I sent out facebook inquirys to my fellow Iowans asking if they knew of anyone who had fruit trees and did not use the fruit. Surprisingly nothing came of this. We did however keep seeing trees on city property that were full of apples and no one was picking them. Whats the point of fruit trees if the fruit just rots away??
We are all descendants of hunter gatherers. It is both a useful and fun way to add to the quality of life. Urban food gathering is the Ispy of life. It's the ultimate easter egg hunt of fall.
Jaymon planted a lovey garden in the spring however with the heat wave we had here in Iowa there was much less produce than anticipated. So when the trees started to ripen all hope was not lost of urban food gathering.
The first time we went out we gathered 40 pounds of apples that were easy to reach. Then Jaymon, my superhero solemate, came up with this clever DIY fruit picker. A knife on a pole. Brilliant!
These trees are passed by people all day long and yet the trees sat full of fruit.
No, they don't fall into the convenience of a shopping cart. Some of them are gathered on the ground. Some of them have holes and "bad spots". They are not however forced to ripen nor are they sprayed. Those worm holes tell me that they are what the craze of "natural" and "organic" is all about. Free and natural. What could be better! When I lived in Hawaii no one thought twice about urban food gathering at the corner of a busy road.
So what do you do with less than perfect apples and pears? Cut the bad spots out and stick them in the dehydrator! Eat around it and then chuck the yucky parts.
The boys had a blast filling their bags and helping out. I always loved picking fruit when I was a kid and want to have the boys experience picking fruit as well as harvesting in the garden.
From a group of trees in another part of town we picked pears.
How does a family store store so many pounds of fruit? Dried of course!! The house smells lovely with the scent of warm apples and pears and we will be knoshing on them for months to come.
So go out and find some trees and do some urban gathering! Think apple pie. Pear leather. Chili with apples in it. Baked apples....yummy!! And au' natural is the way to go!!