Novella Carpenter grew up in rural Idaho and Washington State. She studied biology and English at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she had many odd jobs including assassin bug–handler and 16mm projectionist. After moving to California, she attended UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Novella’s writing has appeared in Salon.com, Saveur.com, SFGate.com (the San Francisco Chronicle’s website), and Mother Jones. Her adventures in urban agriculture began with honeybees and a few chickens, then some turkeys, until she created an urban homestead called Ghost Town Farm near downtown Oakland, where she and her boyfriend, Bill, live today.