Monday, October 26, 2009

Edible Estates

Location: Salina, Kansas; Lakewood, California; Maplewood, New Jersey; London, England; Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Flintridge, California; Manhattan, New York
Year: 2005-2009
Artist: Fritz Haeg

Edible Estates is one of artist and architect Fritz Haeg’s most recent projects, in which he proposed to replace eight front lawns in the United States and London with highly productive edible gardens. This includes the half-lawn half-productive-garden public demonstration garden at La Canada Flintridge, California, with accompanying data comparisons on the water use, chemical needs, and overall production of both spaces, as well as the Lenape Edible Estate in Manhattan, which proposes a reconstruction of the edible plants grown 400 years ago by the Lenape people on the island of Mannahatta. Haeg uses these demonstration acts both political and educational, to reconnect us to the land and the food it produces through small local initiatives, which he then blows up in scale through an intense media exposure campaign.

Although the cooperating families and their neighbors may have been the only ones to experience or see the gardens first hand, Haeg has allowed countless others to be exposed to Edible Estates by exhibiting his work at museums such as Arthouse in Austin, Texas, The Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Tate Modern in London among many more. In the spring of 2008 Haeg published with Metropolis Books Edible Estates: Attacks on the Front Lawn, which documents the first four gardens and includes essays notably by himself and author Michael Pollan. An updated edition containing all 8 projects is set to be published in spring of 2010.

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