Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good Idea Bad Idea

Falling Fruit identifies urban public domain food sources. 

Falling Fruit

... is a celebration of the overlooked culinary bounty of our city streets. By quantifying this resource on an interactive map, we hope to facilitate intimate connections between people, food, and the natural organisms growing in our neighborhoods. Not just a free lunch! 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.
Our edible map is not the first of its kind, but it aspires to be the world's most comprehensive. While our users contribute locations of their own, we comb the internet for pre-existing knowledge, seeking to unite the efforts of foragers, foresters, and freegans everywhere. The imported datasets range from small neighborhood foraging maps to vast professionally-compiled tree inventories. This so far amounts to 1,121 different types of edibles (most, but not all, plant species) distributed over 786,019 locations. Beyond the cultivated and commonplace to the exotic flavors of foreign plants and long-forgotten native plants, foraging in your neighborhood is a journey through time and across cultures. 


Okay.  This is great.  I do this kind of thing all the time (within limits).  More on that later.  Oranges dangling over the fence is a common sight in my ghetto.  On the golf course there are any number of figs or apples and such.  There is a hedgerow of pomegranates that -used- to be a community treasure for many years.  More on that later.  So, what are the good and bad aspects?  Well the good should be obvious to anyone.  Fresh local produce.  Free.  The bad?  Where to begin?  Let's go from most selfish to most egalitarian in order.  Come the Bankopolypse™you don't want "them" to know where "your" potential food sources may be.  You also don't want crazies to know where anonymous food is just laying around.  Especially food you might want to eat.  Those tasty morsels are attractive nuisances.  The fact that they have value means someone is going to abuse the system.  That is an issue locally with the pomegranates.  Assholes have come in and stripped the local pomegranate trees these last two years.  Finally is the slippery slope and the first "more on that" issue.  I would never take food from a commercial planting.  Not only is it stealing but I don't want them to put up fences and such.  And it goes without saying that the tragedy of the commons will always be with "us" as long as there are "them." 

Apologies  for the partial nudity.  Exceptions are the rule on EN. 


Cinco-X said...

I read about this, and thought "who'd want to eat pears in NYC that have been breathing car exhausts their entire life cycle"...

Max said...

Knowing where to find avocados in LA was always a closely guarded secret. Not sure about the ethos of a site that considers fruit grown on private property to be part of the "shared bounty."


Rob Dawg said...

This all ties into the recent issues with "Waze" and shortcuts. If they ever find out about my ghetto bypass I'm going to make them rue the day.

sm_landlord said...

Nope, all your avocados are belong to us.
--Occupy Backyard.

Rob Dawg said...

It would be kind of amusing if only they eventually figured out they were speaking out their asses.

I am giving away a dozen a day right now. Want any? These are Bacons. Many are too large to grade. People tell me they have never had better guacamole.