EDIBLE ESTATES: ATTACK ON THE FRONT LAWN
EXPANDED SECOND EDITION, 2010: A Project by Fritz Haeg with contributions by Will Allen, Diana Balmori, Rosalind Creasy, Michael Pollan, Eric Sanderson, Lesley Stern and the owners/gardeners of the eight Edible Estates gardens. Published by Metropolis Books and Distributed by Distributed Art Publishers in North America and Idea Books in Europe.
LINKS: publisher: Metropolis Books; distributor: Distributed Art Publishers; book Facebook page; Amazon; Fritz Haeg's 2010-11 U.S. and Europe speaking schedule
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! The greatly expanded second edition of the book documents the eight Edible Estates regional prototype gardens that author Fritz Haeg has planted in California (Lakewood and La Cañada), 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, best-selling 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 Mannahatta 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 or a showcase of impossibly perfect gardens. The examples and stories presented here are intended to inspire you to plant your own version of an Edible Estate and to reveal something about how we are living today. When we see that the typical grassy front lawn can be a beautiful food garden instead, perhaps we will 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.
Publication date: Spring 2010 / Retail price: $24.95 / Size: 176 pages, 8.5" x 8.5" / ISBN: 978-1935202127
This expanded second edition of the book features:
- New text by Will Allen, farmer, community activist, MacArthur “genius” award winner, and founder of Growing Power, in Milwaukee, Wis. This text is Will’s manifesto for a Good Food Revolution, and it is being printed for the first time in our book. Very exciting!
- New text by prominent ecologist Eric W. Sanderson, author of the acclaimed book Mannahatta.
- The four new gardens expand the scope of the book, featuring a second garden for a multi-family building, 2 public demonstration gardens, and a garden at a single-family house.
- Expanded preface by Haeg, looking at major events of the past two years, including the global economic crash and the planting of an edible garden at the White House.
- Expanded bibliography
- Excellent photographs of the 4 new gardens
- “Reports from Coast to Coast” section now contains stories from three additional planting zones (in Sacramento, Chicago, and Montpelier, Vermont), including an edible garden planted on the front lawn of the Vermont State House.
"Edible Estates blends art and community activism, architecture and social change. It is a profoundly American project in its dreaminess and ambition and, most of all, in its individuality. It is not an attack on the front lawn. It is an attack on our sanctification of the idea of sameness. - Eva Hagberg, Architectural Record
"An ingeniously subversive landscaping manifesto..." - Susan Morgan, 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
"Wherever I am, I'm always looking to see what's edible in the landscape. Every time I see the median strip in the street in front of Chez Panisse, I can't help but imagine it planted with waving rows of corn. Edible Estates describes wonderfully how a garden in front of every house can transform a neighborhood, sprouting the seeds not just of zucchini and tomatoes but of biodiversity, sustainability, and community." - Alice Waters, owner, Chez Panisse Restaurant
"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
"Much like a homegrown tomato, Edible Estates is at once delectable, inspiring and healthy. Read it: you'll never look at your front lawn the same way again." - Elizabeth Kolbert, author, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
This book is a collection of illustrated stories of people’s experiences publicly growing food where they live. It documents the eight Edible Estates regional prototype gardens that I have planted since 2005 and, in most cases, it includes personal accounts from the gardeners themselves. Be advised that this is not a glossy volume of perfectly manicured aspirational gardens that you envy but can never hope to achieve yourself; nor is it a comprehensive how-to guide to growing your own food — there are plenty of resources of this type, including Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy, a contributor to this book. The garden stories presented here, with all of their challenges and rewards, are intended to reveal something about how we are living today and to offer you some inspiration to plant your own version of an Edible Estate.
By attacking the front lawn, an essential icon of the American Dream, my hope is to ignite a chain reaction of thoughts that question other antiquated conventions of home, street, neighborhood, city, and global networks that we take for granted. If we see that our neighbor’s typical lawn instead can be a beautiful food garden, perhaps we begin to look at the city around us with new eyes. The seemingly inevitable urban structures begin to unravel as we recognize that we have a choice about how we want to live and what we want to do with the places we have inherited from previous generations. No matter what has been handed to us, each of us should be given license to be an active part in the creation of the cities that we share, and in the process, our private land can be a public model for the world in which we would like to live.
Since this book was first published in 2008, I have traveled widely across the United States and Europe on invitations to talk about these garden experiences with everyone from urban engineers in London and architects in Anchorage to gardeners in Madison and college art students in Gainesville. Bridging audiences of activists, architects, artists, environmentalists, foodies, gardeners, landscape designers, urban planners, and typical homeowners is gratifying but can also be a challenge, since it is impossible to fully satisfy all of them with one book. Though each may be approaching the topics with a specific agenda, they all share a delight in gardens and an interest in examining alternatives to the direction in which we are headed as a society. It is with this spirit of a collective and common desire to explore other ways of living that I hope you will approach this book. It will inevitably not contain everything you are looking for, and perhaps it will leave you wanting more, but it also might invite you to take a second look out your front door, which is a start.
- Excerpt from the Preface to Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn by Fritz Haeg, 2010
A project by Fritz Haeg
Editor and Publisher: Diana Murphy, Metropolis Books / Distributor: D.A.P.
Book design: Stacy Wakefield (second edition) Kimberly Varella at Department of Graphic Sciences (first edition)
Introduction: Fritz Haeg / Forward: Diana Balmori / Essays: Will Allen, Rosalind Creasy, Fritz Haeg, Michael Pollan, and Lesley Stern
Garden #1: Salina, Kansas
Photography: Fritz Haeg, Priti Cox and Dale Cole / Story: Stan Cox
Garden #2: Lakewood, California
Photography: Taidgh O'Neill and Fritz Haeg / Story: Michael Foti
Garden #3: Maplewood, New Jersey
Photography: Ed Morris and Curtis Hamilton, Canary Project and Fritz Haeg / Story: Michelle Christman
Garden #4: London, England
Story: Fritz Haeg and Carole Wright / Photography: Heiko Prigge and Fritz Haeg
Garden #5: Baltimore, Maryland
Story: Fritz Haeg and Clarence Ridgley / Photography: Leslie Furlong and Fritz Haeg
Garden #6: Austin, Texas
Story: Fritz Haeg and the residents of Sierra Ridge Apartments / Photography: Sunshine Mathon and Fritz Haeg
Garden #7: La Cañada, California
Story: Fritz Haeg and Susan Fuelling, Laurie Hopkins, and Dale Freyberger / Photography: Fritz Haeg
Garden #8: Lenape Edible Estate: Manhattan
Story: Fritz Haeg and Eric Sanderson / Photography: Fritz Haeg and Oto Gillen
publisher, Metropolis Books: dianamur(at)earthlink(dot)net
distributor, DAP: estrehl(at)dapinc(dot)com