A captivating cultural and scientific history of orchards, 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.