As I suspected, City Homestead has links to some pretty interesting places. Buried among the restaurant reviews on his/her (?) blog (these are pretty thorough reviews, by the way) was a link to Novella Carpenter’s Ghost Town Farm, a small urban operation in Oakland. Novella just wrote a book called, Farm City which is getting some traction nationally and just made the New York Times Favorite Gift Book list. I’m eager to find the Ghost Town Farm and see what Novella is up to. She studied with Michael Pollan at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Another link I found on City Homestead was to Blue Bottle Coffee. Blue Bottle would satisfy my even my demanding brother Jon’s quest for a good bean. The proprietor describes himself and his mission thusly: “a slightly disaffected freelance musician and coffee lunatic, weary of the grande eggnog latte, and the double skim pumpkin-pie macchiato, decides to open a roaster for people who are clamoring for the actual taste of freshly roasted coffee. Using a miniscule six-pound batch roaster, he makes an historic vow: ‘I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my customers, so they may enjoy coffee at its peak of flavor. I will only use the finest organic, and pesticide-free, shade-grown beans. If they can’t come to me, I will drive to their house to give them the freshest coffee they have ever tasted.’” Visit the Blue Bottle site and click on the “how to prepare” link for some real edification. (I’d link to the page, but the site is built using frames. What?!&$? I appreciate creative anachronism as much as the next guy when it comes to creating good tasting food and beverages, but I like my internet experience up to date. Frames went out in the 1990s!)