Jasmine blossoms + lavender

Jasmine blossom and lavender harvesting yesterday at the house of Sam and Oliver (photo: Oliver Monday).

Last week, I sent an announcement to the Forage Oakland mailing list detailing upcoming events. Here are a couple of excerpts, in addition to the PlaySpace networking/ opening party Friday evening:

Seeking Fruit Delivery Cyclists

Having a year under my belt, a few things are clear to me now, one of which is the importance of having regularly scheduled harvest and delivery days. I’d like to experiment with Tuesdays and Sundays as spring harvest days and Wednesday and Thursday as spring delivery days. While it’s best to keep to these days, please do let me know if these days don’t agree with your schedule so that we might make other arrangements.

I am seeking a small crew of cyclists to make deliveries in and around the North Oakland/ South Berkeley neighborhood at most twice a week. This would be a six month commitment– great fun, and very satisfying. It would basically entail you meeting me or a Forage Oakland volunteer who would hand off a small brown paper bag package (or two) full of neighborhood fruit. A delivery address will be given, and you can expect to bike to the house in no more than twenty minutes. Fruit deliveries can usually be left on the front doorstep unless specific directions are given otherwise. Once you have left the fruit, you’ll contact me to let me know the delivery has been made.

It promises to be a lovely way to meet your neighbors, enjoy the spring time weather, and learn a new geography of how fruit travels from one hand to the next, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve played a part in it all. If this appeals to you, please email me. If you’ve previously emailed me expressing interest in becoming a Forage Oakland harvester, this might be a good alternative. Assembling a harvesting crew proved to have legal impediments (i.e. purchasing accident insurance, for example) that might be more costly than it’s worth. You are encouraged and welcome to make the entire experience quite interactive, i.e. record the fruit harvest; processing; packaging; cycling to the delivery home; and the delivery itself. Or, photos could be taken as well. Or a hand drawn map of the cycled route could be included. It is up to you.

And also

There has been quite a bit of interest in mapping the public and private fruit trees in Berkeley and Oakland, and at this point, we are in danger of reinventing the wheel. Several projects are mapping overlapping neighborhoods, and rather than waste time and resources, why not collaborate? I propose that we start a wiki for anyone who is actively mapping fruit tree locations in East Bay neighborhoods. While it seems next to impossible to ever actually coordinate schedules to meet in person, this great Internet has made it entirely possible that we can accomplish a fair amount of useful work online, and then meet periodically to celebrate and share our work with one another. If you are interested in being part of an East Bay fruit tree mapper wiki, email me. Let us collaborate and create a tool that can be useful to many. Together we can decide what form it can take and what sort of information will be disseminated.

Please email me directly if either of these propositions sound appealing: forageoakland@gmail.com.

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