19 02 2010

Feral fruit trees are fruit trees growing in or overhanging public spaces that are accessible to the urban hunter-gatherer. This website seeks to promote localized food gathering in cities where food is being obtained from increasingly distant sources. The current system of food delivery into urban centres poses unnecessary strain upon both the economy and the environment due to transportation costs. Feral fruit tree harvesting transforms our current food distribution system into a more sustainable alternative and promotes a consciousness of the ecology within our urban environments. Urban hunter-gatherers can also enjoy the benefit of fresh fruit that is often organic and not to mention free.

Fruit lying outside the boundary of private property for instance on a branch hanging over a fence is considered to be public property and therefore anyone can legally take the fruit. Please don’t take any fruit that is over someone’s fence even if it is in close reach as this is technically stealing. It always pays to just ask the owner, usually they won’t mind no one is really going to eat a whole tree of figs or loquats. Some people may be sensitive about having the fruit from their tree taken even if it is hanging into public space; therefore even though you are within your rights to take the fruit, common courtesy should be employed. eg. Please don’t make some old Greek guy angry by taking fruit when he doesn’t want you to.

Furthermore a few easy guidelines should be followed in order to ensure the sustainability and fair distribution of this precious public resource.

  1. Do not be greedy. Take only as much fruit as you need as there may be other fruit pickers in the area who wish to eat the fruit as well.
  2. Try not to damage the tree or the area around the tree. It would be wise to use a proper cutting tool to ensure clean cuts that do less damage to the tree. Try not to rip any leaves, branches or trample any plants below. I was told one story about a Mulberry tree that everyone used to plunder, the owner got so sick of people trampling his other plants from eating the berries that he unfortunately ended up cutting down the tree. 

With this in mind I bid you good luck on your fruit foraging adventures around the city.

Find feral fruit trees in your suburb        Picking Fruit by M Lyn.




15 responses

20 02 2010
Mark White

This is a great idea for a website.

The city government should plant and maintain (or let citizens do it) fruit trees on footpaths of all urban areas so that cities became orchards.

When there are economic problems in countries with traditional economies in Asia (Thailand etc) people can go back to the village and work in the fields and get food from nature.

In Australia we can not do this. If there is no food in the supermarket, we wil starve. This is stupid.

It is a ridiculous situation.

The entire structure of our city is built around the idea of people selling us stuff but if that network breaks down or there is a fuel crisis, we WILL STARVE OR HAVE TO EAT EACH OTHER.

This website is a great idea. We have to change the way we live and how we get our food.

21 02 2010

This is great! Especially in these warm months you will see so much fresh fruit falling onto footpaths instead of into people mouths. Also it’s hard to remember street names and house numbers whilst riding past. I’ll defiantly be adding to the food map soon!
A few relevant events coming up:

Worlds Biggest Eva Veggie Swap
Sat 13th March. City Square, Swanston st
10am – 2pm

Yarra Urban Harvest Community Garden Bike Tour
Sun 28th Feb 10:30
BYO bike, helmet & water
Leaving from Smith’s reserve, Alexander Pd.

Also http://www.cultivatingcommunity.org.au is good if you’re trying to source out a community food swap near you.

Mark is right, we have to change the way we live and how we get our food.

21 02 2010

Cheers for the info Amandine, I’ll make sure to post it up on the site. I found so many trees the other day in alleyways. It would be interesting to see how many trees there are in a 500m radius of our houses, I pretty much have my own personel orchid already.

6 04 2010

This is great, I have used the map to find feijoa’s for jelly and gifts and it feel’s good to be eating them so they don’t all fall to the ground.

12 04 2010

an ethic of foraging and planting means there will always be food available. nuts are often harder to find, there’s a notable lack of public almonds in melbourne. imagine bands of urban foragers taking seeds or seedlings to plant as they go.

17 05 2010

I’m involved in a guerilla vegetable garden in Union Street, Brunswick. We’ve planted three successful crops so far in a nature strip at the corner of Manallack and Union Street. We welcome everyone to come and help themselves to whatever produce, only asking in return that you get your hands dirty helping us plant the next crop. We are completely self funded…it’s been a great way for me to get to know my neighbours.

21 07 2010

Yeah good, we need to do this more. Not growing food is retarded. We have to just tell councils to shut the hell up and do what we say, not the other way around. Thats the whole point of them, they work for us. This seems like the only way people can get back to good old fashioned communication.

23 07 2010

Visit http://www.fruit-trees.net for more information about caring for fruit trees!

Search engine optimization for this site was done by http://www.seoservice.ecrater.com

8 05 2011

I think the concept is great for a few people but not viable in huge quantities for the masses; not everyone would be careful, some would be greedy, some would pay others to collect for them

Also I don’t think growing fruit on the footpath is terribly healthy; consider all the car pollution.

7 08 2011

There are heaps more fruit trees in my area and I have a neighbour with olive trees with big black olives in front. I don’t know if the place is tenanted but am too nervous to knock on the door and ask if I can take the fruit rather than it just dropping onto the ground and rotting. Perhaps we need a little plaque placed on places where permission has been given. What do you think?

25 02 2012
Sue Templeton

Wodonga, vic, has a street harvest program where excess produce can be dropped off to make meals to distribute to the needy. Street Champions are volunteers who map, pick and tend gardens for the elderly. http://www.foodbankvictoria.org.au

26 02 2012

Down side… I’m really quite angry at the urban ferrals stealing from my vegetable garden and fruit trees…. Just because I don’t have a huge fence doesn’t give thieves an open invitation to steal my harvest.

17 04 2012

This website doesn’t encourage stealing fruit from over property lines. You can take down the marker if you like.

10 01 2013

Thanks for using free time to write “About Feral Fruit Trees Melbourne”.
Many thanks again -Santos

23 01 2013

I personally Feel article, “About Feral Fruit Trees Melbourne” was correctly written!
I personallycannot agree with u more! At last appears like
Ilocated a blog site worthy of browsing. Many thanks, Jamaal

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