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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fruit friends

  The economy has inspired a lot of neighbor-to-neighbor activity, and (more visibly) media awareness of community activities that already exist, and the way those communities are innovating solutions for their needs themselves.

Foraging for Fruit Gains Popularity (nytimes.com, 6/10/09, shared by a Facebook friend) is an article about looking around you, seeing what you have to offer, and giving or trading it with others. As one participant remarks, A fruit tree is really made for sharing with your neighborhood.

It's a sweet article about all sorts of little personal projects that have blossomed into larger organizations of people picking fruit for food banks, harvesting and pruning orchards for elderly neighbors, and working out elaborate social networks of ripe fruit reporting so people can trade when the fruit on their trees is at its best. The idea expands beyond the community/victory garden in which apartment dwellers may garden for their own table, to discuss how neighbors with private gardens can better share their surplus.

These sorts of exchanges have always occurred: I think very fondly of the coworkers who have brought in baskets of ripe lemons, apricots, plums, and avocados to the office. There are also jokes about how, in certain neighborhoods, you have to lock your car doors and roll up the windows, or in the morning you'll find your car filled with baskets of zucchini and string beans dumped by rogue urban farmers.

The novelty, I suppose, is that technology is playing a slightly increased organizing role in these exchanges, allowing more people to participate than the ordinary do-gooder neighbor could otherwise handle. Another novelty angle may be that the major media, ever seeking stories about impending doom, remained stunned that people are capable of self-organizing for positive reasons. (I half-expected to read articles about 'unregulated and dangerous fruit anarchy.')

If you have more bounty from your yard than you can handle, this article is a reminder to share it, regardless of whether you do that through a Facebook group or by ringing your neighbor's doorbell and offering a sack of lemons.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:50 PM


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fresh, sweet-tart, firm local plums

  *Joy!*

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posted by Arlene (Beth)10:00 PM


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On the subject of fresh, California strawberries in February

  As if I'm going to fall for that one again.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)9:11 PM

On the subject of fresh, California strawberries in January

  Nice try! You had me fooled.

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posted by Arlene (Beth)9:08 PM


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