Feast on This, Foragers

You probably don't notice them as you whiz by in your car on your trip to the supermarket. You may smell their rotting sweetness in the air while on your nightly neighborhood. The tech guy in your office may have one growing, neglected, on the side of his house. The United States has an untapped resource that has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about where and how we source our food, and it relies on combining technology with knowledge of our local biome.

Neighborhood Fruit is a nation wide website, providing a service that connects people with the local fruits, nuts and herbs that are growing abundantly within their communities on both private and local land that are typically free for the taking.

 

How it Works

 

It allows you to register the trees on your property that you are willing to share its bounty with others in your community.

Your apple tree, full of vitality, teeming with robust, plump, succulent apples, will produce more fruit than you can ever use, despite your crazy pie and jam making skills. Whatever is left goes to waste, stinks, attracts pests, and dirties your lawn.  Now that you think about it, you're not making as much jam as you thought you would when you planted the tree either.

It allows you to register tree and plants on public lands that are freely available for the picking.

On your favorite hiking trails, you notice an assortment of fruit appearing at different times throughout the duration of the the growing season – intensely sweet, miniature strawberries that hold so much more flavor than the much larger bland-tasting ones in the supermarket, gigantic brambles of raspberries, and beautiful red rose-hip bulbs freely dotting the landscape before the first frost. You munch on these freely as you hike, but you wonder why you are the only one.

It allows you to search your neighborhood for fruit trees that others have registered.

Do you have the spirit of a forager? Does the idea of collecting wild harvested fruit and herbs that are locally grown, fresh, free of cost, often free of unnatural fertilizers and pesticides for your dinner table sound appealing? Neighborhood fruit is the place to go to find food for foraging in your area, whether it be from a city park or your from the front yards of your community members. The site features an interactive Google map showing trees that pinpoint the exact location of registered trees, as well as an iPhone app that does the same.

 

Benefits

 

  • Neighborhood Fruit has the potential to lessen our dependence on the economy that has dominance over our food system - all of the things that we hate about they way our food system works but create profit, therefore are excruciatingly difficult to change, such as GMO farming, overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, long shipping distances, causing lack of produce freshness and taste.
  • We consume food for free or little cost.
  • We are likely eating organic. We simply have to ask the landowners if their tree has been sprayed. This quickly eliminates the need for the expensive certification process that is required in order to assure our food is clean in the supermarkets and natural food markets.
  • We are sharing our bounties with our community members, creating good will, well bring and friendships.

 

 

Help it Grow

 

Currently, there are only two areas of the country that have extensive coverage, the Pacific Coast and the Northeast. Much more participation is needed in order to make this site become the revolutionary tool that it can be.

  • Publish the fruit on your land and your knowledge of fruit on public lands onto their website.
  • Encourage your fruit bearing friends to join even if they have no desire to forage from other's land.
  • Post the Neighborhood Fruit site to your Facebook page and be sure to tell everyone you know so this valuable tool gets used.

Happy foraged feasting!