Wild Food Foraging - Free
Fruit For The Hungry Raw Foodist
is a great way to save money on a raw food diet.
Although you can find wild berries and other fruit in the woods, I'm
going to concentrate on finding the fruit that's growing on the
margin's of society - back yards, abandoned orchards, and untended
gardens. These sources are more abundant than you'd likely imagine, and
often go to waste if you don't take an interest in them.
Beyond all else, the key to wild food foraging is conversation. People,
even if they're not avid gardeners or fruit lovers, learn things
through the grapevine that can benefit you. When you let people know
that you're looking for fruit, you'll be amazed at what people know.
Wild Food Foraging - The Gift of The Elderly
Well over 90 percent of the free back yard fruit and vegetable bounties
I've come across came to my attention because of people over the age of
before World War II is likely old enough to remember a
world that lacked international produce shipping lines. During their
youth, a large portion of the produce in their grocery stores
disappeared during winter.
This state of affairs made them more appreciative of fresh fruit and
vegetables. When international shipping lines really revved up and
started delivering year-round tomatoes that tasted pasty and
flavorless, older Americans had the experience of home-grown tomatoes
to contrast them with, and to this day they're more likely to note
their preference for garden-grown food.
Over the years this generation dutifully manned gardens and maybe even
planted a fruit tree or two in their back yards. Now, getting older,
they likely still plant gardens, but they may only want a few tomatoes
and pieces of fruit from it and wish to give the rest away - this is
where you come in.
I've had elderly people offer to pay me to pick the fruit off their
tree and take it away so it doesn't rot on the ground! Their gardens
may well be overflowing with vegetables they don't know what to do
So how do you find these elderly people? The best way is to strike up
conversations. If they're your neighbors, start talking. Mention fruit
and you'll have an in.
Wild Food Foraging - The Benefit of Exercise
In a car, the world whizzes by so quickly you probably wouldn't notice
a fruit tree. At a stately 7-10 mph run, or a slightly faster biking
pace, you'll find all sorts of trees are out there, though.
I especially suggest you run or bike through neighborhoods built before
1960, as these are more likely to have fruit trees planted in their
Wild Food Foraging - Advertise And Check For Ads
Guess who still reads newspapers? Yep, it's people over the
age of 40,
the same demographic who are likely to have a garden and excess
One year as an experiment I placed a wanted ad in my local newspaper
that went something like this: Wanted: free/cheap excess garden fruit,
lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach. Call Andrew: (xxx) xxx-xxx.
I got about a dozen responses and ended up turning down most of them
because it was more than I could eat. Newspaper ads will cost you some
money, but they're effective in reaching your key old-person
I once placed an ad on Craigslist and got no responses, although it's
free and it might be worth a shot for you. Also scan for other people's
free fruit offers on the site.
Wild Food Foraging - Find A Group
I find the growth of
fruit-gathering organizations an extremely encouraging sign that the
world is changing for the better. Here are a few of them you might want
to hook up with.
A website which acts as a digital repository for harvest info on
backyard and public property fruit trees all over the country is Neighborhood Fruit.
Although their list is currently small, I'm hoping in time it will grow
Wild Food Foraging - Abandoned Farms and Public Land
At least in Connecticut, where I live, it's surprising how many
orchards and farms have been bought by towns or open space foundations
as a way of slowing over development.
Many of these properties sport still-productive-but-overgrown orchards.
You just need to know where to look.
For instance, in this video I
take you to overgrown apple orchard purchased by a nearbye town
about a decade ago. I pillage is every fall,
but can't eat even a fraction of the fruit there. I know of several
more properties like this, and I'd be willing to bet the situation is
similar in other parts of the the country.
If your town has an open space trust, start by perusing their property
list online or by talking to an active member to see if they have any
farms or orchards that might still be productive. Although towns might
not advertise their open space, they probably have an open space
committee. Find a member and ask them.
Although this sort of thing is rare on the east coast, on the west
coast I've been to several city parks that sport fruit and nut trees.
All you have to do is show up around harvest time and take whatever you
Wild Food Foraging - Conclusion
There's a lot of free food
out there, but if you want it, you're going to have to start
networking, asking questions, and researching. But when you really get
into it, you'll be surprised at how much free food is out there waiting
for you to claim it.