The One Way You Can Get Free Fruits And Vegetables

With inflation running rampant, resourceful individuals are taking up urban foraging as means to get free fruits and vegetables.

By Jennifer Hollohan | Published

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As grocery prices continue to skyrocket, many are left wondering how they can pay for necessities. Well, the good news is, you may be able to find some free fruits and vegetables. If you are willing to take up foraging, that is.

Foraging is neither a new concept nor a new skill. Humans have foraged the entirety of their existence. But typically, the search for fruits and vegetables has occurred in nature.

When you hear the word forage, it may conjure visions of lengthy expeditions in the forests or grasslands. After all, that is where food has traditionally grown, right? Historically, yes.

But these days, with the advent of gardens and growing your own food, fruits and vegetables now exist in abundance all around us. This atmosphere led to a new trend recently popping up – urban foraging. That’s right – the art of locating food in the least likely of places.

Essentially urban foraging requires the same senses that standard foraging does. All you need to do is be aware of your surroundings. Even urban areas are full of nature and plant growth. 

Fruits and vegetables are all around, even in the least likely areas. Gardens are often planted, then forgotten about amidst the bustle of life. When vegetables get left to their own devices, they will eventually go to seed and plant themselves all around.  

fruits and vegetables foraging

If the wind carries seeds to other areas (as it often does), you could easily end up with an abundance of vegetables growing in open and unattended spaces. It is the natural way of the plant world and can give you access to fantastic veggies. Provided you know exactly what they are.

Accessing fruit through urban foraging is the easier and better route, which is fantastic news for fruit lovers. People love planting trees, and fruit trees are quite popular. But those small fruit trees from the nursery eventually grow into large, abundant trees that often outgrow their yard.

You may discover an apple, plum, or peach tree hanging over a fence into the sidewalk during a walk. Or find branches from a berry bush poking out, enticing you. Taking advantage of the seemingly excess fruit is simple, as illustrated in a recent NPR piece.

If the property belongs to a company or organization, bravely ask them for permission to harvest some of their fruit. And if the tree or berry bush belongs to a private yard, you can go about it in a similar way. Either leave a note or knock and talk to the owner.

Part of foraging is respecting the natural world – and not taking more than you need. That way, the plants continue to produce. After all, ensuring an abundant supply of your favorite berry is key.

Urban foraging follows similar principles. Look for your fruits and vegetables, but respect their surroundings (and owners). Chances are, you’ll end up welcoming the news that you can respectfully harvest their fruit.

Use caution, however, and don’t eat a fruit or vegetable you cannot positively identify. Many plants have look-alikes that can be poisonous. When in doubt, use a field guide or an experienced friend…or just avoid eating anything you aren’t sure of.