Hello there! What a beautiful summer day for a neighborhood stroll. This morning I grabbed my two boydogs, my little point-n-shoot, and some tupperware. My mission: free food from my very own cityscape. That’s right, Urban Foraging – an underground gathering technique akin to dumpster diving or guerrilla gardening.
But let’s be clear: there’s a big difference between foraging, and theft. And sometimes the line can be difficult to discern. I would never intentionally steal, so here are my three criteria for appropriate Urban Foraging.
1) It’s Clearly Unwanted
This pear tree was dropping it’s fruit all over the sidewalk, so there’s no way the owners wanted them all. A sloppy sidewalk is a great indication of abandoned booty. If it’s rotting on the ground, it’s likely fair game from the tree.
There were plenty of pears just perfect for the picking, but I only took a few. Try not to get too greedy, and you won’t piss anybody off.
2) It’s Not Clearly On Property
This blackberry bramble overhangs an old fence, into a graveled alleyway. I’ve been walking by it for weeks, just watching those berries ripen and multiply. As far as I can tell, nobody’s been collecting them. So I took it upon myself.
Berry-stained finger tips! I took plenty of berries, but not enough to even make a real dent. I would never pick a berry bush dry, even if it was obviously abandoned. That’s just not the way I roll, and it’s not good mojo for a forager. Leave enough for others, and you won’t piss anybody off.
3) If You’re Unsure, Always Ask
This plum tree was planted in the curbside strip, a common location for fruit trees (that’s where my cherry tree lives). There were no plums on the ground and the surrounding plants were well manicured, so I didn’t pick these plums. If you come across a situation like this, try to catch the resident out in the yard, and just give a holler. You could even knock on the door. Just ask if you can pick a few fruits – chances are they’ll be happy to share. But don’t just take, okay? That’s a surefire way to piss somebody off.
Alright guys, them’s the basics! Have fun harvesting, and remember to use your head! Don’t break any laws, don’t do anything that seems like stealing, and don’t piss anybody off, ha!