Photographs by Jerry Spagnoli
On two hundred acres in the Hudson Valley, Amy Goldman grows heirloom fruits and vegetables–an orchard full of apples, pears, and peaches; plots of squash, melons, cabbages, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and beets. The president of the New York Botanical Garden has called her “perhaps the world’s premier vegetable gardener.” It’s her life’s work, and she’s not only focused on the pleasures of cultivating the land and feeding her family–she’s also interested in preserving our agricultural heritage, beautiful and unique heirlooms that truly are organic treasures.
Over fifteen years, the acclaimed photographer Jerry Spagnoli has visited Amy’s gardens to preserve these cherished varieties in another way–with the historical daguerreotype process, producing ethereal images with a silvery, luminous depth and a timeless beauty, underscoring the historical continuity and value of knobby gourds, carrots pulled from the soil, and fruit picked fresh from the tree.
In Heirloom Harvest, Amy’s essay, “Fruits of the Earth,” describes her twenty-five year collaboration with the land. The text along with Jerry Spagnoli’s photographs and an afterword by M Mark add up to an exquisite package, an artist’s herbarium worthy of becoming an heirloom itself.
“Heirloom Harvest . . . turns humble produce–Christmas Pole lima beans, Purple Top White Globe turnips, Crown of Thorns gourds–into pieces of art, the singularity of each vegetable accentuated by its rendering in a lustrous kaleidoscope of blacks and whites.” –Town & Country
“Heirloom Harvest . . . celebrates nearly forgotten varieties with haunting images by Jerry Spagnoli made using one of the earliest types of photography, the daguerreotype.” –Elle Decor
“[H]orticultural conservationist, philanthropist and all-around aesthetician Amy Goldman . . . has championed the cause of saving heirloom varieties of vegetables. If Goldman is the strategist of this project, its tactician–New York photographer Jerry Spagnoli–best captures its drama . . . Heirloom Harvest takes cherished heritage varieties and elevates them further as individuals.” –Washington Post
“[A] perfect collaboration between two people passionately devoted to preserving historical techniques.” –Chronogram
“A feast for the eyes and a serious reminder that biodiversity is admirable and necessary. Amy Goldman is doing a beautiful job in one small area of this science and encourages others to do the same.” – Martha Stewart on MELONS
“What a book! It’s gorgeous, inspiring, truly awesome.” –Deborah Madison on COMPLEAT SQUASH
“Luscious . . . This is a book to inspire passion.” – starred review, Publishers Weekly on HEIRLOOM TOMATO