I just got this great invitation from an L.A. group called Fallen Fruit:
“Join Fallen Fruit and the citizens of Los Angeles in a communal jam session. Bring along any of your home-grown or public fruit and any clean, empty glass jars you have. At the end everyone will leave with a jar of communal jam. If enough people bring surplus, even the empty handed will leave with jam. Vats of fun for all! The kinds of jam we make will improvise on the fruit that people provide. The fruit can be fresh or frozen. Fallen fruit will bring public fruit. We are looking for radical and experimental jams as well, like basil gauva or lemon fir with lavender. We’ll discuss the basics of jam and jelly making, pectin and bindings, as well as the communal power of shared fruit and the liberation of public fruit. Jam with us and share the fruit of our labor! ALSO: closing party starting at 3pm for our show at another year in LA.”
Here is their invitation on Facebook.
What’s Fallen Fruit, anyway? Fallen Fruit is an activist art project that started by mapping all the public fruit — that which overhangs public spaces like sidewalks and parking lots — in its L.A. vicinity, and has moved on to planting public fruit parks in under-utilized neighborhoods. They are inviting people from all over the U.S. to send in maps of their local, public fruit.
This manifesto is on their web site. It says it all:
A specter is haunting our cities: barren landscapes with foliage and flowers, but nothing to eat. Fruit can be grown almost anywhere, and can be harvested by everyone. Our cities are planted with frivolous and ugly landscaping, sad shrubs and neglected trees, whereas they should burst with ripe produce ..
The infectiously optimistic web site, Thriving Too, offers more great quotes from Fallen Fruit.
Many more examples of local fruit foraging, from Oakland to Brooklyn, Alaska to Michigan, are in this New York Times article. In some places, people have even begun fruit exchanges with the fruit they’ve found, many of which would have gone to waste.
Photo: Fallen Fruit