Urban foraging?

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by OldFashionedMama, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

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    I've heard of people doing this but not exactly sure how to get started. I mean, I see plenty of people who do NOTHING with their apple and pear trees, I know "spots" in my local dont-pick-anything-or-we'll-shoot-you metro park to find sour cherries and wild apples, among other things. I thought about maybe posting an ad in the paper or on craiglist that might say something like "Do you have fruit trees? Tired of them making a mess? I want your abandoned apples!"
    Really, it is ridiculous how many abandoned apple trees there are just in my neighborhood. Whaddya think?
     
  2. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    It never hurts to ask, and remember that most folks do not spray apples and fruit trees if they are not going to pick them, so you might have some cutting and picking thru to do.
    I have gone with friends along roadways and picked wild asparagus before and I do know where many of the state lands are close to home and scoped them out for wild yummy stuff. right now hen of the woods is popping up here and there and Chicken of the woods is also out. I just missed the black trumpet mushrooms, many of them but no smell and they were too dry to pick.:(
     

  3. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    Just be sure to wash anything that might have been sprayed, or that grew near a busy highway.

    I agree with Emerald, just ask. A lot of people would probably be relieved to have someone clean up all the apples (or whatever), since they're a pain when you're mowing, and they attract insects like "Yellow Jackets".
     
  4. wildman800

    wildman800 Well-Known Member

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    The City of Houston, last year, started an initiative to start identifying wild edible plants within the city limits. A friend of mine was asked to be a part of this initiative.

    Check out: Merriwether's Guide to Edible Wild Plants, it's in google. Also, I recommend you also keep an eye on: www.intotheborderlands.blog.com

    Yes, Merriwether is a friend of mine and he is a very intelligent fellow that wise people consult with on many subjects.
     
  5. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    I would go for a stream, park or wooded area before go for the roadside. The county/state might spray some nasty stuff to control weeds or bugs on the side of the road.
     
  6. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

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    I used to think the economic recession was all negative-Until this and surrounding counties ran out of money to mow or spray!! Spraying was so bad in my parents' county that both white and the already-rare wakerobin trillium and other delicate species were placed on watch lists. They scaled back significantly after those reports came out. My dad made signs to put in front of the house telling them not to spray, but unless we were actually home to make them go past our property they'd do it anyway. It's been a few years now since there has been any spraying at all on that road, and it is SO wonderful to see all the wild berries and medicinals like coltsfoot and mullein flourishing again.
     
  7. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

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    No harm in asking. I've found folks hesitant to give you stuff if they think you are planning to eat it, but generous if you say that you want it for your pet goat!
     
  8. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

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    The link brings me to a page asking if I want a blog of my own (even after I registered).

    but I think it is this link that we want:
    http://intotheborderlands.blogspot.com/2008/06/wild-edible-plants-of-houston.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  9. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Just for clarification, I only pick asparagus on roadsides that I know have not been sprayed-I do live in a more rural area tho and not quite urban. And they have to put out the spraying schedule around here and most of our roads are not sprayed any longer due to public out cry and they are back to the big mower. it pays to do research before wild harvesting.
    I also forgot that wild elderberries will be coming up ripe soon. And even if you're not keen on eating crab apples they can be used to make pectin for next years early summer fruits for jam.
     
  10. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    JUST got done picking TEN BUSHELS of pears from ONE tree
     
  11. bstickler92

    bstickler92 Well-Known Member

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    wow, when my family moved in to our house ten years ago, there was a big pear tree in the back yard but something was wrong with it and it died. i really wish it could've produced some fruit but we had to cut it down before it fell. digging that stump out by hand kinda sucked though
     
  12. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    That's what they make stump grinders for; 15-30 minutes and the stump is gone. :)
    I just had to say that since I have one. :rolleyes:
     
  13. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Hey... I need one of those... stump grinders that is ....:p
     
  14. bstickler92

    bstickler92 Well-Known Member

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    considering i was less than ten minutes north of you, i should've been on here a long time ago!
     
  15. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

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    I abhor waste. Just ask the worst they can do is say no. There is a pear tree across the road from me loaded with pears. The owner won't let us pick and does not use them himself. What a waste.
     
  16. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    sneak over at 2 am. :)
    Seriously, offer to help with a small chore or hook him up with a case of beer. He might change his mind if he gets a little something in return. Or he might be worried you will fall out of the tree and sueing him. I know Arkansas is probably more laid back than NJ, but no one wants to go out on a limb to do a favor and end up in court. We live in a changing world.
     
  17. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    have the same problem here with a few 'odd ducks', it's truly an alien mind-set to me...

    that being said, I looked on CraigsList in the 'free' section and found plenty of people with walnuts for free for people to 'pick up'

    still a lot of lazy people out there who won't even pick up some tasty tasty walnuts... i am one of them, i took my lawn sweeper! :2thumb:
     
  18. EX121

    EX121 New Member

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    Gleaners

    Check with your local food banks to see if they have a gleaners group. Here we have several church groups & etc that go around and get the fruit from urban trees. They also pick from orchards after the orchard has been commercially picked, and share what they gather.
    Also ask around at any local Senior Centers, many of the floks there would be happy for some help.
     
  19. PS360

    PS360 Well-Known Member

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    Just keep your eyes pealed for fruits and nuts, and don’t hesitate to ask people if you can pick there fruit, offer to give them something else like garden vegetables.

    I’ve found lots of apple trees along freeways, and there are some pear trees in a couple of parks by me, and there are ornamental plums allover, and blackberries by a cell phone tower.

    You just need to watch out for sprayed plants.
     
  20. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    JUST traded about a 1/2 bushel of apples for "as many pears as I could pick", I stopped at 2 bushels because that's all I had with me

    going to be doing peaches and pawpaws(sp?) tomorrow :2thumb: