There's a website that gives you maps and directions where you can pick fruit and vegetables free. The website is FallingFruit.org. It's an online interactive map identifying locations around the world as well as in Sacramento where you can pick fruit and vegetables from trees or other plants where the owner allows the public at no cost to them to pick the fruits or vegetables. The map pinpoints where you can gather crab apples, raspberries, grapes, pears, and various types of produce.
The maps also shows you where there are public water wells and trash bins with "excess food waste," according to the September 2013 AARP article, "Good Eats." Contributors post the information. People also can edit the map. The whole idea of the map is to pinpoint free fruits and vegetables where the public is allowed to pick the food. If you know of other places where the produce is free for the picking, you also can embed the Falling Fruit site into any website or blog using the "Embed" button on the Map page. Sign up for a user account and define your "foraging range." The FallingFruit.org website will send you weekly emails notifying you of changes in your area.
Falling Fruit is a celebration of the overlooked culinary bounty of our city streets. By quantifying this resource on a map, we hope to facilitate intimate connections between people, food, and the natural organisms growing in various neighborhoods. it's not just a free lunch, explains the website. Foraging in the 21st century is an opportunity for urban exploration, to fight the scourge of stained sidewalks, and to reconnect with the botanical origins of food.
The site's map of urban edibles is not the first of its kind, but the group aspires to be the most comprehensive, bringing together the maps of foragers from all across the internet. The organization also is including edible species found in municipal tree inventories - databases of street (and sometimes private) trees used by cities, universities, and other institutions to manage the urban forest.
This already amounts to 697 different types of edibles (most, but not all, are plant species) distributed over 580,947 locations. Beyond the cultivated and commonplace to the exotic flavors of foreign plants and the long-forgotten culinary uses of native plants, foraging in your neighborhood is a journey through time and across cultures. Join in celebrating the local and edible.
The map is open for anyone to edit, the entire database can be downloaded with just one click, and our code is open-source. Consider making a donation to help the site pay its server costs. Finally, if you've picked more than you can use or are overwhelmed by the bumper crop from your private trees, the site encourages you to donate the surplus produce to charity or your neighbors with the help of local food redistribution programs.
Harvesting food in an urban setting comes with certain practical and moral considerations, the website explains. For an introduction to the ethics of urban foraging, the Falling Fruit group recommends the excellent summary on its sibling site - Portland, Oregon's Urban Edibles.
Most of the foraging maps migrated to Falling Fruit were hosted on public Google Maps pages on which it was all too easy to accidentally move markers, the site explains. If an address provided in a description disagrees with the location on the map, the marker was likely moved accidentally on the original map. Please update the locations of these markers accordingly whenever your scouting determines the address (and not the mapped location) to be correct.
Municipal tree inventories are updated only gradually (if at all) as trees are visited for maintenance. User-contributed and municipal data may be several years old or plain wrong, so be prepared to encounter puzzling inaccuracies in the field. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to determine the identity, edibility, and location of a plant.
In Sacramento check out Sacramento Fruit Trees and Sacramento Foraging. Or see Fruit Trees in Davis. Check out the Fallen Fruit Map. If you travel to the Bay area, see Bay Area Fruit Trees, San Francisco Bay Area Fruit Rescue, or Fallen Fruit in Berkeley, CA, or the Stanford Gleaning Project. For more locations in California or elsewhere, see, the FallingFruit.org map site.
Also see these articles, "8 Foods We Eat That Other Countries Ban, Artificial Food - AARP," and "Bill Clinton Reveals How He Became a Vegan - AARP." It's amazing how many places there are in the USA and around the world where you can pick produce free of cost to you. Check out the interactive map identifying locations.