Planning to travel this fall? Maybe you’re heading up to the mountains of North Carolina for some days of hiking, or to Minneapolis to see family. Wouldn’t it be cool if on one of those trips you could find some wild fruits that were in season, to snack on along the trail or by the side of the road? What if you could find a tree full of ripe apples in a downtown park, free for the taking?
Guess what? You can. With the new website, fallingfruit.org, you can find fruits growing anywhere in the world. The site contains an editable map of the world, dotted with crowd-sourced locations of fruits ready to forage, on city streets, suburban neighborhoods, or way out in the boonies. You could even plan a day trip around a fruit harvest.
On fallingfruit’s website, we read why they made this cool resource available:
Falling Fruit is a celebration of the overlooked culinary bounty of our city streets. By quantifying this resource on a map, we hope to facilitate intimate connections between people, food, and the natural organisms growing in our neighborhoods. Not just a free lunch! Foraging in the 21st century is an opportunity for urban exploration, to fight the scourge of stained sidewalks, and to reconnect with the botanical origins of food.
Falling Fruit already contains a wealth of potential harvesting spots, but over time the site should fill right up with more, just like the backpack you’ll be stuffing with blood oranges on your Hannukah trip to Florida. Or the ballcap full of blueberries you’ll be toting on the geo-foraging jaunt around Maine your’e already planning for next summer.
And for those of you already knowledgeable about secret fruit stashes, you can share a location yourself. Know a great place to find trees full of persimmons right now but can’t possibly eat them all? Upload the spot to the clickable map, and share your find with another local gatherer.
Falling Fruit also has a resource page, where you can find organizations around the world that are planting public orchards, picking otherwise wasted foods, and sharing wild harvests with their neighbors and the needy.
So if you’re heading home for the holidays this year, consider checking in with Falling Fruit. You might just find the perfect free ingredient for that sweet fruit pie, right down the road.