If a SHTF event struck tomorrow, how long will food last for your family? The fact is most of us don’t feel comfortable that our stores will be able to get us through a long term situation. Many of us cannot last longer than two weeks. In addition, even if you’ve got a store full of beans and rice, fresh fruits and vegetables are always welcome.
The Falling Fruit Map
We’ve found a map to help you find fruit in your neighborhood that could otherwise be rotting on the ground. It’s not the only one, and below I’ll provide you some other resources, but the target of Falling Fruit is to be the most detailed map of its kind. Its strength (and potentially its weakness) is that the map can be supplemented with details. It allows extra data to be added, but it also ensures that you have to check that the fruit is genuinely on sale and not added to the platform by a passer-by without the owner’s permission.
When I typed in my home address, I noticed a loquat tree in my neighborhood right away and many mulberry trees with several others within an easy drive from my house.
I started to look through The Lost Book of Remedies and found so many tinctures and remedies I could make using trees.
Try it on Falling Fruit for yourself. First, I suggest that you type in your zip code or city, then your actual address. You’ll be able to see easily if any fruit is safe to take in your neighborhood. And don’t forget to add those addresses where you’ll see unused fruit on the ground. Let’s do all we can to reduce the waste in food.
Before harvesting the fruit, please remember to ask the landowner for permission. This includes fruit found in parks and on public property. Just before I planted a mango tree in my front yard I waited until the fruit was fully ripe. I find a neighbor picking the tree clean when I went out to collect the fruit. He possibly assumed I wouldn’t use the fruit. I am not going to tell you what I was thinking about him. So, ask first please.
Like I said, Falling Fruit isn’t the only place that might help you out. The two sites below are ideal for large country areas. There are also several small maps and directories showing different local neighbourhoods. It can be found online with a quick scan.
Edible Cities rely on Google Maps and allow you to let Google know your location for the map to be pulled up. This displays the positions of several food foraging plants, including greens, vegetables, and fruits. I haven’t noticed a lot in my area, but some users do report good results.
Fruits of the Hood shows edible plants in the Southeast plus Pennsylvania and Oregon. Many of the plants remain in North Carolina’s original area, however, it has branched out into neighboring states. I’m not living in the area, so I couldn’t check the site for its usefulness. If you’re trying it, let us know what the comments below give you.
Keeping Track of Foraging Opportunities
I recommend you keep a journal and a map of where edible plants are to be found. It could be a true lifesaver for you and your family in a situation of SHTF. Notice where you find the food, when it’s ripe or available, and be sure to provide good identifying details so you can identify the plant correctly before harvesting it.
I know a forager who goes a step further with this strategy and plants seeds from his kitchen scraps with vacant land around his neighborhood. It is not a garden and needs nothing but dropping the seeds and keeping to their location. When he comes back, he often discovers a free bounty of fruits or vegetables.Where the land is regularly mowed, it doesn’t work well, but it can be done in slightly wooded areas which get some sun but are hard to mow.
I forage for edible fruits, vegetables, salad greens, and medicinal herbs and I rely on good identifying data to assist me in this mission. It’s incredibly essential to be able to classify the plant positively, growing parts are edible, and how to prepare them.
A good physical book such as The Lost Book of Remedies, is available to you at any time (once you have purchased it; of course), but there might not always be online maps and tools available. To make use of online sources, make a physical copy now and visit the site to search for yourself. Take careful notes, so that when the SHTF takes place you will have everything you need.