I remember that our food is a sacred resource, and rejoice in knowing that there are creative methods for saving food from waste. Thanks to the work of three artists in Silver Lake (Los Angeles), minds are seeing that the abundant fruit of some can become enjoyment for many! Fallen Fruit is a fruit tree neighborhood mapping project, first created to answer the call of “grassroots modernism” for the Journal of Aesthetic Protest. These social entrepreneurs appear to ask, why not share the fruits of one’s labor with others? Especially if we consider how these delicacies would otherwise be going to waste. What these urban gleaners unearthed was a legal, sociable, and humanitarian effort for preserving food healthy enough to eat. According to the law, when fruit falls onto public property, it’s fair game. With crews sometimes 90 strong, these strangers set out to collect (and often jam) this runoff of nature’s goodness. Believe it or not,many urban communities have rich and varied crops of produce year round, and fruit trees require average care to supply their sweet treats. International communities are also jumping at the chance to gather public fruit. FruitCity in London, England is an expression of art (with crafty extendable picking arm and backpack) and a not so underground map of handy, fresh snacks for the picking.
As a kid, seeing a person trash an apple after a single bite, or take a dozen eggs to someone’s unfortunate car at a local hangout known as Circle Park, it made me think how the value of food was being ignored. Fresh food is worth so much, and endlessly more to those who don’t have enough. Second Harvest Food Bank is acting on this by accepting donations of homegrown fruit; they even offer a volunteer service that will collect and haul overflow harvest from your residence.
Whether adventuring on a tasty treasure hunt or aiding a fraction of the millions who lack adequate meals, every piece of food is life, capable of giving life.
Fallen Fruit: http://www.journalofaestheticsandprotest.org/3/viegeneretal.htm
Journal of Aesthetic Protest: http://www.journalofaestheticsandprotest.org/
many urban communities: http://www.good.is/post/food-grows-on-trees/
Fruit City: http://www.notcot.com/archives/2011/05/fruitcity-public-fruit-in-lond.php
Second Harvest Food Bank: http://www.shfb.org/backyardproduce
Map the Meal Gap: http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-studies/map-the-meal-gap.aspx