End of August to mid-September is an excellent season for Apples in Canada. Some people choose to buy them from the store, and some you can pick them from people’s backyard, or go to U-Pick farms. How about forage urban fruits around your neighbourhood? It is free and is probably organic. Not to mention this is probably an excellent idea to spend your day on the cheap.
What you need:
- A fruit picking tool.
- An extension pole.
- Few plastic bags or boxes to hold the fruits.
- Bicycle or some sort of transportation for you to get around.
In September, you will find black walnuts, crabapples and common apples are ready to be picked. I find the common green apple gives the best yield and the least work for cleaning and preparing. Black walnut is quite labour intensive for harvesting. The trees are often quite high up, the best is to pick the ones on the floor. There are several sweet chestnut trees will be ready to be picked in November to December. I believe there are more different types of urban fruits and nuts to be picked, just look and you will always find something!
There are several websites that you can find those free fruit trees to harvest around the city.
There is a “Falling Fruit” website that has a large collection of urban fruits and nuts database that tells you where you can forage edible food in your neighbourhood.
Fallingfruit.org also has a mobile app that you can download to use on your iOS or Andriod. You can search for many different types of edible fruits including apple, plums, grapes, chestnuts..etc. Fallingfruit.org also have other edible plants in other cities and countries. The one below I only show it for the Vancouver area. Go visit Fallingfruit.org to find your free fruits around your area!
And there is also
The collection of this site is rather small so I would say stick with Fallingfruit.org.
Currently validated trees for picking (Because I went there already, hehe):
Common Green Apple:
17th Ave between Knight st. and Clark Dr.
Lakewood Drive and Charles St.
Kamloops and Turner St. (on Turner St.)
Red and Green Delicious Apple:
Columbia St between 20th ave and 21st ave (west side of the street)
Westbrook Mall Roundabout at UBC
Slocan St and Napier St (south east corner)
This green apple on 17th ave does not have much the smell of an apple, and it is very sour for the taste. However, those apples are perfect for applesauce! And what can you do with applesauce other than eating it with a pork chop? Making it into pastries or curry sauce. You’d surprised how useful apple sauce is!
We picked about two big bags of apples. Clean up the apples and made them into apple sauce.
We only added cinnamon and nutmeg powder when the applesauce is done. And then I made waffles and cakes with the apple sauce.
How to make Applesauce Cake:
- 1/2 cup butter (or replace it with Coconut oil)
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup chilled applesauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional, you can omit this if you already have it in your applesauce)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Cream butter or margarine with sugar. Add applesauce; beat well. Stir in flour, soda, and spices. Add nuts and raisins. The mixture will be like a wet dough instead of a “liquid batter” texture.
- Pour the batter (or the wet dough) into a greased and floured 8 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until done. Serve warm.
Disclaimer: I do not validate all the fruits indicated from the Fallingfruit.org or Public Fruit Vancouver. So use it at your own discretion. Some fruits might be in someone’s backyard, so please check with the owner before you forage the fruits 🙂