Fruit Falling on Your Head? Harvest It!
Thursday, August 22, 2019
DES MOINES, Iowa – If it's not raindrops falling on your head, it might be an apricot, cherries, apples or plums – and a foraging group wants to make sure it's not wasted.
Falling Fruit, a six-year-old nonprofit organization, calls attention to overlooked areas where food can be freely harvested.
Co-founder Ethan Welty says thousands of people around the globe contribute to the group's online, interactive map showing public lands, rights-of-way and even alleys where people can forage for food, especially in urban areas.
"First of all, they've been walking under this tree for years going to work and not noticing there that it's a cherry tree or an apple tree dropping fruit on their head,” he states. “And I realize that you really need this mental switch, like you have to be told that there's food growing for free in a city, otherwise you're just not looking for it."
Welty describes the online map as a tool that facilitates an exchange of information.
He notes that in the past week, map users added locations for black walnuts in Illinois, blackberries in England, wild grapes in Oregon and a fig tree in Washington, D.C.
Welty describes Falling Fruit as a match making service between people who live in cities and the area's food-bearing plants.
Although most locations are publicly accessible, he says growers often have more than they can harvest.
"Also, we have a lot of property owners that do add their trees to the map, saying 'Please knock on my door,' or whatever the terms of agreement are, inviting people to come harvest," he states.
According to Welty, some states and countries contribute more than others to the map because they have a tree inventory. He says the goal is not to feed the world, but simply help people recover food that otherwise would go to waste.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Advocates for people with disabilities in New York are pushing for the federal budget resolution to include $400 billion in Medicaid …
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Freshwater mussels are key to keeping the Chesapeake Bay watershed clean, and with more than half of all species now facing …
BUFFALO, Wyo. -- The doors of five historic community halls across Johnson and Sheridan counties were opened this past weekend for 15 people curious …
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Massive wildfires in the Western U.S. and Canada have triggered poor air quality in North Carolina over the past few weeks, and …
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Farmworkers are in Olympia today, calling for stronger protections from extreme heat. The farmworkers union Familias Unidas por la …
BOISE, Idaho -- Rallies are taking place across the Northwest to support salmon, which face dire conditions in the Columbia River Basin. Saturday…
IXONIA, Wis. -- The public comment period has ended, but opponents of proposed natural gas storage facilities in southeastern Wisconsin still hope to …
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvanians are growing worried about the environmental consequences of natural-gas drilling in the state, according to a new …