Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Street Fruit



California is so lush that plenty of food just grows on its tree-lined streets. On the street where I live for instance, you'll find lemons, plums (pictured), and even artichokes, as well as fragrant rosemary.
Last week, the New York Times's wittily titled Neighhbor, Can You Spare A Plum? made it clear that it's legal in California to pick fruit that's in a public space, including if the tree grows on a private property but has branches hanging over public space.
All over the country, people have been getting together to pick the fruit, share it among neighbors and distribute it to others - many make donations to local food banks. Here in Los Angeles, Fallen Fruit designs maps of fruit that can be picked around the metropolis; if you are elsewhere in the USA, you can also check out Neighborhood Fruit. Isn't this a great way to bring communities together, get more people to eat healthy fruit and be less wasteful?
A couple of blocks away, a neighbor has a tree that is just laden with bright lemons and now I am itching to ask if I may pick them and start spreading the juicy bounty around...

28 comments:

eatlivetravelwrite said...

so pretty - those plums remind me of my nana who had plum trees and always used to make the BEST plum jam...

Anonymous said...

what a wonderul idea...and why not, for that matter? pick some fruit share some vitamins...;)

...oh and as of late your posts have been truly enjoyable!

;0 nancy

sealaura said...

great post Mary-Laure. Here in redlands there are orange groves and lemon trees everywhere so i will def check out these websites. mil gracias¡

Joanna said...

This post makes me yearn for the days when I could just pluck a nectarine from my dad's orchard. I am salivating just imagining how delectable and juicy those nectarine were!

Mary-Laure said...

EATLIVETRAVELWRITE - oh, homemade jam is the best! I make some every summer.

NANCY - you're back!!!

TERI REES WANG said...

Last season we spied a house for sale in Santa Barbara. We peeked in the windows and jiggled the door handles and hoarded a trunk load of fresh plumbs that tasted like Japanese candy. Along came a little family who had actually bothered to make an appointment with the listing agent, who never oddly never showed up.
We shared our loot, and together we found ourselves inside. We all shared a lovely day but, it was the plumb tree that made is memorable.

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

I lived in Ventura for a while in a house with a huge avocado tree - people would fill grocery bags. It fed a neighborhood!

Bri said...

You should! I can't believe there are artichokes running around - that's pretty cool. So lucky!

Mary-Laure said...

TERI - what a lovely story...

BEVERLY - it's my DREAM to have an avocado tree!

BRI - well, there aren't many at all but it's so fun to see them on the sidewalk.

Annie said...

I love this idea, how wonderful!
That plum looks so yummy.

Rebecca said...

Yum, plums! That's such a neat idea. I'm definitely going to check out neighborhood fruit! :) Thanks for the tip!

Mary-Laure said...

ANNIE - it's already plum season! They're so juicy.

REBECCA - keep me posted please.

A World in a PAN said...

A street feast! What an enjoyable idea ...

josephine said...

what a great idea! summer fruit is definitely a treat everyone deserves to enjoy.

Beth said...

Reading about such things restores my faith in humanity. (Some of it...)
Wonderful pictures - made me crave a plum!

DaisyChain said...

I love reading such posts. I'm obsessed with plums at the moment!

Jill said...

plums right off the tree! how great. i just visited venice for a few hours last weekend and was totally charmed by the town. abbot kinney blvd. is amazing! hope you are enjoying living there :)

Mary-Laure said...

BETH - I agree, it's wonderful to realize so many people are giving their time and ideas for everyone's well-being.

JILL - oh, I wish we could have met! I live a 5-mn bike ride away from Abbott Kinney and I just love it.

muralimanohar said...

That website is brilliant...too bad nobody in Hawaii has registered a tree. Wah. I have been keeping an eye on a breadfruit tree around the corner, though, and totally plan on raiding it when they are ready, lol. And my yard has three mango trees, a mini banana grove, papayas, 3 honey mandarins, two meyer lemons, and lilikoi vines, all of which will be shared around with my friends. The four jackfruit trees aren't ready to fruit yet. I love nature's bounty. :p

Martica said...

Vengo de pasar dos horas sobre tu blog. Au sécours!! Se me pasó el tiempo sin darme cuenta. Hay miles de cosas para ver. Con dificultad pero entre una y otra palabra algo entiendo. Que pesar no saber inglés...

J Elaine said...

Very inspiring ideas. It feels wonderful to share food with others, especially natures bounty! I am always struck how beautiful fruit is when picked from its tree. What a gifted world to have such a thing!

When we have leftovers in the restaurant, I always prepare bags with our recycled woody utensils and distribute to homeless on the street on my bike ride home. A container of water for their dogs, which always look so hot and thirsty.

muchlove said...

fresh of-the-tree fruits while you're walking along the street? That's so awesome!

jean-louis said...

Quand nous habitions au Kenya a Riverside Dr dans notre premiere maison nous avions plusieurs avocado tree dans le jardin. Francis, notre jardinier, montait souvent dans celui pres de l'entree pour ceuillir les " a point " dont toute la famille se regalait. Tu dois t'en souvenir!

Chara Michele said...

Oh plums on trees! How lovely! I would definitely ask your neighbor if you can pick a lemon or two, how neat would that be :)

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Our neighbor's plum tree stretches conveniently over the back fence, begging us to ease it's burden of golden plums......

Mary-Laure said...

MURALIMANOHAR - have you moved to Hawaii? I thought you were still in Australia.
The thought of your garden makes my mouth water, as I ADORE mangoes, papayas and lemons...

MARTICA - muchisimas gracias, no sabes la alegria que me dar pensar que disfrutaste.

JL - bien sur que je me souviens. C'est de la que date mon gout pour les avocats - et la nature.

D. MOLL - yes, someone told me "They LIKE being picked"!

muralimanohar said...

Yupp, in Hawaii now. And it's a NICE garden. :p

suman said...

Such a lovely fruit it is ! beautiful !

suman
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