Warm days make for a perfect time to go on long walks, enjoying the flowers and greenery. (And in our neighborhood’s case, an occasional bear.) While you’re out, you may come by a tree, loaded with fruit, that no one seems to be doing anything with.
Why not stop and ask if you could pick it?
It’s called gleaning, and it’s a creative way to bring healthful fruit into your diet, even at a time when the cheapest is a dollar a pound or more.
One group, Fallen Fruit, has made spreading the news about unused fruit their personal mission. Not only do they design exhibits and products (like wallpaper) based on the flora and fruita of the cities they visit — they’ve included more than 60 maps of various cities around the world, pointing out fruit trees, grapevines and berry bushes that are yours for the picking.
They’re not into wasting this delicious, free food. (“Pick only what you can use,” they urge.) They are, however, deeply into the idea that being neighborly (i.e., sharing) not only helps us, but draws us together as a community. Given time, that viewpoint may actually change the world.
Who knows. A cherry tart, made with fruit scavenged from that bush down the street, may go a long way in getting your raucous neighbor to turn down their music at 3 a.m. At the very least, it shows them that somebody cares.
Cindy Brick is a personal property appraiser, judge and national teacher who loves to write about frugality and other personal finance topics. She has written six books and hundreds of articles, but often focuses on quilting, her teaching specialty. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two golden labs and a flock of very suspicious chickens. Find out more at Brickworks, http://www.cindybrick.com, or visit her personal blog: http://www.cindybrick.blogspot.com