Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Jane: The sweetness of stolen apples
We went walking through Brucemore on Sunday--it was a beautiful warm day in the 70s--and decided to walk through the orchard. There on the ground were apples--red, yellow--all scattered about!
"I guess the deer aren't eating them," I commented. Eli golfed them with a stick.
I just didn't like seeing those beautiful apples go to waste, so I picked a few up and stuck them in my pocket. Some were from a tree labeled "Descendant of Johnny Appleseed Tree"--those were golden and very hard--"keeping" apples, clearly.
When we got home, I chopped them up and made a pot of applesauce--boy was that good!
This year I also scavanged black walnuts from our street. There are a couple of big trees, and the nuts just got scattered all over the street and sidewalk. One day I discreetly picked a few up from the sidewalk and took them home. I shucked them and let them cure for 2 weeks in the basement, which I found was what you're supposed to do with black walnuts.
This weekend, I cracked them on the patio with a hammer. Reminded me of cracking black walnuts with my Grandma Claspy--wonder if hers were scavanged from someplace. I bet so. I can't imagine her letting perfectly good walnuts go to waste. I think I'll make some refrigerator cookies with them.
I've been doing a bit of research on urban foraging (that's what some people call it--not scavanging), and apparently it's quite the "in" thing, especially in California where there are lots of fruit trees. Many of the organizations provide maps of fruit trees in public places--parks, etc. In England, this is called "scrumping"!
A BlogHer article about it compiled a list of organizations that support urban foraging, including organization that scavanges for food banks! There's a branch in Iowa City, so I may call them. I'm considering writing an article on it to submit to Radish Magazine . . . maybe I'll also call some friends that do urban and rural foraging for mushrooms, berries, wild asparagas, etc. I'm not