About the Authors


Novella Carpenter

Novella Carpenter is the author of the best-selling memoir, Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer, and a how-to book, The Essential Urban Farmer. She studied under Michael Pollan at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and now teaches at University of San Francisco. A popular speaker, she has traveled all over the country sharing her experiences raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, and bees in the lovable but gritty city of Oakland, CA. Her new book, Gone Feral, will be published by The Penguin Press in June 2014.

About Novella

“A child of back-to-the-land hippies, I grew up in Idaho and Washington State. I went to University of Washington in Seattle where I majored in Biology and English. I’ve had many odd jobs including: assassin bug handler, book editor, media projectionist, hamster oocyte collector, and most recently, free-lance journalist.

I studied under Michael Pollan at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism for two years. My journalistic work reflects my interests–in farming, food, the environment, and culture. In a nutshell, I like to tell stories about people who follow unconventional paths.

As for the urban farmer in me, I’ve been cultivating the city for over ten years now, and my neighbors still think I’m crazy. It all started with a few chickens, then some bees, until I had a full-blown farm near downtown Oakland. My memoir about this farm was published by the Penguin Press June 11, 2009, and is available at most bookstores. If it’s not at your favorite shop–just ask them to order a few copies. Farm City is now in paperback, as of May 25, 2010.” —Novella Carpenter


Tracie McMillan

A working-class transplant from rural Michigan, Brooklyn-based writer Tracie McMillan is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. In 2012, Whole Living magazine named her a “Food Visionary,” building on her numerous appearances on radio and television programs, which range from the liberal The Rachel Maddow Show to the “tea-party favorite” Peter Schiff Show. McMillan moved into writing about food after a successful stint as a poverty and welfare reporter while working as the managing editor of the award-winning magazine City Limits in New York City. While there, she won recognition from organizations ranging from the James Beard Foundation to World Hunger Year. In 2013, she was named a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, a year after she was named a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism.