Deliciously engaging account of a journalist's odyssey through New York City's thriving organic farm culture.
When roving reporter Shulman came home to New York in 2005, she marked the occasion and permanence of her return by “literally plant[ing] roots” in a small garden. She soon realized, though, that she was more interested in finding out more about the urban back-to-the-land trend she observed around her. So she set out to interview the foodies and “hipstavores” who engaged in the agricultural activities that made up the city’s food underground. She talked to beekeepers who kept hives on city rooftops; gardeners who cultivated fruits and vegetables in vacant lots; butchers who cut up Queens-bred livestock; beer brewers from Brooklyn and winemakers from Manhattan; and fishermen and crab catchers who caught their meals from the East River and New York Harbor. Shulman also began intensive research into the history of victuals in the city, and she discovered that the do-it-yourself agricultural practices were more than just reactions to a struggling economy. They were also in keeping with the city's rich food-producing heritage and a reflection of the newcomers who “insisted on their own vision of the good life, in which food comes from trusted hands: their own or their neighbor's.” What makes Shulman's narrative so captivating is the way she emphasizes the relationship human beings have with an urban environment that at first glance is anything but farm-friendly.
A feast for foodies of all persuasions.