Fallen Fruit: A Collaborative Community Project

Remember our quinces? You'll be happy to know they're still present and accounted for! Cross your fingers for jam-making next week. In the meantime, we'd like to share an organization we came across in our research: the LA-based project called Fallen Fruit.

With their motto of "Who Owns the Fruit?", Fallen Fruit believes that fruit is meant to be shared and have started creating area maps pointing residents to neighborhood fruit trees. The original maps covered Los Angeles, but they're continually working to add more maps. They encourage communities around the world to create and contribute their own neighborhood fruit maps.

Fallen Fruit has also expanded beyond map-making into other events and initiatives, including public jam-making, city bill board projects, and public fruit parks.

We like Fallen Fruit's respectful-yet-firm stance that fruit should be available to everyone. Far from being guerrilla fruit-pickers, they see sharing fruit as a way to build community and encourage local eating. In their guide on "How to Pick Fruit," they advocate asking permission from residents before picking (or going on their private property!), being careful not to damage the tree while picking, and sampling fruit - not hoarding it.

Gregory, a writer over on Apartment Therapy:Los Angeles, and his girlfriend did some neighborhood fruit foraging earlier in the summer and they had good things to say about the Fallen Fruit map they followed.

Have any of you tried their maps? What do you think about this organization?

• For more information on Fallen Fruit and downloads of their fruit maps, spend some time wandering around their website!

Related: Found Food: Do You Forage for Food?

(Image: Emily Ho for the Kitchn)