April 7, 2012

Who’s Hungry? Urban Foraging in Denver Just Got Easier. ~ Oz Osborn

For those of us living in urban areas, convenient access to fresh produce is limited.

Our options are grocery stores (which usually means excessive carbon miles), or—when in season—farmer’s markets or CSAs or in rare cases, someone’s backyard garden, right?

This map of fruit trees in and around Denver—created by local permaculturalist Adam Brock of GrowHaus fame—shows a different story.

Note that the data is crowdsourced, taking advantage of Google Maps’ annotation feature for custom maps. Kudos to Adam and his band of intrepid explorers who expended the time and effort to provide this info for the benefit of all!

If you’d like to do something similar for your town (see the link to the custom map tutorial), be sure to urge users to bear in mind the following urban foraging guidelines:

>Don’t take more than you need. “A tree full of ripe black cherries can be really exciting, but how many will you use before they go bad?”

>Ask permission before you pick. “We do not condone unsanctioned harvesting practices or trespassing.”

>Pick in a balanced and selective manner. “The last thing we want is to damage the sources from which we harvest!”

>Watch out for pesticides and other contaminants. “Paint chips, pesticides, motor oil spills and even car wash runoff can affect the quality of the sources you pick from.”

Happy foraging!


Oz Osborn is a dedicated formally trained yogi and Vipassana meditator, with degrees in physics and engineering whose passion and focus is ecological sustainability, and finding genuinely green ways to address the daunting environmental challenges we face in these thoroughly unsustainable and greenwashed times.


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Editors: Jill Barth/Kate Bartolotta

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