People search their cities and neighborhoods for unused or unwanted things: litter, refuse ... even food. Fallen fruit is often overlooked (either after it’s fallen to the ground or while still on the tree). It can be harvested, gleaned, or just observed.
The Fallen Fruit Collective started when 3 artists (David Burns, Austin Young and Matias Viegener) began examining the space between houses in their Los Angeles neighborhood. They quickly discovered over 100 fruit trees in a five-city block area offering organic public fruit year-round. They mapped this resource and shared it with others.
HOW TO CREATE A FRUIT MAP
1. Find a neighborhood with lots of fruit growing in or over public space
2. Trace an outline of the streets and place little symbols for the fruit trees
3. Share with your friends
(NOTE: these maps should be suggestive and playful, not overly precise, and used to encourage people to explore their own neighborhoods.)
People rarely eat the fruit growing in their own gardens. They simply assume it’s not as good somehow as fruit from the market. That two block journey they take by car to their local grocery store further reinforces that disconnect. Los Angeles is a car culture — everything is seen through windshields ... against the soundtrack of cell phone conversations. Part of these artists’ mission is to get people to look at things they sometimes don’t see. People often stop to talk to them when they pick. One girl told them she didn’t eat bananas because she thought you were supposed to eat the banana peel, which she hated. It wasn’t until she tried one on an LA sidewalk that she changed her mind.
People in image: David and Austin
(Austin’s shirt shows a Copenhagen neighborhood mapped by Fallen Fruit)
Photograph taken at: Sunset Junction Back Alley, Los Angles, CA on February 2, 2011