Anyone forage for fruit using a map from 'Fallen Fruit'?

fabaceae_nativeDecember 11, 2012

I just found out about the non-profit Fallen Fruit, which advocates utilizing some of the many tons of fruit that grows in urban public spaces and usually just goes to waste.

They have maps of public urban "orchards" in cities around the world (in this country mostly in CA and CO), with a key to help you locate whatever fruit is in season.

Anyway, I was amazed to find this map to my home city, but have not had the time to check it out in person yet. I'm wondering if anyone out there has tried using one of these maps and how accurate was it?

I realize this is a forum about GROWING fruit, but I've always been most interested in the foraging aspect of fruit, and it was not until a few years ago that I even started growing my own.

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Bradybb(wa8)

That's pretty cool,thanks a lot.I think it fits here,as somebody is or was growing them.Brady

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 3:17PM
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larry_gene

Similar websites exist for Portland, Oregon. Usually they get out of date very quickly. My guess would be a 10% accuracy degrading per year.

A non-profit volunteer would have to visit all the fruiting plants every year to maintain the data.

There is far more fruit and variety to be found street/alley or trailside than there is in the typical backyard.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 12:11AM
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fabaceae_native

Larry gene, you're probably correct that it would take some real effort to keep the maps updated.

Yeah, the typical backyard is usually pretty boring, with only one or two different types of fruiting plants if you're lucky.

In terms of diversity though, I would have to say that the average person on this forum probably grows a lot more than can be found trail/street side in many places. There are many wonderful fruits that grow well here that I have yet to find in any park, or wild place.

Speaking of this, what is the most surprising find you've made in your area?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 9:49AM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

At my local farmers market I talked to a older woman who had spent her "Hippie days" in New Mexico. She recalled wild harvesting pawpaws, Asimina triloba, in river valleys in New Mexico. This fruit's native habitat does not include New Mexico and so I am thinking that her finding was an isolated and rare population of pawpaws that may no longer exist today.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 10:17AM
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fabaceae_native

WHOA!!! I would be absolutely blown away if what this woman says about pawpaws in NM is true! It's a bit like claiming a wild grove of mesquite trees in Massachusetts! Highly unlikely, but possible I suppose...

Not only is NM hundreds of miles west of pawpaw's natural range, but they have so far proven difficult for me to grow even in a garden setting (I have not given up yet though), and I have yet to hear of anyone else growing them in the entire state!

I was surprised enough to find documentation of an outlying population of American persimmons in the Texas pandhandle, well west of real persimmon country, but pawpaws in NM would be simply incredible.

If you talk to this woman again, maybe you could post some more info as to specifics (which river valleys, Northern or Southern NM)? :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 2:26PM
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larry_gene

Within a 1-mile radius from my house, I can find all the fruits mentioned on the above map, except the pinion pine, on the public right-of-way.

There are some small golden plums near Reed Canyon, and a surprising amount of thimbleberries on campus.

It seems like I am always finding a neglected quince tree that is new to me.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 11:10PM
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fabaceae_native

I'm not as fortunate as you, Larry, to have the bounty so close by (although I do grow most of things on the map, plus some), and although fruit trees are very common here, there is not all that much variety. 9 out of 10 fruit trees you see is an apricot or an apple.

In defense of the map though, I should mention that it represents just one tiny little neighborhood in Santa Fe that you could walk through in ten minutes. There are many more like it throughout the area, but the important thing is that I now have a better idea about what is considered in the public domain. Up until now I've been very conservative, limiting my urban foraging to business parks, medians, trail sides, that sort of thing.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 10:37AM
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MrClint

I looked at one of the maps near me and then brought up a satellite view. Most of the trees were in someone's back or front yard overhanging a public alley way or street. So you would be wise to talk to the owners before offloading any of their fruit.

It's not a bad idea to map out the fruit trees in your local area, in public or private spaces. It's a good way to get to know your neighbors with the added benefit of bartering or even helping out the local food bank.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 12:19PM
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wildforager(5b-WI)

I've created foraging a map of my town. Its easy with google maps. I've kept mine private as I've had students from classes come back to my spots and clean me out. There are a ton of urban harvesting projects all over the US and even in other countries. I wrote a blog post on it recently. See link....

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Harvesting Projects

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 6:18PM
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ribs1

I love this kind of stuff. I have lots of my own fruit trees, but still love to forage.
It's always a real adventure. My favorite foraging is in the woods, but urban foraging is really great too.
I am fortunate to live near Ann Arbor, MI. Plenty of woods nearby and even a few secret wild paw paw patches. Also, plenty of fruit trees in town.

BTW, I love Santa Fe. I have only been to your neck of the woods once, but always wanted to go back. Love Cafe Pasquals.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:28PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I was surprised by what this woman was telling me at my local farmers market. I asked her to smell one of my ripe pawpaws to verify her memory. She smiled and said yes, that was what she found growing wild in a river valley in New Mexico. I am not sure that we will cross paths again.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 6:32AM
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fabaceae_native

chervil:
Thanks so much for adding to the pawpaw story, it sure sounds authentic! Maybe some day the exact locale will come to light!

ribs1:
Yeah, I do feel blessed to live in SF, and still really love it more all the time after almost ten years. Foraging in the wild is most fun for me too, and is part of the local tradition here. You won't be asked any questions by the cops if you're pulled off the interstate looking for pine nuts...

I'll try to post a list of the things I've foraged here, it might be fun to see what other folks have to partake of in their areas.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:52AM
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ltilton

Am I the only one who worries that this kind of thing will lead to people "foraging" in my orchard?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 11:06AM
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wildforager(5b-WI)

This "kind of thing" usually maps out wild areas and public land that have edibles to be foraged. Occasionally I've seen markers on the maps that will say something like... "1234 Smith Lane has 2 apple trees in the back yard, Owners have given permission before so ask again. Joe and Nancy are nice people" Typically this is the sort of posting I see associated with private property listings on these foraging maps. Asking permission first is always stressed. Hope this puts you at ease.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 12:14PM
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fabaceae_native

I don't think there should be a concern that hordes of people will trespass onto someone's yard to forage, but the fruit growing into or falling onto public property is what we're talking about here. It may legally belong to the public, but nevertheless I (and probably the majority of urban foragers) generally avoid picking from any tree that is growing from someone's yard, unless the owner is close at hand to ask permission of.

The main strategy of urban foragers (I think) is to rationalize picking from a source that is obviously being neglected by it's owner and where your presence is not trespassing, such as from the parking lot of a business.

Below is the list I promised in an earlier post, I hope it is of interest to someone out there...

Foraged Fruit around Santa Fe, NM:
Key:
(Alb) = found in Albuquerque area and south
(W) = native wild fruit
(N) = non-native species that has naturalized in the area
(A) = especially abundant fruit in this area

1. Algerita (W)
2. Almond
3. Apple (A)(N)
4. Apricot (A)(N)
5. Autumn olive (A)(N)
6. Boxelder sap for maple syrup (admittedly NOT a fruit) (A)(W)
7. Buffaloberry (W)
8. Cherry
9. Chokecherry (A)(W)

  1. Crabapple
  2. Currant, cultivated red
  3. Currant, wild golden (A) (W)
  4. Currant, wild wax (A)(W)
  5. Elderberry, Mexican (W)(Alb)
  6. Fig (Alb)
  7. Grape, cultivated
  8. Grape, wild (W)
  9. Groundcherry (A)(W)
  10. Hackberry (W)
  11. Mesquite pods (Alb)(A)(N)
  12. Mulberry, white (A)(N)
  13. Peach (N)
  14. Pear, Asian
  15. Pear, European (A)
  16. Pinyon (pine �nuts�) (A)(W)
  17. Plum, cultivated (A)
  18. Plum, wild (A)(W)
  19. Pomegranate (Alb)
  20. Prickly pear (A)(W)
  21. Raspberry, red (W)
  22. Rose hip (A)(W)
  23. Serviceberry (W)
  24. Strawberry cactus fruit (Echinocereus species) (W)
  25. Strawberry, wild (W)
  26. Thimbleberry (W)
  27. Trebizond date and �King Red� Russian olive (A)(N)
  28. Walnut
    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 2:55PM
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wildforager(5b-WI)

Hey fab, Nice list! I'd love to come down and go foraging with you sometime!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 3:04PM
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