Why Harvest Urban Fruit?
(An excerpt from Solid Ground’s Urban Fruit Harvest guide)
Unlike planting a garden, owning a fruit tree is often unintentional. Many tree owners find that they have ‘inherited’ a fruit tree. Growing and harvesting the fruit may seem intimidating, if not an actual nuisance. But there are many reasons to think differently about urban fruit.
- Urban fruit is local food. Apples from down the street have the same benefits as apples from the store, and they are typically fresher.
- Many people can’t afford to buy organic produce – while most people with fruit trees have more than they can use. This creates opportunities for sharing.
- Harvesting fruit can build ties between neighbors and promote an interest in fruit trees, thus building community knowledge and resources.
- Unharvested fruit poses sanitation and pest problems. Dropping to the ground, the fruit creates a mess, may attract animals, and serves as a host for next year’s fruit pests.
- Unharvested fruit is a moral hazard, creating waste out of a much-needed resource.
- Harvesting and eating urban fruit can show children exactly where fruit comes from.
- Urban fruit is a potential source of revenue to support individuals and causes.