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Old 08-15-2011, 12:05 AM
 
Location: 112 Ocean Avenue
5,706 posts, read 9,578,667 times
Reputation: 8932

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As she does every evening, Kelly Callahan walked her dogs through her East Atlanta neighborhood. As in many communities in a city with the 16th-highest foreclosure rate in the nation, there were plenty of empty, bank-owned properties for sale.

She noticed something else. Those forlorn yards were peppered with overgrown gardens and big fruit trees, all bulging with the kind of bounty that comes from the high heat and afternoon thunderstorms that have defined Atlanta’s summer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/us/15forage.html?hpw

I'm sure some would view this as stealing, and perhaps, technically it is. But until some banker decides to roll up his/her sleeves and come pick it themselves, then I say, good for Kelly.

Why to hell let good food go to waste.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:42 AM
 
373 posts, read 633,527 times
Reputation: 243
Default Fig Trees

I cleaned out a fig tree a couple of weeks ago at an abandoned house.

It is always fun to find a fruit tree. Likely the house is abandoned over issues other then forclosue.

Many parts of the country surely have some canning opportunities.

North Texas does not have that many fruit trees.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,176 posts, read 10,653,231 times
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Where I used to live, my neighbor and I always vied for the best and prettiest plants. When houses in our area became abandoned, due to death or foreclosure, we'd go over and dig up the plants and share with each other! (Not right away, of course - but most abandoned properties start to look seedy pretty quickly.) We never dug up trees, though. Picking the fruit? I see it as a public service... rotting peaches on the ground smell terrible.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:09 AM
 
Location: northern Alabama
1,066 posts, read 1,260,169 times
Reputation: 2869
Default Free plants

I have collected seeds, and taken cuttings, from plants at abandoned houses.

I got a beautiful Rose of Sharon cutting at a house. When the house was sold, the new owners bulldozed the yard rather than doing selective clearing.

A little while later they told me how much they liked my Rose of Sharon bush. I rooted them a cutting. It was hard not to laugh!
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,485 posts, read 10,434,591 times
Reputation: 21455
Our property was all lawn, lawn, and more lawn when we bought it. Now it has daffodils, hostas, ferns, irises, and a beautiful arborvitae that's grown almost as tall as the house -- in just a few years. Some other flowering bushes that I don't know the name of. Oh, and lilac cuttings. All of this stuff was free, from neighbors and vacant lots. DW is great about digging up bunched bulbs, separating them out, and planting them in just the right places.

There are old apple trees in those lots, too, probably part of a farm in years past. I don't pretend to know the variety, and don't specially like the taste or texture. But DW knows how to make an outstanding applesauce which she cans, if I have the ambition to get her a few bushels of the apples. So I do! (grin).
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:45 AM
 
1,337 posts, read 1,514,799 times
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I've picked oranges off of some random orange trees that sprouted on town land before. Could definitely be a good emergency food option. I've dabbled in foraging a little bit and found that to be a very sketchy food source. Unless one is an expert in foraging, I don't see it being a preferable method, and is probably best left for survival situations..... with perhaps the occasional foraging outing done more of an exercise for purposes of practice, or to provide some garnish that supplement a larger meal.


Saw a YouTube video a few years ago about this guy from southern California, that gets permission from homeowners to pick fruit off their trees around the neighborhood.

His rules as he laid them out were:
(1) He always asks the homeowners permission,
(2) He picks fruit off the ground first if there is any, rather than from the tree, leaving the fresher stuff for the homeowner (and so that there is fruit to be had during subsequent visits every other week),
(3) He leaves the better fruits on the tree for the homeowner, and just takes the sort of -B- rate fruits, (4) He usually only takes one or two pieces from each place so he never wears out his welcome with the homeowner by being greedy.

He apparently does that for the better part of the year and he says with just a little bit of extra supplementation of other food groups, it pretty well feeds him.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:45 PM
 
373 posts, read 633,527 times
Reputation: 243
Default Apples

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
Our property was all lawn, lawn, and more lawn when we bought it. Now it has daffodils, hostas, ferns, irises, and a beautiful arborvitae that's grown almost as tall as the house -- in just a few years. Some other flowering bushes that I don't know the name of. Oh, and lilac cuttings. All of this stuff was free, from neighbors and vacant lots. DW is great about digging up bunched bulbs, separating them out, and planting them in just the right places.

There are old apple trees in those lots, too, probably part of a farm in years past. I don't pretend to know the variety, and don't specially like the taste or texture. But DW knows how to make an outstanding applesauce which she cans, if I have the ambition to get her a few bushels of the apples. So I do! (grin).
Only a fraction of the Apple varieties that were around 100 years ago are still know to exist as in being able to just buy them. There were thousands now around 100. In the mid 60's I found and old abandoned orchard off route 1 in Bucks County Pa. It dated back before the Revolutionary War.
It was now in the middle of a forrest looking abandoned 30 to 50 years.
Many odd colors and sizes of apples. One archaic variety I found on an Old Apple web site Yellow ones around the size of grapefruits. BUt there many at that site. Some of the apples were much much larger then grape fruits. It was like people had been breeding apples to be large? There were small ones and just wild trees as well that were not so impressive. Many of the Apple trees were 3 and 4 feet thick. I was able to cound the years from ones that had fallen. Some of the varieties I saw have likely been last as they place was soon buldozed for a multiplex theatre.

There are no doubt apples out there that wuold be of interest for saving.
We go apple pies and canned apples and lots of sauce. I brought some to school so the teacher could see, everyone got apples in the class too. But at the time no one could find anything about them via the library or anywhere else. Today there is alot on the net as well as serious enthusiasts out there. I also could have checked real estate records and maybe found people who knew about the orchard.

The most popular Apple in the Orchard was the giant yellow.

Route 1 started as an Inidan trail, and that area was withing marching distance of Trenton NJ.
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