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 served many sacred purposes: they are sites of worship and rest, inspiration for artists and writers, and vibrant community hubs. Moreover, they are places of sustenance. In Taming Fruit, award-winning writer Bernd Brunner interweaves beautiful illustrations and prose to show that the story of orchards is a human story. It is also a story of how humans have shaped and bent nature according to our desires for millennia.
As Brunner tells, the first orchards may have been oases dotted with date trees, where desert nomads stopped to rest. In the Amazon, Indigenous tribes 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 are not only for growing fruit; they have also inspired 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.