an hour. She was both hilarious and more than a little whacky. She recounted the same history that’s in the book-along with pictures-of how she became an Urban Farmer. Questions and answers revealed techniques for beekeeping, rat trapping and goat milking. Not your average Baltimore Wednesday night for sure. Or maybe it was. Maybe that’s what I love about Baltimore: the unexpected quirkiness waiting for you if you just take time to find it.