A captivating cultural and scientific history of orchards, perfect for readers of Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire and Mark Kurlansky's Salt
Throughout history, orchards have nourished both body and soul: they are sites for worship and rest, inspiration for artists and writers, and places for people to gather. In Taming Fruit, award-winning writer Bernd Brunner interweaves evocative illustrations with masterful prose to show that the story of orchards is a story of how we have shaped nature to our desires for millennia.
As Brunner tells it, the first orchards may have been oases dotted with date trees, where desert nomads stopped to rest. In the Amazon, Indigenous people maintained mosaic gardens centuries before colonization. Modern fruit cultivation developed over thousands of years in the East and the West. As populations expanded, fruit trees sprang from the lush gardens of the wealthy and monasteries to fields and roadsides, changing landscapes as they fed the hungry.
But orchards don't just produce fruit; they also inspire great artists. Taming Fruit shares paintings, photographs, and illustrations alongside Brunner's enchanting descriptions and research, offering a multifaceted---and long-awaited--portrait of the orchard.
Praise for Taming Fruit:
"Fruit was there at the beginning of the human story, Bernd Brunner argues in this crisply written and lushly illustrated book."
--Zach St. George, author of The Journeys of Trees
"A beautiful exploration of the life-giving bonds between trees, fruits, and people."
--David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen
"An enchanting journey through the world of orchards and botanical curiosities. Anyone who is even a tentative gardener will cherish this lovely book."
--Brian Fagan, author of The Little Ice Age and The Intimate Bond