Edible Estates

Fritz Haeg presents for daOMA Design Alliance Omaha kicks off its fall season with author, architect, designer and gardener Fritz Haeg. Best known for his book Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, soon to be released in its second edition, Haeg will be in Omaha Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. Haeg’s 2008 book was one of the harbingers for the explosion in edible gardening. First Lady Michelle Obama’s embracing of the trend furthered the popularity. The second edition of Haeg’s book documents edible estates in a number of locations across the U.S. and England, and gives personal accounts of home gardeners about the good and bad that comes with growing food. The book also includes essays from 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. Haeg doesn’t sell his book — or his talk, for that matter — as a how-to manual. Instead, according to his website, it’s intended to urge readers to think how they could create their own edible estate, and why it might be important. If we see that our neighbor’s typical grassy lawn can instead be a beautiful food garden, perhaps we will begin to look at the city around us with new eyes,” Haeg writes on his website. “Our private land can be a public model for the world in which we would like to live.” The gardens in Haeg’s book are all different: one is a garden shared by a multi-family building, two are public demonstration gardens and one is a garden at a single family home. Residents at each location have turned their lawns into working prototypes of what can be grown in their region. Most of the gardens are commissioned by local art institutions and developed through community partnerships: a homeowner might work with a horticulturist or gardening group to get the ball rolling. Volunteers, neighborhood residents, friends and family work together to plan and plant the spaces and each garden is then shared as part of a public exhibition that includes videos, weekly portraits by a local photographer, a series of workshops on gardening and growing food and printed brochures listing gardening resources. The cost is intentionally kept low — making the project accessible to anyone — and the gardens aren’t cut from the pages of a magazine, they’re real. On his website, Haeg gives the beginning gardener some pointers to get started; find the information at fritzhaeg.com. Haeg’s lecture is Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Joslyn Art Museum. The lecture is free to Design Alliance Omaha members, $10 for Joslyn members and $20 for general public. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a reception before the program. For more information or tickets, call 980.9850 or visit daoma.org.

posted at 07:14 pm
on Thursday, September 30th, 2010

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