Novella Carpenter grew up in rural Idaho and Washington State. She majored in biology and English at the University of Washington in Seattle. While attending Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, she studied under Michael Pollan for two years. Her writing has appeared in Salon.com, Saveur.com, and Mother Jones. Her urban farm began with a few chickens, then some bees, until she had a full-blown farm near downtown Oakland, where she lives today.