If you’d like to learn a bit more about Forage Oakland’s involvement with the MacArthur Foundation sponsored Mobile Action Lab, follow this link. The new urban harvesting mobile application will allow users to locate fruit trees within a specified geographic area and to be notified as the fruit is ripening (and thus ready for harvest) and contact Oakland-ers (and eventually users in other cities, but Oakland will serve as the pilot city) who are available to assist with harvesting in exchange for a certain quantity of excess backyard fruit. In addition, the application will allow fruit tree owners to donate (or barter, if they choose) their glut to a local non-profit that is in need of a regular supply of fruit.
This application will essentially crowd-source the labor- staying abreast of a fruit tree’s ripening schedule; contacting fruit tree owners; arranging for harvesting and redistribution- that results in a successful urban fruit redistribution program. It has the potential to increase the amount of excess fruit that is equitably redistributed to individuals, households, and community organizations in Oakland, as it will increase the efficiency by which residents can contact willing harvesters, and harvesters can- in turn- redistribute said fruit. I look forward to the application’s launch later this summer, and please check the Mobile Action Lab or the Forage Oakland blog for updates about this exciting collaboration.