Edible Parks

I walked down our long driveway today and discovered that the blackberries are ripe. I love this time of year. You can find the invasive Himalayan blackberries growing in residential alleys, empty city lots, and clearcuts all over the Pacific Northwest. Any patch of land that is neglected will soon be consumed.
Every yard and wild place is positively dripping with bountiful produce this time of year. Blackberries, (which people pay top-dollar for in other parts of the country) are abundantly available. Plums, cherries, and pears are easy to come by as well.
But why are our parks so barren of these delights?
Sidewalks are covered in bleeding berries grown too soft and heavy for the bush. You can actually smell them everywhere. But not at the park.
I think we ought to allow some areas of Heritage park grow over with blackberries. We could prune walkways into them to make them easy to wander through and pick.
And we should plant fruit trees everywhere.
Silly that anyone should bring a picnic to the park this time of year. Much better to have the picnic await them there!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know in my own yard I have more blackberries growing then I possibly can use. Many times during the season I find Latino families making outings to my berry patch and making a day of picking berries for their consumption. It is particularly gratifying to to see the whole family there, mom, dad, and kids. I also have a nice plum tree that has the most remarkable but tiny plums. The deer get to eat most of my apples, but I'm happy to share with all.

In California they have something like a hanging fruit law, basically if the fruit is hanging over your fence and onto the sidewalk anyone can pick it. When I was doing my time in California I rarely purchased fruit. On my way home from work I could pick lemons, pommegranates, figs, grapefruits, avocados, and other tasty fruits. I'm not certain what the intention of the hanging fruits law was, but I am mighty grateful for the opportunity I had to indulge in this fine produce.

Sharing is something that builds community. I am happy to share with my Latino neighbors and encourage them to make use of the produce in my yard. I'll often see the same people at the grocery store and they remember who I am and we alway share a smile and some awkward English. It is a theory of mine that what allowed humans to evolve into what we are today is due to the fact that early man pretty much shared to survive. It is the spirit of sharing that will help our species survive into the future, I can't see us surviving any other way.

Wild berries in the park, other edible produce planted in public places would be a terrific thing and I'm glad you brought this up. Like the artesian well in Olympia it would be a resouce shared by all, and that is a very good thing for our community.

Crenshaw Sepulveda

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Machete Red said...

seed bombs. nuff said.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Emmett said...

There are dozens of "oyster/clam parks" throughout Puget Sound. Two of the best in my opinion are Frye Cove County Park on Eld Inlet and the Duckabush River estuary tidelands on Hood Canal.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Robert Whitlock said...

Plant fruit trees everywhere, now you're talkin'.

4:40 PM  

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