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Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, First Edition Paperback – February 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolis Books (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933045744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933045740
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 8.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Advance Praise for Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn:

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

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

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

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

About the Author

Fritz Haeg works between his architecture and design practice, Fritz Haeg Studio, the happenings and gatherings of Sundown Salon, the ecology initiatives of Gardenlabm which include Edible Estates, and his role as an educator. He has variously taught in architecture, design, and fine art programs at CalArts, Art Center College of Design, Parsons and the University of Southern California. In 2006, Haeg initiated Sundown Schoolhouse, an alternative educational environment based in his geodesic dome in Los Angeles. He has produced projects and exhibited work at Tate Modern, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Mass MoCA, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, the Wattis Institute and the MAK Center, Los Angeles, among other institutions.

More About the Author

Fritz Haeg's work includes edible gardens, public dances, educational environments, animal homes, domestic gatherings, temporary encampments, documentary videos, publications, exhibitions and occasionally buildings for people. Recent projects include Sundown Schoolhouse - an itinerant educational program; Edible Estates - replacing domestic front lawns with edible landscapes; and Animal Estates - making homes for native animals in cities around the world, which debuted at the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Recent books include "The Sundown Salon Unfolding Archive" (Evil Twin Publications, 2009), and the expanded second edition of "Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn" (Metropolis Books, 2010). For 2010-11 he is on a Rome Prize Fellowship in residence at the American Academy in Rome. www.fritzhaeg.com

Customer Reviews

He gives you insight as to what will the neighbors think.
bonbon23244
Since I already hate mowing my lawn, don't use chemicals or water it and have more ornamental front garden than lawn, it was preaching to the converted.
Briana
I think the idea is great but the gardens shown are not very pretty and the tone of the book is somewhat hostile.
W. L SPAKOWSKI

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Briana on February 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Honestly it was a bit of a let down for me. Nearly the first half of the book is dedicated to why lawns are bad and reads a bit like an attempt to convert the reader from front lawns to gardens. Since I already hate mowing my lawn, don't use chemicals or water it and have more ornamental front garden than lawn, it was preaching to the converted. To my thinking, people who use chemicals and yard services and water their lawns excessively aren't likely to become front yard organic vegetable gardeners. I was expecting more of a documentary on how the project yards were created and what resulted from them than what the author provided - more substance about the projects themselves. The publisher's description of the book presented a a nice idea but the end result was art and social commentary - which is fine although not terribly useful to me. I was also expecting a few more large pictures. The things that I did really like about the book were the design plans for the project gardens, addtional gardeners' reports and the tables in the back with planting dates for crops organized by USDA Hardiness Zone. I think that this would be a good book for people who have considered getting rid of their lawn but haven't for fear of public opinion as it does show a lot of public support, but they'll need to go to other resources to be successful in the garden.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jason Miller on May 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
I received this book for my birthday this weekend, and sat down and read it that afternoon. As a permaculture student and an artist, this book fit my approach just perfectly. There are many books that deal in nitty gritty details of why and how to grow your own food and reduce your consumption, etc., but I've long been frustrated at the few texts and individuals devoted to the PR necessary to communicate with those not already fanatical about the ideas of permaculture and home gardening. This book is a start. I would have liked to read about more of the planning and ideas behind the presentation of the gardens to the respective neighborhoods. I'm interested in ways of bridging the gap between those who are "green" and those who remain mainstream in their ideas about the environment. This book offers some examples of injecting new ideas into the mainstream manicured lawn set.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By not a dancing bear on March 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
Fritz Haeg himself issues a kind of disclaimer at the end of his preface to look up Rosalind Creasy's The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping if what you're looking for is a definitive how-to guide to creating an organic garden. I felt it necessary to counter the previous review with this point. I'm sure there are a few other resources for those already interested in permaculture (I can think of H.C. Flores' Food Not Lawns) and I do agree that "the end result [is] art and social commentary" (Edible Estates is infinitely more than just "fine" because of it). Making ecological use of otherwise superficial ground is not a new idea, but it is far too simplistic to look at this as a book on sustainable gardening. Edible Estates was not created to preach but rather present documentation of the development of an artist's project. From impulse to open end, Fritz Haeg offers a political poetics. There are beautifully written essays by some excellent contributors and reports from different zones across America by people who have independently made their own edible estates. Like Agnes Denes' Wheatfield, grown and harvested on a Manhattan landfill in 1982, the gardens Haeg facilitates become small "confrontations", green thresholds between the public and private. I also appreciate this work's attempt to undo a dominating aesthetic that has long developed from notions of wealth and excess. Edible Estates is a convergence of subversions. It questions the systems of containment and measurement that can be found in your very own produce aisle. It additionally is an argument for pluralism. It is an examination and celebration of the reverse side of the house and garden cross-stitch. It is a work for which I have the utmost reverence.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H+E on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reads more like a book report, or maybe a master's thesis than a full-blown book. You can get through it in an hour or two, and although it is an interesting read, it's not something you'll turn to again and again. Honestly, I haven't thought about it since I read through it weeks ago. Thankfully it's not as mind-numbingly verbose as Slow Food Nation, but it also doesn't have the depth of, say, a Pollan book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By AB on June 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
My husband and I want to convert most of our front and back yard to fruit trees and gardens, as we have long thought that most people do not make use of their grass anyhow. Most of the book made the case for using property for food production, but the book was short on ideas for plants and layouts. The layout on the front cover is good, but there are a few such suggestions contained in the book. I would have liked a book full of ideas that I could use to help me plan my own edible estate.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By W. L SPAKOWSKI on June 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I wanted to like this book. I think the idea is great but the gardens shown are not very pretty and the tone of the book is somewhat hostile. If you want to see a PRETTY vegetable garden suitable for a front yard check out "Rosemary Verey's making of a Garden". Look at the chapter entitled "The Potager". Now THAT's a beautiful vegetable garden. If it's too ambitious try just planting a border of red & green lettuce. It looks as beautiful as any other foliage plant. Put down a layer of wood chips. It really is a nice look. When you start getting into netting and wire fencing in the front yard that's when you leave many people behind. No one want to look at raggedy tomato plants in August.
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