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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Neighborhood Fruit is the Urban Foraging Database We Were Yearning For. Sort Of

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 4:52 PM

click to enlarge The city fruit-tree finder has a mobile app, too. - NEIGHBORHOOD FRUIT
  • Neighborhood Fruit
  • The city fruit-tree finder has a mobile app, too.
Last week, we posted about Portland's Urban Edibles, a cool online database of that city's wild foods sources. We wondered if such an operation might soon surface in San Francisco. Almost immediately, we learned that it had ― albeit from a different angle. Designed to help people find and share fruit, Neighborhood Fruit has mapped over 10,000 trees nationwide ― including nearly 5,000 in San Francisco proper, according to founder Kaytea Petro. Currently in beta, the project allows fruit tree owners to register their trees and make them available to foragers. Foragers, in turn, can make contact with the owners, as well as sniff out fruit-bearing shrubbery on public land.

For now, the service is free to encourage participation, though the site implies that could change down the road. We registered and had a peek at our own neighborhood to see what was growing. We found a few avocados and a Lisbon lemon ― not quite the deluge we were expecting ― but we figured we were probably doing something wrong. We asked Petro and she stated the obvious, what should have crossed our minds in the first place: The site's default settings show only public-land trees currently bearing fruit ― at the moment, clearly, not many. Likewise, only one solitary little sharer appears to be currently on the prowl in the whole city.

Something tells us the service will grow with the summer harvest, at which point some of Neighborhood Fruit's "enhanced" services might, according to Petro, start costing a buck or too. Stay tuned.

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Andrew Simmons

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