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Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, 2nd Revised Edition: A Project by Fritz Haeg

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  209 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
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, ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 30th 2010 by Metropolis Books (first published February 1st 2008)
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Apr 17, 2009 Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book which I had the library acquire for me (so glad they obliged!). It is interesting and inspiring. I'll never think of lawns the same way again. It goes into some of the history of how and why America came to be carpeted in turf (as opposed to walled courtyards or gardens or other landscape features you see in other countries) and presents growing attractive edibles as an alternative. Lawns suddenly seem altogether wasteful, even harmful, when you consider all the water t ...more
maybe 3.5? documents 4 front yards in different usda zones going from flat & grassy lawns to abundant veggie gardens, ostensibly to show that even committed suburbanites can visibly grow their own food without being ostracized by neighbors... an art installation of sorts by fritz haeg.

doesn't really have as much detail as i'd like about the practical aspects of gardening & all seems rather slapdash for a work meant to have so much lasting political/social meaning; many of the starter-gar
Beth Dillon
Definitely offered up a persuasive argument for ripping up your lawn and planting edibles in your front yard. I thought it would have more design ideas (perhaps the second book has what I'm looking for?) but the pictures, layout and first-hand accounts from gardeners were illustrative and colorful. Super easy read and had a lot of good information packed inside. Would recommend it to others.
Jan 03, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't quite get this book finished before we had to return it to the library. However, I read enough to know that eventually, we're going to end up eliminating our lawn entirely (or almost entirely). In the meantime, we're going to start by making our garden bigger. We're also going to continue our practice of deliberate lawn neglect - i.e. we neither fertilize nor water our lawn. We figure at least we're doing no harm this way. Nik says that this book is helping to turn him into a radical en ...more
May 22, 2011 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard of this book I was entering my "I want to have a totally native yard" phase. I put my name on the list at the library and waited at position 2 for over two years! My library finally figured whatever out and I gleefully picked this up and pored over the pages.

I'm a little bit of a boat-rocker and for some time I've wanted to have a buffalo grass lawn. I see now that even though my neighborhood is not a bastion of green-ness, it just would not be appreciated and have now set my
Jun 13, 2008 SeriouslyJerome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to SeriouslyJerome by: Kerri
Shelves: gardening, politics
What a great gift from Kerri! And it wasn't even my birthday... it was her birthday!

I thought this would be a how-to book, but the author clearly states it's not. It's more of a brochure/pamphlet for performance art, because that's what he's done - his lawn conversions are part of his artistic & political expression.

It was motivating for me, who is already a convert to the edible landscape plan. It was a couple of years ago that I saw a news report about a local lady who had converted her fr
Jan 10, 2009 Rozanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not a step-by-step plan for converting your front lawn to an edible landscape (as I had thought). It documents a project that was about raising awareness that large expanses of lawn are not a good use of the land. I couldn't agree more. So what this book did was feature several transformations of lawns in various American cities (and one on a council estate in London) in areas where people haven't gotten the message about lawns being dumb. The owners of the lawns/gardens documented ...more
Apr 05, 2009 jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, growing
I was really excited about this book, and it was kind of a let-down. There's a passably good history of lawns, and several essays with reasons to get rid of your lawn & plant some food (including a piece from heavy-hitting michael pollan). This stuff was all a little redundant, but good for inspiration. There are profiles of four yards-turned-edible estates, but the profiles vary widely in quality. I prefer the profiles that read like journal entries, with coordinating series of pictures tha ...more
Windy Taylor
May 23, 2016 Windy Taylor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I think the author expected his project to be much more groundbreaking and daring than it was. There was reference to his desire to be arrested for putting in a front yard garden, for example. Maybe the idea of growing one's own food visibly was more revolutionary in 2005, but today you can buy a chicken coop from the Williams-Sonoma catalog.
Jul 14, 2009 Jeannette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never really thought much of lawns except that I think front lawns are a waste of space since no one ever really does much in them. After a casual discussion about front lawns, this book ended up in my hands. It's a quick read and details the history of the lawn, the water waste & chemical pollution that lawn care brings. Its manifesto is to tear up your lawn and build an edible garden. It's a political book that started off as an art project and it wants to cause action and attention. ...more
Jul 23, 2009 Alia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the stories in this book and the Edible Estates project to be really interesting and inspiring. I was amazed when I moved to San Francisco and noticed that what little yards people had were covered with easy to maintain plants that required little water. Most American front yards are planted with non-native grasses and a tremendous amount of fertilizer, pesticide, and water is wasted on it. This book describes these problems along with the conformity that is pushed into maintaining a law ...more
Anette Klaser
Nov 10, 2014 Anette Klaser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book inspired me to get rid of lawns all around my house. Turns out that a vegetable patch where the front lawn used to be is not only healthy, environmentally friendly and good for the wallet, it also facilitates conversations amongst neighbours and with total strangers passing by.
Angie Kritenbrink
May 13, 2014 Angie Kritenbrink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the ideas presented in Edible Estates because I hate the monotony generic suburban neighborhoods designed with a cookie-cutter mentality.

Full review here:
Jun 24, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Really fascinating and subversive idea: turn your FRONT lawn into a farm. Alas, the book only touches the tip of the iceberg with examples of lawns, though it does have a fair amount in the appendices about planting schedules for different hardiness zones. It's just another rabbit hole for me to follow ad infinitum....
Aug 17, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Skimmed the first section of this book describing the benefits of edible landscaping (read quite a bit about that already) and instead focused on the specific yards participating in this author's project in 2007. Interesting layouts for front-yard fruit and veggie gardens, even in the smallest of spaces. Love reading the reflections of the families participating in this project and their comments on the community's response to their lawn-alternative front yards. So many said that new relationshi ...more
Aug 11, 2010 La rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always held a bit of a grudge against my front lawn, and I'm afraid this book has only added fuel to the fire. The best part is probably the essays in the front, taken from several other authors (like Michael Pollan)that talk about the history of the lawn and reasons we may be so obsessed with it.
My new favorite mantra is "grass is a useless crop!", and am making slow plans to do away with mine.
The author has a web site of the same name where all of his projects are posted (I understand a
Apr 14, 2009 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're interested in liberating yourself and your yard from the tyranny of a lawn -- the pernicious monoculture that is taking over America -- then this is the book for you.

Haeg argues that by transforming our yards -- in particular the front yard, and changing our idea of curb appeal by putting in a vegetable garden -- we will transform our neighborhoods and lives.

Essays by various writers, including the always fabulous Michael Pollan, as well as detailed plans, layouts of what will grow in
Mar 14, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, gardening
A coworker loaned me this book and it was really fun! It's a rant against lawns, and though it didn't tip me over to getting rid of ours at the moment, it did inspire me to start up my garden again, so it had an impact. The book shows several people's front yards converted from lawns to gardens of edible food. It's great fun and includes some useful references. I recommend it to anyone interested in local eating!
Vicki Christensen
Jul 13, 2008 Vicki Christensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a quick read, with 4 or 5 essays at the beginning about the tradition and wastefulness of the front lawn, and the idea of planting edible plants in the front. Stories of 5 Edible Estates gardens follow, and then there are several more short bits about people in different gardening zones who have dug up their front lawns and planted veggies. It made me want to read more gardening books!
Nov 28, 2008 Nik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitely worth checking out. I found it very inspiring. It was cool to hear how much joy people found in having fresh vegetables to eat from their yard as well as the community it built as children and other people from their neighborhood started to come by and ask questions, and even help out.

It might not be too long until my front yard is gone too!
Apr 24, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Great ideas, great book pointing the way to great transformations of our bland American yards, our misshapen evergreen landscaping huddling up by foundations, hemmed in by the expanse of lawn desert. My HOA will probably "get it" in 25 to 50 years. Or not. By that time we'll be a museum piece for that bland '70s suburban look.
For everyone else, YES! ATTACK THE FRONT LAWN!
Great project, not so great book. This should have been a much larger format book with emphasis on photos of the gardens that were part of Fritz Haeg's project to remove suburban front yards and replace them with vegetable gardens. This is not a how-to book, but rather meant to inspire. It would have been more successful had there been more and larger photos.
Renee Wilkinson
May 17, 2012 Renee Wilkinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed with this book. The idea of putting edible gardens into front yard across America is great, but not that ground-breaking anymore. It seemed like a short-lived stunt rather than a long-lasting movement that would incorporate the community in the neighborhoods where these gardens were installed.
Oct 24, 2008 Meryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think this project is a very cool idea, but the book was kind of boring. I wanted more about each individual garden, and what the gardeners experienced--instead it was much more a discussion of why we have lawns, why we don't need them, etc. I think a little that would have been good, but it was just too much.
Sep 07, 2009 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of this book picks a property in several different regions of the country and transforms the lawn into an edible garden in one weekend with the help of volunteers. Most of the stories are told from the point of view of the homeowners and there are lots of pictures. Gave me some good ideas!
Mar 31, 2010 Khristiey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i rate this as amazing because everyone should read this book.
for me it was just good because of all the reading and practice i already do in reference to the topic of permaculture and sustainability.
Definitely worth a look-see, but also check out the website. . . its much more visually interesting
Jenn Gardner
Jan 30, 2008 Jenn Gardner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suppose I'm biased because I work at Arthouse, where we currently have a Friz Haeg exhibition on view, and are getting ready to plant Edible Estates Regional Prototype #5 here in Austin - but this is a smart and attractive book about an important topic. Everyone plant some veggies!
Jun 09, 2010 Justus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: architecture
The second edition is great, lots of pictures, a few overly enthusiastic essays in front, and some interesting quick hits in the back with a planting calendar to close things off. Mr. Haeg is a little idealistic, but the examples are fun to read and inspiring.
Aug 26, 2008 Richelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also an inspiring read. I like how it showcases more 'typical' american families converting their front lawns into veggie gardens - and is an honest look at the joys and challenges, and the level of commitment, this kind of a decision makes.
Jan 15, 2009 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i really wished i liked this book more. but i dont... nothing really grabbed me i have skimmed it like five times and not gleaned anything from it ... ever. oh well i can't like all self sufficiency manuals
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Almost from the day he was born, Will Allen was a writer.

Growing up in Kettering, Ohio, he wrote anything and everything––literally hundreds of songs, poems, and stories, as well as dozens of short movies filmed on an 8mm film camera in those days before VCRs and camcorders. At Ohio University in the late 1970s, he conceived Campus, a comedy radio show, and personally wrote and directed each of th
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