Fallen Fruit: Free Produce on Los Angeles Streets

When I lived in Los Angeles, my then boyfriend and I often walked longingly past a pomegranate tree whose fruit hung just within reach. Should we pluck it? Would an old woman chase after us with a broom or would a protective neighbor shoot us a judgmental glance? With respect for private property impressed to the cellular level, our most overt harvests involved shaking an overabundant tree when no one was looking and taking what fell.

This intersection of free, local food, public vs. private property, and the ambivalence around both has bred Fallen Fruit, an artistic-turned-activist venture. Few realize that vegetation overhanging on public land in Los Angeles becomes shared property. I certainly didn't. Fallen Fruit emerged from an art exhibition involving maps of available fruit in Silver Lake. Now, more neighborhoods have been mapped and there is a push to distribute hard copies to the disenfranchised and incorporate edible landscaping into urban planning. We like it. :: Fallen Fruit

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