Want Free Fresh Fruit? Find It Online!

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FallingFruit.org provides an interactive map showing where the public can find free, fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Photo: Shutterstock

FallingFruit.org provides an interactive map showing where the public can find free fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Photo: Shutterstock

With increasing attention on food waste, any effort to keep extra food from ending up in a landfill is worthwhile.

FallingFruit.org is an international project that shows where the general public can find fruits, vegetables and nuts that are free for the taking. (And yes, it’s all entirely legal.)

A world map that looks like your average Google map, this version is covered with dots representing trees or plants that have produce available for the taking. Click on a dot near your location, and you can zoom in, get a description of the type of fruit/vegetable/nut available and, in many cases, a link to that particular species’ profile on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. You’ll also get information on the best season for each individual plant and advice on how best to reach the site where it’s located.

Much of the information comes from foraging organizations, urban gardening groups and municipal databases, although the map is also open for contributors to add any places that they might know of where food can be found. Some of these sites include public parks and city streets; also listed are trash bins where excess food waste is common.

The Boulder, Colo.–based site, which was launched by two men — one the co-founder of Boulder Food Rescue, the other a photographer/geographer — also encourages foragers and private tree owners who have surplus food to donate their supplies to charities that specialize in gathering and distributing fresh produce. A list of charities is included on the site.

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