urban forager

During the weekdays I walk my eldest daughter a block up to her primary school. For months I've been eyeing off this blueberry bush laden with fruit. I've knocked on the door of the old weatherboad house a number of times to ask the owners what they plan on doing with this fruit before it falls off the vine and rots. I just can't stand the waste of such a resources, even more so that delightful tasty resource of Blueberries. Actually it's a real bugbear of mine, seeing neighbours trees full of fruit that just gets wasted because they either don't know what to do with it or don't care enough to try to find out how to use it. I often find myself knocking on people's doors and asking permission and invariably hassling them as to why they don't use such a valuable resource. I've often been told by land owners that they still buy apples from the supermarket because they don't like the taste of the apples that grow on the tree in their backyard. Sometimes out of pure frustration I just pick away without permission, especially when the tree hangs over onto a lane way or back alley. If these people are too stupid to realise the potential of their resource then they don't deserve it. I know that might sound all soap box but it's just the way I view it. Anyway back to the walk to school today. We arrived at school, again we past the berries I eyed off with envy once again (our Blueberry shrub gave nothing but foliage this year). At school I picked some Celery from the school vegetable patch which was going to waste. In my head I had already made plans for the fresh celery sticks, they would end up as the crunch in a Prawn pesto risotto for lunch. My youngest and I then head off for the 'arduous' block walk home. I had already harvested the celery and was pleased with the mornings haul, but those berries they weighed heavily on my mind. Should I just go ahead and pick them? Sure I would probably break a few local by-laws but was the risk worth the effort? I knocked on the door, still no answer. Did anyone actually life here? Had they moved away? I wasn't going to settle on my internal semantics and justification, this was about a wasted resource. This fruit is so expensive to buy, so seasonal, so delicious. I made my choice, off came my NY yankees cap (my cliché souvenir of last years visit to NYC). It was quickly filled of berries as the two of us feverishly picked. It's amazing how many blue berries a three year old girl can pick, especially when her Dad is saying "quick quick lets pick fast and avoid jail time". Okay so not really so drastic, but it was fun pretending...or have I got my girl off to a bad start? I didn't care. These Blueberries were now ours and would sit nicely on some crepes this evening.

Lesson so be learnt from today. Blue berries taste best when stolen.