What I am realizing is that no one, unless they really do have a well-intentioned plan for all the bounty their trees might produce, will say no to a request of a stranger harvesting several of the fruit to sample or share with others. Yesterday Anya and I spent the better part of the evening on our bicycles visiting three different houses in the Rockridge neighborhood. First, we visited David, who lives near Hardy Park. I once lived two houses over from David, very briefly, and did not know him when I was his neighbor. This time, Anya and I spotted David on his roof as we arrived to the park, and we yelled up a request to harvest several of his yellow plums, after- of course- sampling one that had fallen over the fence into the adjacent public park. David came down from his rooftop perch and helped Anya and me harvest a generous number of plums and also gave us an impromptu history lesson of the Hardy Park neighborhood, having been a long time resident himself. Now, what if I told you that the tree that was bearing the delicious yellow apricot plums came from a seed of a plum that David sampled while at Yosemite nine years ago? It is true. After enjoying the plum, David planted the seed along the fence that borders Hardy Park, and nine years later, there are enough plums to generously and enthusiastically share with his neighbors.
What if Forage Oakland started a seed library? This is a distinct possibility for the coming season.
Here are photos from the harvest at David’s house:
Next, we peddled down the Temescal Creek a bit and happened upon blackberries. We harvest two small containers-worth, which we traded for plums later in the evening. Next, on to the dream house on Clifton St. We knocked on the front door and were invited by the owner to harvest as many apricots and blackberries as we liked. We sampled one fallen apricot and were hooked; we took 7 more perfectly ripe apricots home with us. The owner then came out the house and offered us harvest of the plum tree in the front. Anya and I were both overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers. Anomie prevails everyday, so small interventions are always a surprise. We were invited to use the ladder and given access to the backyard which was a small Eden: adriatic figs, peaches, French plums, mint, blackberries, pomegranates, lemons. This is all in addition to the front yard wonderland that was the green plum tree, the perfectly ripe apricots, and the apple tree that is on its way. Here are photos: