Monday, November 12, 2007

On fruit trees, amenity planting and community

So I've been meaning to post these pictures for an age and I thought I'd hitch them to yet another post about food and specifically fruit trees.


Really I just wanted an excuse to throw your attention to this awesome LA times story if the Ethicurean hasn't already done so.

Caltech put aside astrophysics and supercomputer technology Friday for an
earthier and more pungent obsession: harvesting from campus olive trees and
turning the crop into golden oil.

Across the Pasadena school, students, faculty and staff climbed 16-foot-high ladders and rode a couple of cherry-pickers to grab the black and green fruit from about 70 trees and dump it into buckets.

How awesome is that? There are so many little details in the story I love (such as the label design contest) that I recommend everyone peruse it and Tableau Vivante's insider take on the day. I think there is probably some sort of lesson here about community, food and amenity planning but I'm not sure quite how to phrase it. Perhaps - "If you plant them, fruit pickers will come"? I think people are starting, thanks to the likes of Messrs. Pollan and Fearnley-Whittingstall to get comfortable eating food they've removed from the environment themselves again and I think its a trend that's going to continue to develop until community fruit trees are watched for ripeness like hawks and neighbourhoods stake out their trees for harvest. Of course 80 year old urban olive groves don't grow on trees so to speak so perhaps we should anticipate and start planting today? After all in time of "food deserts" and rampant overpopulation if you have a choice between planting something that will produce food and something that looks essentially the same why wouldn't you choose the path of ethical and environmentally sound deliciousness?


Oh yeah, the photos. Those are a type of local mango known (I think) as cottage mangos. They're small and very, very sweet and I picked them all up off the road leading to my house when a tree I hadn't noticed before suddenly hit ripeness. So its a public fruit tree and hence vaguely relevant. Oh and that bowl? My dad made that - isn't he talented?

1 comment:

Amy said...

Ooohh, now I'm hungry. Thanks ;p