Urban Foraging

Harvesting food from your local urban environment doesn't have to be restricted to just dumpster diving. The folks over at Fallen Fruit are creating maps showing the location of fruit trees and sharing information about what is available and where. Seems like a great idea, sharing food, creating community, reducing waste, but I wonder what the people think who tend to the trees only to find them ransacked at harvest time. While there often seems to be excess fruit on neighborhood trees, and no one wants to see this go to waste, there are some interesting personal property and stealing vs. foraging issues to consider. What's in a dumpster has clearly been discarded, but what's hanging in your neighbor's yard hasn't.
Better yet, since towns and cities plant trees as part of their overall development plan anyways, why not make use of the permaculture principle of stacking functions and plant fruit trees and other edibles in public spaces instead. Creating basins for these plantings in place of beds surrounded by raised curbs would allow for irrigation with rainwater and help address problems of stormwater runoff. Excess fruit could be gathered, prepared, and sold by the city to help offset the cost of planting in the first place. Another possiblity is to use this as a place-based educational tool to teach people about native edible plants and their traditional uses for food as well as medicine.


At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Melamin said...

I love this blog, I hope you guys never stop blogging.


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