Edible Garden Profile: Max Brooks’ Santa Monica Memories

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Max Brooks makes sugar from cane he grows in his family’s garden.

We were delighted to see writer Max Brooks share his memories of his mother Anne Bancroft’s garden over on the Which Way, LA? blog. Bancroft, a health-conscious cancer survivor, grew organic food (vegetables, Japanese persimmons, white figs) before it was popular. Max grew up reluctantly picking cutworms off of plants, but today he’s become an enthusiastic farmer, working the same Santa Monica land his mother tended for so many years before her death in 2005.

As he writes in “From The Land,” his essay in The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage:

I garden to remember…No matter where my family lived, no matter what was happening with my mother’s busy, glamorous, Hollywood career, she never strayed too far from some patch of dirt.

Working that dirt has become a way for the two Brookses to remember Bancroft, and it’s brought Mel closer to Max’s son. The family has expanded the garden to include sugar cane, coffee beans, and blueberries.