Blogs » The World is My Napkin » Time to pick those plants bare

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Scattered around town, growing in dank alleys and along chain link fences are plants ripe for the picking. I'm certain there are many other people who know about them too, the bare vines and plants are evidence of this. Or perhaps its not people who are plucking the trees and vines, but possibly animals instead. Who knows? Regardless of who it is, there are plenty of plants out there to be picked.

Or better yet, maybe you have a garden that is overgrown with produce you don't have time to pickle or use this week for dinner? I want to build a foraging community of people who are interested in "hunting and gathering" their way to tonight's dinner or dessert. For instance, during the spring, loquat trees produce more than enough fruit for snacks or to cook with than one family could possible go through. Why not pick you trees – which is as healthy for them as it is for you – and share the wealth with the community. This might also serve as a networking opportunity for you to learn new recipes, and exchange cooking tips with other people in the area who share the same passion for food as you.

I propose, to everyone in the the Crossroads, we build a network where we can share the fruits of our labor, so to speak. Of course, there are laws involved with this and I can't encourage people to trespass or illegally sell any fruits or produce, but there are ways around it. For instance, you can pick fruit on public property. That means any of the Mustang grapes growing along the river bank in Riverside Park are free for foraging. But lets say, that you have a bunch of vines on your property, but don't want to pick them, then you can grant people from the community access to your land to pick and forage freely.

Now for the matter of selling the fruit, you have to be certified to sell produce. You need proper papers to sell roadside or via the farmers market to make profit. However, if you chose to trade your produce with other foragers, there is no law saying you can't do that. Even better, you can give it away. The only thing with this kind of set up is that it operates off of the honesty policy. Don't trespass, don't sell illegally and don't trade what you know isn't worth it.

Let me know what you think and let's get this thing going. I want to start something in Victoria for members of the community to enjoy for seasons to come.I'm interested to see if there are people who want to make this happen.

Send me an email at jrodrigo@vicad.com or write me a comment below. Let's make this happen.