Why Food You've Salvaged Should Be a Growing Part of Your Diet

The woman on the phone gave me directions to a house in a residential neighborhood. 

"The owners gave permission for the tree to be picked, but they don’t get home from work until two. Before then, don’t even knock on the door because they have two yipper dogs who will go crazy. If the dogs are in the backyard, knock on the neighbor’s door and he’ll put them inside,” she explained. “The tree is really tall, and I think it might be grafted, which means the upper cherries could be better than the lower ones, so if you have a ladder you should bring it. In this heat they aren’t going to last long so you should go soon. Do you think you can go today?”

My assigning officer had manila envelopes full of information on more than 100 trees around town, including 23 apricot, 52 apple, 16 plum and seven pear, as well as grapes, cherries and berries. When she’s out and about, she takes note of new ones, knocks on doors, and asks residents if they plan to pick their fruit. If not, she asks permission to send hungry harvesters like myself to do the picking.

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