Conquer the Soil

Black America and the Untold Stories of Our Country's Gardeners, Farmers, and Growers


By Abra Lee

Formats and Prices




$39.00 CAD


  1. Hardcover $30.00 $39.00 CAD
  2. Audiobook Download (Unabridged) $16.95

Conquer the Soil profiles 45 hidden figures of horticulture—the Black men and women whose accomplished careers in the plant world are little known or untold. Among them are Wormley Hughes, an enslaved African-American who was head gardener at Monticello and dug Jefferson’s grave; Annie Vann Reid, an ex-teacher turned entrepreneur in South Carolina who owned a five-acre greenhouse and nursery in the 1940s that sold millions of plants and seeds; and David August Williston, a graduate of Cornell University and the first African-American landscape architect, a student of Liberty Hyde Bailey, and the designer of the Tuskegee University campus. The lively text is enriched by illustrations of each individual, making this a beaituful package. In Conquer the Soil, Abra Lee–a rising star in the plant world–gives these women and men the spotlight they deserve and enriches our collective understanding of the history of horticulture. 


On Sale
Feb 2, 2027
Page Count
264 pages
Timber Press

Abra Lee

About the Author

Abra Lee has worked in the green industry for 18 years, in both the public and private sectors, having held landscape manager positions for two international airports: George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where she received the Urban Ag Council’s Grand Award. Lee is a graduate of the Auburn University College of Agriculture, and owns Conquer the Soil, LLC, a brand that focuses on gardens, fashion, and culture. She is currently a member of the prestigious Longwood Fellows Program.

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