Have you recently found yourself searching for fruit in all the wrong places? Or perhaps you have a fruit tree but you just cannot eat all of that tasty fruit! Sarasota County’s ecosystem is ideal for many fruit trees to flourish. Just in my own neighborhood, Indian Beach Sapphire Shores, I have seen many fruiting trees including starfruit, lime, grapefruit, orange, avocado, mango, and mulberry. Wouldn't it be nice to fuel your body with some fresh, free, delicious fruit while walking through your neighborhood? By mapping all the locations of fruit trees on public lands, communities all over the world have been preventing fruit from getting wasted and improving the diets of local residents. FallingFruit.org is a resource for discovering or mapping urban foods. FallingFruit boasts that they “…hope to facilitate intimate connections between people, food, and the natural organisms growing in our neighborhoods.” This resource links nicely to another local resource, the Open Green Map, which is a tool which “promotes inclusive participation in sustainable community development.” On the Open Green Map, users have the ability to map and find “Food Gathering Sites” and can also map various “Sustainable Living, Nature, and Culture and Society” resources. Residents are encouraged to add their own comments, green ratings, images and videos to the mapped locations. The Open Green Map has so many great features, you really just have to check it out for yourself!
How cool would it be to have your local fruit trees cataloged on one of these free mapping resources? Neighbors could connect over making mulberry jams or exchanging mojito recipes. Beyond the obvious tasty applications, younger residents will have an accessible resource to learn about how food grows and get kids excited about foraging for fruit! So, where do you forage for food? Please share in the comments or be the first to put Sarasota’s fruit trees on these maps.