“Hey, what are you doing? I am calling the police!”- Passer by who’d rather see fruit rot than be gathered and eaten.
Nicholas, Abalone and I set out for a few hours in the concrete jungle with our backpacks in search of a few seasonal delights yesterday. Our first stop was a white peach tree whose boughs were laden with ripe sweet fruit. Nicholas, to my surprise, had never eaten a peach and so today he picked a ripe one took a bite and as I watched a slow grin grow across his face I knew this would not be his last. “That is so good!” he eventually said as he hurriedly filled his bag. I replied that I found it fitting that his first peach was not from the store, but straight off of the tree.
Nicholas Reaching for an Orange
Oranges on the Tree
Moments later we stopped off at an orange tree growing well over into the alley and public domain. Piles of rotten fruit lay on the concrete below and we knew it was up to us to honor the tree, and not allow its delicious treats to go to waste any longer. As we picked a few oranges from high in the canopy we were startled by a booming voice. “Hey, what do you think you’re doing? I am calling the police!” a passerby hollered before hurrying away. He clearly had no idea that we had already obtained permission to harvest the tree, and that the branches we had been picking were well out of the private property boundary anyway. We decided it was best to move on and avoid a lengthy explanation, but we talked and joked about the experience as we walked to the next peach tree. It struck us both as just plain sad that this man would literally rather see the fruit of this tree rot on the ground than feed two individuals who greatly appreciate the harvest.
Wasted Rotten Fruit
We gathered the first fruit of two additional peach trees and then stopped off to get some figs as well. Nicholas thought it was pretty funny that we were gathering fruit in the Albertson’s market parking lot instead of buying it at the store.
Monkeyman Forager Hidden in Fig Tree (Grocery Store in Background)
The bounties were great, and the grilled peach kabobs were delicious.
Another Successful Urban Harvest
Cinnamon Grilled Peach Wedges
Don’t let the fruit rot. Again, follow your own inclination but do regard the policemen around the corner. And always strive to keep the old ways alive!