There's a meme out there that suggests "we" (SOCIETY) should plant lots and lots of fruit trees and bushes in our cities so that homeless people will have something free and accessible to eat.
On the surface, you would think that is a good idea, especially if you didn't hear the slight "ding" of that condescension bell, that almost makes the statement sound like the infamous "let them eat cake!"
Let them eat the bare minimum, and let them eat outside, (and far the hell away from me).
And more interestingly, people who are NOT homeless, shouldn't deign to eat this same fruit from the "outside"
It's good enough for homeless people,
But not good enough for the rest of US
I enjoy eating fruit for free, personally.
And so the fruit you find may not be perfect, but you'd be surprised how big and even blemish-free the fruit you find "out in the wild" can be.
It also tastes pretty good, if you haven't picked it too early
These apples and pears that grow near my house, lay ignored by the people who actually own the trees (as if in the grand scheme of things, that were even possible, but this is a property-driven, ownership world we live in)
I eat the good parts and I make juice with the rest. I made "apple cider soap" with some of the juice yesterday, and I plan to make a batch of vinegar with some future juice
This past June, a plum tree I never saw produce any fruit before, produced a bunch of fruit
Spilled it all over the sidewalk, where I believe I was the lone person to come gleefully scoop it up
They were little baby plums, and there were tons, and they were delicious!
(Hope they come back next year!)
This really is like magic treasure
I didn't see any homeless people scooping them up
I didn't see ANYONE scooping them up, because people in general just don't believe that fruit can or should be eaten outside of the grocery store (and things from "nature" are inferior and bad)
Yeah, I really think they do
They are so detached from nature, and I doubt a homeless person, possibly in the throws of whatever despair, would even care
(but what do I know? which is nothing)
I wish these were the days of a Huckleberry Finn, who, once kicked out of his home or having runaway, knew how to survive in the woods and could survive on foraging small fruits and roots and other such "trash" ( as he referred to it, because it wasn't meat or corn pone, it wasn't considered substantial, and maybe it isn't)
This past weekend was the Paw Paw festival in southern Ohio, and I glumly paid ten dollars for four paw paws
Paw paws are wild fruit I could have picked for nothing had I known where to look, but instead I had to give those magic tokens for the opportunity to taste paw paw fruit for the first time
(Paws paws are quickly perishable and aren't suited to long distance transport, one of the reasons they've never really taken off as a commercial fruit)
There are probably other reasons as well, reasons I have no knowledge of
A lady in the neighborhood grows raspberries along the fence of her yard, and she doesn't mind when the young kids of the village ( mean gosh oops the neighborhood) come out and feast on them on a summer's eve
I personally have masses of black raspberries that grow in front of my house that I have on tap for few weeks every summer; a bowl a day when they're at their peek; no one else partakes that I can detect
It feels amazing to have power like that, to have food for free, and to have the knowledge that that food is edible and free
It's also a way to build community, build relationships with other people "oh that old lady with the currants in her backyard"
Another story I have is when I was intent on buying peaches at the West Side Market one afternoon last year and I was like "GAWD but they're so expensive" but like "GAWD I really want some!" They're so delicious and so epitomize SUMMER
And I'm circling around Hingetown not able to make up my mind when this old white man comes out and asks me what's wrong and I tell him my conundrum and he tells me "hey! I know where you can get some nice peaches for free!"
And we walk down the street together to some trees by the new Transformer station museum-thing that the Cleveland Art Museum set up a few years ago and lo and behold, here are peaches
And some of them quite good. I load up, and I talk to the fellow some more, and then I head out on my way, having averted paying five or six dollars for a pint of peaches and having gotten some nice, sweet tasting peaches for free ( and I met a nice guy)
And the Universe really does listen to you (but no offense to farmers who really need that money to keep on providing us with great produce)
Basically, I think maybe individuals in-this-country might want to reconsider food snobbishness and reassess where their food comes from
Keep on the look out for some tasty free bites and go ahead and take a chance (don't eat anything obviously poisonous though). It's a portal to a whole new dimension, and it doesn't cost you a thing
Fluorine Magellan has earned her living justifying the existence of synthetic chemical companies, but she lives her real life indulging in lo natural