Streams

Living Off the Land

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Manny Howard talks about turning his yard in Flatbush, Brooklyn, into a farm and his goal of subsisting on what it produced for at least a month. His book My Empire of Dirt: How One Man Turned His Big-City Backyard into a Farm is based on his James Beard Foundation Award–winning New York magazine cover story, which began as an assessment of the locavore movement. He didn’t set out to grow his own food to make an environmental or ethical point, but rather to see if it was even possible to grow his own food and feed his family from his own land.

Guests:

Manny Howard

Comments [14]

Michele Israel from Brooklyn

Maybe Manny could learn from this teen...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/magazine/18food-t.html

Jul. 15 2010 11:25 AM
LKS from Brooklyn, NY

Leonard. Let's review. your guest gets assigned a story, fails to do the most basic research on how to complete his assignment, 'fails' in his own words mind you, then gets a book deal and a spot on your show. on national public radio. i'm not sure what i should take away from this beyond disgust and fury at all of the above.

Jul. 13 2010 02:06 PM
Cynthia from long island

I don't know, Man. How hard is it to fend off an attacking bunny rabbit? I have had rabbits and they can bite hard but still it's a RABBIT. They are hardly viscious?

Jul. 13 2010 02:02 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Leonard Lopate said “Fresh eggs taste better than anything else”
(Or something to that effect)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/01/AR2010060100792.html?sid=ST2010060101402

Backyard eggs vs. store-bought: They taste the same
By Tamar Haspel
June 2, 2010

Just say’n

Jul. 13 2010 01:59 PM
Dead bunny from New York

Leonard. How do you just gloss over the dead rabbit story.
So you killed a pregnant rabbit?
Yes.
That wasn't very nice.
Move on.
Not why? Not what's wrong with you? Not "is that when you realized you could be an axe murder?"

Jul. 13 2010 01:58 PM

What a self-indulgent, this-is-about-me project. Don't learn anything (not even a casual Google search) about growing from seed, but self-deprecate when your seedlings all day. Ha ha. Oops, brought home animals without preparing to house them. Silly me. How smug and clever I shall be - or, wait, am I humbled by this experience? Whatever.

I doubt it's even legal to beat a pet rabbit to death in the city - the shocking part is that it's not even the most repellent detail in this unpleasant tale.

Jul. 13 2010 01:57 PM
Jimmy from Brooklyn

Hyper-local farming in NY is being acheived by lots and lots of people via something called a Window Farm: a hydroponic, vegetable growing phenomenon! windowfarms.org

Jul. 13 2010 01:56 PM
jt from brooklyn

@ Cynthia
I heard him explain killing the pregnant rabbit more thoroughly on stephen colbert- it wasn't malicious. The rabbit was attacking him or something and he was stuck in some weird angle of the pen and he went to hit her off and killed her. He didn't know she was pregnant until after she died, and he felt terrible about it.

I'm a vegetarian and I wasn't offended by it, if that makes you feel any better. I don't quite remember the details, but there was an explanation.

Jul. 13 2010 01:55 PM
Cynthia from long island

Wait! He killed a preganant rabbit! Why would someone do that? What the Hell is wrong with this guy.

A timing issue? What? What?

Jul. 13 2010 01:50 PM
b from BK

I'm a garden designer working in the city. And I just finished a garden in Clinton Hill.

We tested the soil and found lead contamination at 1000 parts per million.
Off the scale.

So we removed twenty yards of material from a 20 / 28 area and then had to bring that amount back in,......

So yes Brooklyn is toxic...

Jul. 13 2010 01:48 PM
b from BK

I'm a garden designer working in the city. And I just finished a garden in Clinton Hill.

We tested the soil and found lead contamination at 1000 parts per million.
Off the scale.

So we removed twenty yards of material from a 20 / 28 area and then had to bring that amount back in,......

So yes Brooklyn is toxic...

Jul. 13 2010 01:48 PM
Sam from NJ

Just curious. What was the reaction of your guest's neighbors?

Jul. 13 2010 01:44 PM
nick from nyc

re: locavorism--

how about this,
instead of buying reaLLy expensive fruits & vegetables at a farmers market...buy cheaper produce and donate the money you save (probably $100s per year for a family)to an environmental cause.
...

Jul. 13 2010 01:38 PM
Marc Naimark from Paris

How does the author compare his motivations and experience with the those of the protagonists of the BBC sitcom The Good Life (Good Neighbors)

Jul. 13 2010 07:32 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.