Falling Fruit – Mapping the Urban Harvest

One of the things I’m most interested right now is foraging – even though I love planning a garden, reaping the harvest, and enjoying fruits and veggies that we grew ourselves, foraging is even more cool. It’s literally free food, for the cost of one’s effort. One of the things that worries me though, is the fear that we’ll pick something that is unhealthy or even poisonous. We have removed ourselves so far from our food production that I don’t always know what’s safe to eat. Pretty sad. We’ve started wandering the neighborhood, looking for things like walnut, apple, and other easily recognizable trees, along with other plants that may or may not be good to eat.

Through Facebook, I connected with a group called Eat Wild. They’re a small but growing group of foragers in the Michiana area, mostly around South Bend. They show off their finds, help identify fruits and plants for those of us who aren’t sure, and share information on where to find stuff to forage. They do this (partially) through a website called Falling Fruit.

Falling Fruit

Falling Fruit is a mapping program (hence the motto “Mapping the Urban Harvest”) – people share where wild plants on public land are available, along with other foraging opportunities in people’s yards. Someone has an apple tree they don’t pick? Foragers will come by and help pick at least some of them, making less work for the homeowner to pick up falling fruit and helping people avoid the fruit stand. Win-win.

Some areas have more activity and, therefore, are more useful. I shared this with AngieB, who found nothing in her area. Downers Grove does not have much either, but it has to start somewhere. I’m still working up the nerve to drive down to pick an apple tree not far from us, one of these days we’ll get down there. 🙂

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