Written by: NPR News
Date: April 23, 2013

Falling Fruit tells you where you can pick peaches and other foods free for the taking around the world. Photo: istockphoto.com

Falling Fruit tells you where you can pick peaches and other foods free for the taking around the world. Photo: istockphoto.com

If you really love your peaches and want to shake a tree, there’s a map to help you find one. That goes for veggies, nuts, berries and hundreds of other edible plant species, too.

Avid foragers Caleb Philips and Ethan Welty launched an interactive map last month that identifies more than a half-million locations across the globe where fruits and veggies are free for the taking. The project, dubbed “Falling Fruit,” pinpoints all sorts of tasty trees in public parks, lining city streets and even hanging over fences from the U.K. to New Zealand.

The map looks like a typical Google map. Foraging locations are pinned with dots. Zoom in and click on one, and up pops a box with a description of what tree or bush you can find there. The description often includes information on the best season to pluck the produce, the quality and yield of the plant, a link to the species profile on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website, and any additional advice on accessing the spot.

A screenshot of the Falling Fruit interactive map. Photo: Falling Fruit

A screenshot of the Falling Fruit interactive map. Photo: Falling Fruit

Welty, a photographer and geographer based in Boulder, Colo., compiled most of the locations from various municipal databases, local foraging organizations and urban gardening groups. Additionally, the map is open for public editing – Wikipedia-style.

“I’m a data geek,” Welty says. “I feel like there is power in getting everything onto one map. A map is like a very narrow lens on the world, but I think it’s very powerful because of how narrow it is.”

Clearly, with dozens of countries boasting thousands of foraging destinations, it’s practically impossible for Welty and Philips to verify all of the spots. Welty says they have to rely on the honesty of the contributors when it comes to listing trees in potentially off-limits locations, like private properties or fenced-in parks. In many of those cases, the entry contributors tell potential foragers to ask the property owners for permission. The map has more than 6,700 crowdsourced entries so far.

Jeff Wanner stands among the 500 pounds of apples he picked from neighborhood trees in a couple of hours with Falling Fruit co-founder Ethan Welty in Boulder, Colo., last fall.. Photo: Ethan Welty/Falling Fruit

Jeff Wanner stands among the 500 pounds of apples he picked from neighborhood trees in a couple of hours with Falling Fruit co-founder Ethan Welty in Boulder, Colo., last fall.. Photo: Ethan Welty/Falling Fruit

The duo says they created Falling Fruit essentially to form a community for novice and pro foragers alike. Philips, who is a computer scientist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, says there’s value in pulling a carrot from the ground or an apple from a tree to eat.

“If I can apply my skills to help people realize that there is a fruit tree down the street that they can pick, then that’s just a simple thing I can do to reconnect people with how food works and get them away from the notion that food is only in a grocery store,” he says.

Now, the map doesn’t limit its entries to fruits and veggies. Welty says it also lists beehives, public water wells, and even dumpsters with excess food waste.

“There is someone who posted a squirrel with a recipe for him,” he says. “Gray squirrel is an invasive species. He’s encouraging people to hunt for squirrels, so hey, why not?”

Welty says he hopes the map and its stable of contributors will keep growing — so much so that it ends up influencing cities’ land use and management plans.

“The big goal, in a way,” he says, “is to make people realize that there is potential [for foraging in cities] and deliberately create food forests, like the Beacon Food Forest and others around the country — to rethink what a city should look like.”

Postscript, April 24: If you spot a problem with one of the entries in the map, please let Welty and Philips know — send an email to: info[at]fallingfruit.org.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

  • shrimlock

    The Silent Woman Bar was i believe on East Main, just east of James.
    The signage in neon or lit up from behind maybe, was extremely provocative.
    It showed an image of a female with her, holding her own head or her head somehow detached.
    Depicting the female as presumably silent. And even holding the knife?
    pretty grisly, and disturbing and was evident to anyone driving around there up till the 90’s, it seems.

  • shrimlock

    The other one that was near the Motel Greg Lashutka got in trouble win he was prosecutor, And i think that was on East Broad, that was the Pink Elephant.

  • Barbara Cruz

    what about hanleys steak house sullivant ave Columbus ohio

  • Barbara Cruz

    does anyone have a copy of the menu or pictures

  • Mr.Gale.B

    I need an exact and correct answer:
    Where was “Top of the Center” located? In WHAT building?

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Slow hipster service and slow kitchen. Expensive prices. Don’t visit if you want to see food on your table in under 45 minutes. However the food quality, taste and presentation is very good! Ambiance is contemporary cool inside, very different from what you may have the impression of from the exterior of this old Tim Horton’s location. Good bar and drink selection. Overpriced menu. On the west coast you can find this style of filipino restaurant serving same dishes for $7.50. Here they will set you back $12-$18. You can’t even get into appetizers for less than $10 unless you want a bowl of rice. Don’t know if they’ll survive, table turnover is way too slow, even though they’re making large profit margin per dish, it’s just way too slow. If you have an evening to kill, this would be a good hangout. Don’t attempt a weekday lunch or dinner. You’ll see a good hipster millinial crowd here.

    • lettuce dolphin

      hello, I have worked at a Bibibop for 2 years now, the price for a chicken (spicy or regular) bowl currently is 6.75$, steak bowl is 7.25$, and a tofu bowl is 6.65$. Along with that the appetizers are 1$ for pineapple, 1.50$ for edamame and kimchi. Also drinks are 1.75$ but come out to 1.88$ after tax.
      A chicken bowl with a drink is 9.14$ if you eat in and 8.63$ if you take it to go.
      Also the service is incredibly fast, if there is no line we can usually get someone to make an entire bowl in about 1-2 minutes. The only time service is slow is when there is a rush, around 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm, and even slow is an understatement, once you get to the line it usually takes about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes to get through. Also the line length and time depends on the store, i have worked at several Bibibop’s and some attract a larger crowd than others. The most visited age demographic in my opinion is about 20-25 and 40-50.

      The reason i started working at a Bibibop is because of the low prices for such a delicious and large amount of food, the bowls are about the size of two softballs, i do not know how many fluid ounces off hand though, i believe around 48 fluid ounces.
      If you have any other questions or anything about Bibibop i got you, i’m not being paid to do this, i just came across it while on the internet and saw a lot of inflated prices and felt like sharing the exact price.

      I hope you all have a great day, Take care always!

      • lettuce dolphin

        Also a lot of the prices on the op post are not correct and we do not carry some items anymore, such as the Pellegrino.

        Take care always!

      • Otto Gronkowski

        Bibbiop is nice KoreanAmerican hybrid chain started by Charlie, of Charlie’s Steakery (He’s Korean). My comment was about Bonifacio PhillipinoAmerican restaurant near Grandview

  • Laurie Wickline

    Didn’t see Milanos. Used to go there all the time! Loved the lasagna!!!

  • Denise Lafferty

    Bill Knapps

    • Jim Early

      looks like they closed in 2001:
      Bill Knapps 2100 Bethel Road Columbus
      Bill Knapps 6851 N High St Worthington
      Bill Knapps 2199 Riverside Dr Columbus
      Bill Knapps 12995 Stonecreek Dr Pickerington

  • Carol Francis

    Knights Ice Cream has been closed since 2015!

  • Judith Swanson

    I have a few random comments. There was a restaurant in the early 80’s on Main (downtown) called Numbers which was run by Steven Bimbo (King of the Gypsies). Siam (both the original restaurant on Bethel and a branch in German Village (where Bavaria House used to be). John’s Village Junction on High in German Village. Many restaurants opened and closed in Brewery District. Butchie’s (east) had a couple of other names which were more Italian sounding. Columbus Steak House was in a shopping center at east of 71 on 161. We went there a lot in the 1980’s.

    • Butches started out as a Dog N Suds in the 1960’s then was Joseppi’s for a number of years, then Armondo’s for a while then Butches

    • Dean Congin

      Loved Siam. I lived at Olentangy Commons and ate there all the time. You’re right about Brewery Dist, lots of turnover in Brewery District. I used to play in a popular 80s band and we would play most of the German Village bars. Good times.

  • Sara Davis

    The Silent Woman was locared on Main St in Whitehall, a couple blocks East of Yearling Rd

  • Sandy B

    This is one of my favorite restaurants and I always recommend it to friends who want good seafood, but don’t want to take out a loan to get it. The service is terrific, the food is great, the prices are beyond reasonable, and parking is easy. I do wish the Gaslight were still at the other end of this shopping center!

    • Pamela Sam Edwards

      I went there for my senior prom. First fancy restaurant I had ever been to. Great food bad date.

  • Ben Huntoon

    How about Shakey’s Pizza in Whitehall. Don’s Drive-In in Reynoldsburg.

  • Lynne Groban

    There used to be a restaurant on E. Main Street next to Norwood’s amusement park . The neon sign showed a chicken. It was on the west side of the amusement park toward Nelson Rd. Does anyone remember the name of the restaurant and was it any good?

    Also, there was the Berwick Grill on College Avenue.

  • Mike Poliseno

    Pete’s Red Pig at Hamilton and Main or Emils

  • Dean Congin

    Farrell’s Ice Cream, Cadillac Cafe, Rockys

  • Galata Mediterranean Cuisine

    In NYC, for Turkish food, you should visit Galata. Here you can get a modern selection of most popular and most loved dishes of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine as well as the mouth watering desserts.

  • Teri Gallagan-Horning

    There was a place on the West side called Sir Loin that served…well…sirloin steak dinners. There was also a place called the Fireside Inn that was owned by Bob Marvin (a.k.a. Flippo the Clown) that was also on the West side.

  • ubu62001

    Cockerells in Westerville.

  • The Silent woman was a bar in Whitehall on E Main between Hamilton and Yearling, South side of the street.

  • Pamela Sam Edwards

    Anyone remember a restaurant on either morse road or 161. It was an Italian restaurant and on the weekends there was Donna Marie on the piano. My husband and I were in our mid 20’s and the rest of the clientele were, let’s say seniors. They were all dressed up and dancing to the music. What a fun place to have dinner.
    I think it was called Lombardi’s.

  • Cindi Clark-Gillotte

    Fabulous food here and good people!!!!! Mouth watering delicious hummus!!! Yum Yum.

  • Judy Edmister Gaines

    Does anyone remember YEARLING ROAD PIZZA from 1960’s?? It was really one of the best small pizza places for Whitehall /Columbus ….. miss their pizzas but their Subs were … just SOOOO GOOOOD!!!

  • Lynne Groban

    Thanks for the tip and for researchimg the restaurant. Have a lovely day.

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Bonifacio at intersection of King and North Star rd