Maybe you’ve heard of the StoryCorps project- perhaps you’ve spent lazy Sundays listening to vignettes featured on This American Life. If you’re not familiar with StoryCorps, though, here’s the description, taken from their website: “StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.”
In the style of StoryCorps, I would like to create an audio library of Forage Oakland vignettes, short stories that chronicle either a specific backyard fruit memory or more broadly, a relationship over the course of residence at particular Oakland location. For example, was there an unforgettable day, three summers ago where you and a friend harvested abundant fruit from your backyard plum tree, and spent the afternoon pitting and halving plums in preparation for plum jam? How about recollecting the events of a late June evening spent harvesting firm, green walnuts, quartering them, and submerging them in vodka; lemon and orange zest; fresh cinnamon; an improbable amount of sugar; and other ingredients one needs for nocino? Or maybe you have a story about a particularly poignant experience sharing fruit with your neighbors. Or maybe your memory is as simple as happening upon, for the first time ever, elderberries in the Oakland Hills.
Maybe you’ve since moved away from this small paradise of abundant fruit, and in doing so, you’ve been a bit reflective, thinking about what it means to have such an enduring relationship with the fruit that you eat every day, and maybe there’s no better time to share this memory while you are lamenting + celebrating your move.
Whatever you remember and care to share, share! The location is TBA, but will definitely happen over the course of the next few weeks. Stay tuned (and tell your friends, please!).