Foraging in the City

Guest post by Amy Urquhart

This article in today’s Toronto Star is interesting. It’s about people harvesting from neglected or owner-less trees in the city.

It made me think about an apple tree that is sitting off the side of the exit ramp I take every day on my way home from work. It’s just dripping with apples, many of which now litter the road. I should ride my bike over and pick some. They might make good applesauce.


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5 thoughts on “Foraging in the City

  1. Do it now! For years I passed by a little abandoned orchard on the way to DH’s workplace. I had a friend who used to forage those apples and she said they made the best pies she’d ever had. Sadly, the apple trees were the first things to go when a new nursing home was set up on the property. It’s depressing to drive by and think of all those great trees ripped out and covered with an asphalt parking lot. Grab some of those apples while you can. Take some friends along, too. If Mother Nature is giving away applesauce, stock up now.

  2. I love the thought but find there is a grey line between foraging and theft that I am sometimes hesitant to cross. I was sad this year to see a lot of fruit go to waste and have plans to ring doorbells next year and ask about harvesting from neglected trees.

    I did however enjoy a perfect plum just yesterday, plucked from a tree while walking down a Toronto alley. And I harvested two bunches of delicious concord grapes from a vine growing along another alley fence. So you know, I will cross that line if no one appears to be bothering.

  3. I got lucky when my next door neighbor was home and was pulling off all the ripe pears from his tree. I got a whole box full to make pies. Nobody has lived there for almost two years. We also made apple pies from apples our other neighbors grow in the planting strip in front of their house. And my roomate made about 10 gallons of apple butter from another neglected tree the other day.. So much fruit for the taking.

  4. I moved to FL in December and was shocked to see all the citris rotting in my neighbors’ yards. Luckily, one neighbor gave me a bunch of oranges and grapefruits. I have never tasted anything more delicious. I may just start knocking on doors and asking to pick the trees.

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