Falling Fruit – Food to share – #FoodIsFree

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… a few years ago i had invited a homeless man i had met from Columbia, South Carolina, to come and stay with us for a month.  i had been a friend of his on Facebook for a while, and i had heard that he was having problems with his leg.  during his time with us, we worked on a concept he had come up with towards a sustainable solution to homelessness that he called HomelessEcoville.

.. it was during his visit that i thought about putting a share garden in the front of our house, between the sidewalk and the street.  in 2007 i changed the back yard into orchard and garden, and we have many people that come to the door looking for food, but i was aware that there were others who are going without that would never come to the door to ask, so the idea of a share garden where people could just help themselves was appealing.  i used to be a contractor, and i had enough left over cinder block in the back yard to create a garden a little over 4′ x 19′.   i planted strawberries around the outside perimeter and various other fruits, vegetables, and spices in the middle.

sharegarden

… at the end of our street is a city pool and on the other side of our house there are many apartments and low rent housing buildings and during the first summer, it was wonderful to be able to talk to the children on the way to the pool and share cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and strawberries with them.  i was even able to give one child a big bag of potatoes that came out of the same little garden.

… in the winter i cover the garden with plastic and i am able to grow things like kale, lettuce and spinach through a good portion of the winter months here in Central Virginia.  in the spring, the plastic cover allows me to get an early start on the early spring vegetables as well.

wintergarden

… in January and February different neighbors kept telling me about a new place that opened up at the end of our park in an old warehouse called RVA Createspace™ and how the man who started it was a real visionary who was starting an urban/community garden as well as being the founder of Carverponics™, teaching children all about hydroponic systems and about where food comes from.

… near the end of March i finally was able to meet the man i had heard so much about, Mr. Arthur Kay, and i found that the kind words just scratched the surface of how incredible a person he truly is.  before too long, i was taking classes on web-design and participating in workshops on ‘working with bamboo’, ‘vermicomposting’, and a ‘Dr. Kratke hydroponics workshop’ as well as working in their urban garden.  in getting to know Arthur, i found out he was interested in, and working on, geo-mapping which was something i had not heard of before.  it peaked my curiosity and in July i stumbled upon a website called Falling Fruit, which is a geo map of the world showing where food is growing and available for foraging.  their website says,

“Falling Fruit is built by and for foragers – we want it to be the best tool available to the contemporary forager.”

… so i registered our house and land with our available foods.

fallingfruit

… well, on Thursday of last week i got a knock on the door from a reporter at local NBC 12 who was doing a story on Falling Fruit, and wondered if i would give them an interview.  of course i said yes …

.. i strongly encourage everyone who has fruit trees on their property, and more fruit than you know what to do with, to register on this wonderful site.

… as to RVA Createspace™, the garden is doing great, and i am getting ready to go down and work with a bunch of boys doing community service in about an hour or so.  Arthur has become a very dear friend, who i talked into becoming a roommate and moving in with my wife and i.  we have both developed a deep love for the man and look forward to a lasting friendship.  every chance i have to spend with him, i learn.  i learn about amazing things he has already done in his young life, and i learn about lots of other really cool, or as my friend says, ‘dope’ things.  just yesterday he taught me about and let me help him work on a ‘dutch bucket’ hydroponic system that is growing tomatoes down at Createspace, and then he showed me some really cool gardens in the city i did not know about.

… stay tuned, i think i got Arthur convinced to help me redo my greenhouse with some hydroponics and passive solar – maybe active solar too? what do you think Arthur?

greenhouse

.. i am very excited about this, because the greenhouse sure needs it!

… so where ever you may be in the world, register your food availability so that foragers can find you.

…and if you are near the Richmond, Virginia area of Central Virginia, come visit my friend at RVA Createspace™and maybe come to a workshop, take a class or find a great bargain or unique piece of artwork at one of the monthly Great Big Yard Sale events.

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