Picks and Pans Review: Farm City

updated 06/29/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/29/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Novella Carpenter |

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It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: Carpenter and her boyfriend decide to raise turkeys, ducks, rabbits and pigs while growing produce behind their inner-city Oakland house. Agriculture turns to agony as Carpenter, a freelance writer, faces the task of killing her turkey and forages in Dumpsters to feed her 175-lb. porker. You'll laugh along the way, though, especially during the July she spends eating only what she grows, confessing: "I would have killed...for a bag of red-hot Cheetos." Farming is one tough job.

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