Among the originators of tree gleaning, L.A.’s Fallen Fruit have a different way of going about it. They bill themselves as an “activist art project.” The group started by mapping and gathering public fruit, “which is what we call all fruit on or overhanging public spaces such as sidewalks, streets or parking lots.”
They now have a humble goal:
We ask all of you to contribute your maps so they expand to cover the United States and then the world.
In addition to encouraging folks to map and harvest public fruit, they’re big on community-building. Part of that comes from their annual Public Fruit Jam, an event where participants bring public or home grown fruit and a jar, then leave with, you guessed it, jam.
(Slight tangent–I couldn’t help but notice that the host of the Public Jam also holds an annual Freeze-B-Q, which puts liquid nitrogen to good use. You bring food and they blend it and freeze it into a popsicle. Would more folks eat their leftovers if they were in a lickable form? Yeah, probably not. )
Back to Fallen Fruit, the reason I’m writing about them now is that the trio have two art exhibits on in L.A. Based on the review, it sounds like the latter, Fresh ‘n Easy, is really worth checking out for you Angelinos. In addition to the photographs and Public Jam jars, the exhibit will include:
a “Public Fruit Exchange,” which implements a “barter don’t buy” ethic implicit in much of their work. On these shelves will be public fruit left by the artists which is free to be taken and in particular exchanged for other fruit that visitors to the exhibition can bring from their neighborhood.