Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Found fruit: Online map is gateway to edibles

By DONNA BRYSON The Associated Press - Published: June 1, 2013

BOULDER - Ethan Welty is thinking ahead to harvest time as he cycles through tidy streets pointing out apple, plum and mulberry trees on public and private land.

"We're coming up on the best apple trees in Boulder," said Welty, a geographer and Ph.D. student specializing in glaciers in the University of Colorado's Environmental Studies program. He was approaching a front-yard grove of trees.

Last summer and fall, Welty said, he never went to a supermarket for fruit. He had two apple trees in his own yard, but began looking for more produce when he bought a cider press. Once he started paying attention, he was astonished at the bounty, and determined it should be shared. Now, it can be, thanks to a website Welty started with a fellow CU student with shared interests in computers and urban foraging.

And the sharing goes well beyond Boulder.

Want to find walnuts free for the picking in Iowa City? Locate loquats in New Orleans? Discover where a mulberry tree grows in Brooklyn? Check out fallingfruit.org, the site Welty and Caleb Phillips launched in March. They have gathered information mapped by amateur enthusiasts across the country and delved into inventories many cities and towns keep of trees on public spaces. And fallingfruit.org has gone international, with information coming from Australia, Britain, India, Israel and elsewhere.

Users first click on a hot spot on the site's large-scale map. Then, with a series of clicks to more and more detailed maps, home in on, say, a myrtle in Tallahassee, Fla. A spotter has added a note about its guava-like fruit - "a bunch, and super tasty." Links from there lead to more information from the Department of Agriculture or Wikipedia about a particular plant. Welty and Phillips welcome additions and updates.

Comment Policy

Our commenting system has changed. Please register or login with your gazette.com account to comment on a story. Click here for information.

You've reached your 4 FREE premium stories this month

Get 4 more FREE stories

Simply register to continue.

Register

Subscribe now

Get access unlimited access to premium stories.

Subscribe
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
OCT
22
OCT
23
OCT
24
OCT
25
OCT
26
OCT
27
OCT
28
OCT
29
OCT
30
OCT
31
NOV
1
NOV
2
NOV
3
NOV
4
Advertisement