Falling Fruit, described as “a type of matchmaking service for urban foragers”, is helping people to discover free edibles throughout the world, recovering food that would otherwise go to waste.
Falling Fruit’s interactive maps, that can be accessed via the non-profit’s website and mobile apps, document food-bearing trees, plants and other types of edibles in nearly 1.5 million locations across 111 countries and 6,340 cities. Often these edibles have fallen and left to go to waste on the streets.
The map is open-source, and new locations for fruit trees can be uploaded by anyone. New foraging locations are added regularly, making it easier to find anything from berry bushes and fruit trees to edible fungi and even food-filled urban dumpsters.
While Falling Fruit encourage its users to submit new listings, most of Falling Fruit’s data comes from cities and universities, which often make their tree inventories publicly available.
Currently Falling Fruit’s worldwide map lists more than 2,300 types of edibles in more than 1.3 million locations. Although most locations are publicly accessible, private property owners sometimes add themselves to the map to share their harvest with others.
Falling Fruit was founded by Boulder natives Ethan Welty and Caleb Phillips, who met at Boulder Food Rescue, a not-for-profit that redistributes food thrown away by retailers to organisations that feed the hungry. The pair bonded over an interest in sharing the urban harvest with as many people as possible.
Ethan Welty said: “Once you start looking for food-bearing plants in your city, you’ll realise that you’ve been surrounded by them all along. We’re excited that Falling Fruit is helping to reimagine cities as a source of food. Over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas:
“We want them to realise that there is edible bounty ready to be harvested, just down the street or around the corner. As the popularity of urban foraging grows, I hope that we can organise ourselves to cultivate increasingly more food-bearing (rather than just decorative) plants in our cities.”
Falling Fruit’s interactive map is not the first of its kind but aspires to be the world’s most comprehensive.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com