Have you considered urban foraging but don’t know where to start? Whether you’re interested in wasting less food, eager to save money on produce, or want to explore your area’s seasonal fruit, plant, and nut offerings, urban foraging is easy with the Falling Fruit map.
Urban foraging has been a growing trend among restaurants and niche foodies for several years. Falling Fruit, a non-profit out of Boulder, Colorado, formed in an effort to take advantage of untapped city data to make seasonal goodies more accessible. A couple of enthusiasts started compiling data of edible trees and plants maintained by local government groups, like forest services and city park departments, to share online.
The map includes 1,322 different types of edibles in 788,696 locations around the world, from apples and berries to figs to avocados to lavender.
Using the map is easy:
- Go to the site
- Type in your location
- Explore the options
- Use Falling Fruit’s resources to make sure you pick truly edible food
- Be observant of private property – when in doubt, ask permission
This map takes all the guesswork out of urban foraging if you're new to the activity and want to give it a try. Someone who's more into it has already done the leg work. You just have to replicate their process. If you don’t know what’s coming into season near you, the map can help. Falling Fruit’s data includes time-of-year information for each entry.
To whet your appetite, one of the Falling Fruit founders made recommendations for people living in San Francisco. In August and September, foragers there can expect to find apples, avocados, figs, grapes, olives, peaches, pears, pomegranates, and walnuts, along with some year-round wild greens, including herbs.
A seasoned fruit forager, Falling Fruit board member Jeff Wanner said he has started to eat more wild forest greens and mushrooms. He said users who add their foraging finds to the publicly sourced map usually point others to “typical domestic fruit.”
“Washington state blackberries are going crazy,” Wanner added.
The initiative is a “step in the right direction” when it comes to reducing food waste and eating seasonally, says Wanner. After two years of rounding up data points and working within the niche of foragers, the organization is looking for ways to branch out and include more mainstream users, especially those who have unstable access to fresh food.
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Foraged fruit photo from Shutterstock