Synopses & Reviews
is an attack on the front lawn and everything it has come to represent.
An ongoing series of projects to replace the front lawn with edible garden landscapes responsive to culture, climate, context and people, Edible Estates reconciles issues of global food production and urbanized land use with the modest gesture of a small domestic garden. Edible Estates is a practical food-producing initiative, a place-responsive landscape design proposal, a scientific horticultural experiment, a conceptual land-art project, a defiant political statement, a community out-reach program and an act of radical gardening.
The Edible Estates project proposes the replacement of the domestic front lawn with a highly productive edible landscape. It was initiated by architect and artist Fritz Haeg on Independence Day, 2005, with the planting of the first regional prototype garden in the geographic center of the United States, Salina, Kansas. Since then three more prototype gardens have been created, in Lakewood, California; Maplewood, New Jersey and London, England. Edible Estates regional prototype gardens will ultimately be established in nine cities across the United States.
Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn documents the first four gardens with personal accounts written by the owners, garden plans and photographs illustrating the creation of the gardens — from ripping up the grass to harvesting a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Essays by Haeg, landscape architect Diana Balmori, garden and food writer Rosalind Creasy, author Michael Pollan and artist and writer Lesley Stern set the Edible Estates project in the context of larger issues concerning the environment, global food production and the imperative to generate a sense of community in our urban and suburban neighborhoods. This smart, affordable and well-designed book also includes reports and photographs from the owners of other edible front yards around the country, as well as helpful resources to guide you in making your own Edible Estate.
"An ingeniously subversive landscaping manifesto..." The New York Times
"The best ideas are usually the simplest ones. Fritz Haeg deserves a genius award for his wonderfully subversive plan. Instead of mowing your lawn, you should eat it." Eric Schlosser, author, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
"In the future, that quarter-acre next to the house may be as valuable as the house itself. This book reminds us that there are things better than lawns — more beautiful, more hopeful, more fun." Bill McKibben, author, The Bill McKibben Reader: Pieces from an Active Life
Preface by Fritz Haeg. Texts by Fritz Haeg, Diana Balmori, Rosalind Creasy, Michael Pollan, Lesley Stern, Michelle Christman, Stan Cox, Michael Foti.
Since the first edition of Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn
was published in 2008, interest in edible gardening has exploded across the United States and abroad. Even First Lady Michelle Obama is doing it.
This greatly expanded second edition of the book documents the eight Edible Estates regional prototype gardens that author Fritz Haeg has planted in California, Kansas, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and England, and includes personal accounts from the homeowner-gardeners about the pleasures and challenges of publicly growing food where they live. Ten Reports from Coast to Coast tell the stories of others who have planted their own edible front yards in towns and cities across the country. In addition to essays by renowned landscape architect and scholar Diana Balmori, edible-landscaping pioneer Rosalind Creasy, bestselling author and sustainable-food advocate Michael Pollan and artist and writer Lesley Stern, this edition features updated text by Haeg (including his observations on the Obama White House vegetable garden); a contribution from Mannahattan author Eric W. Sanderson; and Growing Power founder, MacArthur Fellow and urban farmer Will Allen's never-before-published Declaration of the Good Food Revolution. This is not a comprehensive how-to book, nor a showcase of impossibly perfect gardens. The stories presented here are intended to reveal something about how we are living today and to inspire readers to plant their own versions of an Edible Estate. If we see that our neighbor's typical grassy lawn instead can be a beautiful food garden, perhaps we will begin to look at the city around us with new eyes. Our private land can be a public model for the world in which we would like to live.
This greatly expanded second edition documents the eight "Edible Estates" regional prototype gardens that Haeg has planted in California, Kansas, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and England, and includes personal accounts from the homeowner-gardeners.