How many fruit trees around town have you seen where the fruit is just falling to the ground? On my bike commute through the North Valley into Corrales, I've seen several hundred trees that were just spoiling. It seems most homeowners these days don't have the time to properly share or store this fruit. The hardest part to swallow is that on average our food travels 1000+ miles to get here.

That's about to change and next season I intend to start this service, one way or another, so that we can start to change the way people think about their food. There's something seriously wrong with our food system. If you have a fruit tree or know of one please have this person contact me so that I can make arrangements to harvest it next season.

Read on at my blog: Environmental Survival Guide

Tags: albuquerque, environment, food

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Kemper neglected to mention that his idea is a contender for some $$ via ideablob.com

If you think his idea is good, please give him a vote anytime between
November 22 -- November 30 over at ideablob. here's the link:

Idea: Urban Harvesting

I know that this past season, I trashed at least 150lbs of apricots, after boiling, freezing, eating, and handing out at least as much.
When I lived in Nob Hill, I had a beautiful, huge pomegranite bush in the backyard that only produced flowers; gorgeous, red, hibiscus-like blossoms. Very pretty, but no fruit. However my next door neighbor had a scraggly little pomegranite bush that was covered with pomegranites every year. And every year, she let them spoil or be eaten by the birds. So I started helping myself to the fruit, figuring (in my rationalizing way) that hers wouldn't produce fruit without the benefit of my male bush. Or something. Then she hired somebody to raise the wall by two rows of cinder blocks. Not sure if I can take credit for this move to stop my fruit thieving or not. Anyway, I sold that house to a friend and now the neighbor's pomegranites are again coming over the (higher) wall, so I still go over there and steal em. Hah!

I wonder why more people don't grow pomegranites here?
and now two years and a little later - yes indeed folks are growing and marketing pomegranate juice produced locally - mmm - La Montanita Coop - have you tried it yet, JMG?
Oh, another wasted-Nob-Hill-fruit story! The neighbor across the street from my old house has several jujube (Chinese fig; another name?) trees in the front yard. That guy with the chickens and pumpkins who used to live on Carlisle north of Central (he died a few years ago) used to come and harvest this esoteric fruit and apparently made wine from it. He also used to dig up the baby trees around the bases of these trees and plant them on some land he had outside of town somewhere.

In my opinion, the fruit is not that interesting or even edible. But in Ta Lin store, they sell them for $8 a lb! They are extremely popular with Vietnamese folks.
Akoolstik,

You're killin' me! I'd do anything for an old apricot tree in my yard, but instead have to beg apricots off everyone i know with trees. Please don't throw any of yours away next year. I promise, I'll drive out and pick them up.
It's a deal! Of course, whatever is *still* leftover we can give to Kemper.
These are great stories. Maybe you could give me directions to the house with the pomegranate and I can approach them. You can reach me direct at kemper at identifiedmedia (dot) com I have two small pomegranates at my house in Peralta but they only produce about 4-5 pomegranates.

On another note this is a really interesting fruit map in Santa Fe. It details all fruit trees that hang over city property so it's free for the taking.

http://www.fallenfruit.org/images/FALLENFRUIT_SANTA_FE.jpg

In my travels I'll work to create something similar for Albuquerque. I've crossed a lot of trees. Does anyone know if the cherries on the median of Alameda are edible? I've never had a chance to get a close look at them.
I love this idea, Kemper!

This weekend, I was at Lowe's on Lomas, buying fruit for our belated Thanksgiving celebration. The guy in front of my in line noticed my pomegranates, and mentioned that if he'd known they were edible, he would have harvested some from the fruit-laden trees at his employer's property! He said there were hundreds of pounds of pomegranates and quince just rotting on the trees.

When they get settled, consider approaching the new Pro's Ranch Market, which is going in at Central and Atrisco. We wrote about it long long ago on the old Duke City Fix. They're supposed to be trying to create a sustainable network of farms, etc. They might like your idea!

Good luck with this project!
Thanks for the tip. I'll keep an eye for them.
Great idea!!! Hope you remind us of this next year at harvest time. I have a number of very old fruit trees that are hardly producing, but then my dear, ol' dad hadn't fertilized them in many a year due to his failing health. Maybe if I give'm some good nutrients this spring I can coax a little more life out of 'em.
I can try and get you some information on what you can do to improve the health of your trees. What type of trees are they?
What an excellent idea! This summer my sister's apricot tree produced so much fruit I was taking it by the bagful almost every day to my students at Harwood for a while. The kids loved the fruit and it was a great way to provide healthy snacks and distribute the mass quantities that might otherwise have gone to waste. I'd love to know how the project goes for you, and what organizations you are partnering with to distribute the food -- I'm having ideas about how we might partner (I work with kids mostly, and often in afterschool and summertime programs, provision of healthy food is always an issue) as well as some other folks I could connect you with if you are interested.

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