Image credit: The Urbane Forager
We already know that backyard fruit trees are a barely tapped resource for urban gleaning, and we've seen how the Fallen Fruit project has created maps and community events to alert us to the bounty that is all around us. Over in the UK, The Urbane Forager is on a similar mission—sharing stories of foraging missions and cider making, and beginning to map our locations where hidden treasures await.
From apple-picking missions in a local church yard (where a variety called Red Devils grows abundantly) to tips and information on turning fruit into cider, chutney and more, the Urbane Forager waxes lyrical about the joy of finding your own food. He does not, he says, expect everyone to start fending for themselves. But rather believes that foraging is a fun, healthy way to reconnect with the natural world:
I am not going to try to teach you how to survive like an SAS soldier. I assume that you all live in houses, go to school or work and live normal lives. I will not ask you to start eating grass, but I will point out the vast amounts of plums, cherries, apples, pears, and nuts out there that are just waiting to be picked and eaten. Best of all, this delicious bounty will cost you absolutely nothing.
It does seem crazy that people crush fruit under their tyres on the way to the supermarket, but this does mean that there is more for you and I to pick. People seem to have forgotten that fruit does grow on trees and that whether you live in the countryside, or in a large city like I do, there are always trees nearby.
From seasonal recipes to a developing fruit mapping service, this is a man on a mission. This may not be freeganism to the extremes of the Moneyless Man but it is a reminder that if we're going to fully embrace the Plenitude Economy, we must learn to look up and see what's there for the picking.
More on Gleaning, Foraging and Freeganism
The Fallen Fruit Project
Backyard Fruit Trees a Barely Tapped Resource for Urban Gleaning
Plenitude Economics: Work Less, Play More and Stop Screwing the Planet (Video)
Living Without Cash for a Year: The Moneyless Man