Monday, August 24, 2009

Local Heroes: Urban Foraging

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Cool. Nice story on STIR member Jake Kosker and the other urban foragers in Salem.

. . . Kosker is part of a growing movement that touts the sweetness of fruit picked from street trees, local parks or neighbor's yards that would otherwise go to waste.

Urban foraging could be as simple as picking blackberries at a local park or as involved as Kosker's daily trek for plums, cherries, hazelnuts and walnuts through the alleys of his northeast Salem neighborhood.

Web sites such as, and Portland's have popped up throughout the country, providing maps and encouraging city dwellers to forage for urban fruit. From a local food standpoint, it's hard to get more local than your own neighborhood. . . .

Marion-Polk Food Share launched its own urban harvest team last year to pick neighborhood fruit trees.

The food bank often gets calls from homeowners who don't have the time or physical ability to keep up with the harvest, said Kat Daniel who runs the program as part of the Women Ending Hunger campaign.

"We have people calling saying, 'we have this plum tree. Can you pick this plum tree?' " she said.

Now they can. She hopes to expand the program to include more volunteer harvesting teams so they don't have to turn jobs away during peak times. . . .

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