October 11, 2006

In the midst of an orchard

Made with Google Earth, 10/11/06 Here is my first attempt at a local "fallen fruit" map. I have mapped eight sites in Berkeley, three of which are in the public domain: the fig and apple tree at Halcyon Commons, the apple tree at Bowditch and Haste (People's Park), and the apple tree at 2329 Carleton (it is in the sidewalk nature strip). The remaining fruit trees are located on private property but the fruit does fall into and/or hang over the public domain. The fallen fruit or public fruit concept was developed by Fallen Fruit, an "activist art project" located in Los Angeles. The group encourages the mapping of public fruit locations across the country. Currently, there are four public fruit maps on fallenfruit.org. The site also offers a how-to sheet for mapping public fruit. I am familiar with several other organizations that focus on fruit. The Big Backyard Project is a "crop-sharing" program that collects surplus fruits and vegetables from yards in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, CA. The project is sponsored by Temescal Amity Works. Another local fruit organization is Village Harvest. Village Harvest also collects surplus fruit from yards, but the organization's primary partners are food banks located in the Santa Clara Valley. Outside the Bay Area, EarthWorks Projects in Boston runs an Urban Orchards Program using several sites throughout the city. Sites include a historic orchard in a city park, an orchard located in a public housing neighborhood, a schoolyard orchard, and an orchard within an urban wild. A list of orchard sites is available online. For a geographic database of farms, farmers' markets, and CSAs, check out Local Harvest.

5 comments:

  1. Yay! Very exciting that you are doing this. I'm hoping to start mapping the trees in my neighborhood next Spring. I've been sort of wondering whether to map trees that are so overgrown that they would need a ladder for picking. There are a few like this at Ohlone Park/Greenway. Might be okay for hard fruits but not soft. Apparently the fruit trees that have been planted at Schoolhouse Creek Commons (at the Berkeley Adult School) are going to be pruned regularly to keep them within arms reach.

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  2. are you still working on this? I've started mapping my neighborhood- near the University. email me of you want to develop this further- jerlina@berkeley.edu

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  3. Hi,

    Being new to the state, could you clarify the law on public fruit? Is it only in the public domain if it's fallen off the tree, or can you pick it from branches/trees on public land?

    thanks!
    Jess

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  4. Jerlina, I have been informally recording sightings of public fruit. At some point I will post the locations though not in map format.

    Jess, I don't know of a public fruit law or ordinance but the protocol seems to be that fruit on public property is available for picking (the one exception might be fruit grown in community gardens). Fruit hanging in the public right of way seems reasonable to pick, but of course, one can always ask the owner of the fruit tree(s).

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  5. Here's another more recent map of fruit in Berkeley:

    http://forageberkeley.blogspot.com/

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