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

Via elephant journal
on Apr 7, 2012
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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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6 Responses to “Who’s Hungry? Urban Foraging in Denver Just Got Easier. ~ Oz Osborn”

  1. Johnathan Goggin says:

    Hmm, I wonder if that might be the problem with my left leg? I sit a lot at work A LOT and sometimes my left leg gets somewhat tingly on me but it’s more my upper leg than my lower.

  2. Brittani Tomek says:

    Tomorrow was my school’s Entrepeneurship Day and there was a shuffle dance-off.

  3. Bob says:

    Please don't link to the Urban foraging website. I happen to live across the street from a site on the map and I have been planting 1-2 fruit trees a year for the last few years hoping for a decent harvest. Instead, urban foragers have been picking me clean without my permsission. Clearly few people follow your rules. If I hadn't been home today with my sick 5 year old I would never have caught a girl hop out of her truck and start picking away… she was appologetic and blamed the fact that I was listed on the site. Clearly I'm not.
    After putting in the money and work to plant and care for these trees, I would love to enjoy some of the fruit. Instead, last year my cherry and apple trees were picked clean… and of the two or three dozen plums on my tree, I enjoyed just four this year. I can't say it's all because of this website, but the website does not get the benefit of the doubt anymore.

  4. Well if you have a garden you can start growing your own veggies, I have seen several gardens in Denver area wherein the house owners had mixed up planting veggies on their beautifully landscaped garden.

  5. Ethan Welty says:

    Adam Brock's foraging map, and several others for Boulder and Denver, have joined the massive database of urban edibles on the newly launched FallingFruit.org, which aims to bring together foragers and foraging data from all over the internet. Check it out. Happy picking!

  6. Donna says:

    I am with Bob on this. I have been finding and lightly foraging fruits, vegetables and mushrooms for decades. When I started I learned the ethic that you always collect just a portion of what is out there and leave most for the plant and for wildlife. Most of the foragers I see now use iPhone apps go straight to the plant, take everything and often damage the plant in the process. I live across from an urban open space. In past years I would clean up the space for earth day and stop to pick a few shoots from an asparagus plant that I can see out my front windows. Last year I started to see a daily parade of people who with phone in hand would march straight up to the plant, take everything, sometimes digging deep and damaging the roots. In the Autumn I usually collect some of the seeds and plant them in other spots in the open space hoping more will grow. Last fall the plant was too stressed to produce many seeds. Last Friday the parade of foragers began again with a person who I witnessed taking all and digging deep. It makes me very sad and angry.