In the heart of suburban Santa Barbara, where land is pricey and a field is worth more covered with asphalt than arugula, asparagus, and apple trees, thrives Fairview Gardens, a small organic farm managed for the past 18 years by Michael Ableman. On Good Land, an engrossing read, chronicles the life of the 100-year-old farm from its history to Ableman's first glimpse of the land to the current struggle to save it from development. Blending photographs, philosophy, humor, and practical knowledge, Ableman brings the reader into the everyday world of a small farm. With him we prune peach trees, harvest peppers, journey to the farmer's market, and fight city hall. Part memoir, part photojournalistic montage, On Good Land reveals one man's love of the land and his struggle to protect it, and to spread the word about the importance of practicing sustainable agriculture and preserving our farms in an increasingly urban world.
Michael Ableman is the founder of the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens. Now surrounded by urban development, the farm continues to produce some 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables, as well as eggs, cheeses, and breads. A columnist for National Gardening, Ableman is also the author of From the Good Earth. He lives in Goleta, California, where he is trying to raise enough money to buy the farm when the lease expires this year. Check out Chronicle's exclusive Web site interview w
Alice Waters is the founder and proprietor of Berkeley's Chez Panisse restaurant and the author of several acclaimed cookbooks.
On Good Land: The Autobiography of an Urban Farm 5 out of 5based on
SignoraEdie on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
Outstanding account of author's experience developing an urban farm in Goleta, CA into a productive learning farm and non-profit, Center for Urban Agriculture. Well-written with a pleasant mix of anecdote and data and peppered with fantastic photography!
More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's reflective of a natural lifestyle amidst 'big city folk,' and very refreshing. The author doesn't say the lifestyle is easy, but he makes it sound worthwhile. I love the pictures too.