Living Off the Land

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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.