Falling Fruit map points the way to edible plants on Vancouver streets

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      All around Vancouver, edible plants are hiding in plain sight. The Falling Fruit map is one useful tool to help you find those growing along city streets.

      For instance, Falling Fruit shows that there’s a Japanese flowering crab apple tree or shrub at the corner of East 15th Avenue and Windsor Street.

      A block away, a black walnut tree is located along East 16th Avenue, east of Windsor.

      Also close at hand, the East 16th Avenue-Glen Drive intersection is home to cherry plum and chokecherry trees.

      There's a lot of trees waiting to be harvested in Vancouver.
      Falling Fruit

      All of these plants bear fruits or nuts that people can eat. However, you should know what you are doing before eating anything you harvest.

      For instance, chokecherry plants have poisonous parts. A USDA fact sheet states:

      The seeds are toxic due to production of hydrocyanic acid in the leaves, stems and seeds. The almond-like nuts are treated to deactivate the poisonous glycosides before they are put on the market. Cases of illness and deaths have been traced back to eating the seeds of these trees.

      Falling Fruit is a nonprofit project based in the U.S. The map uses imported data sets—one source is the Vancouver park board—and can be edited by anyone.

      Comments

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      9 Comments

      MMm

      Jan 2, 2015 at 5:40pm

      Delicious exhaust fruit! I wonder what the heavy metal content of the soil is! Surely Vancouver's soil is going to be contaminated with lead, etc. from back when leaded gasoline was popular.

      Tk

      Jan 3, 2015 at 5:24pm

      Exhaust fruit, LOL. I have often wondered this exact same thing. Glad to see I am not the only one who thinks urban produce/fruit is gross

      Edible City Food

      Jan 3, 2015 at 7:57pm

      Can Lori Snyder be contacted other than facebook? I would like to learn more about edible food in the city. thank you

      L Leeman

      Jan 3, 2015 at 11:29pm

      So there might be some edible fruits within Vancouver.

      So what?

      Crom

      Jan 4, 2015 at 1:51pm

      "Mmm" and "Tk" The air quality in downtown Vancouver is better than that out in the valley where all your food comes from...

      Nimby

      Jan 4, 2015 at 1:57pm

      I am so glad all my fruit is grown in clean air and toxic free soils. Oh wait, I think there is problem.......

      Martin Dunphy

      Jan 4, 2015 at 2:09pm

      To all:

      Thanks for all your comments. Here is an excerpt from a UBC release regarding a community garden at Oak St. and 16th Ave. in Vancouver:

      "Native soil sampled from the garden site was found to have concentrations of 456 parts per million (ppm) of zinc, and 219 ppm of lead—exceeding background soil levels in the Lower Mainland of 200 ppm and 60 ppm respectively. Kentucky bluegrass, used as an indicator plant, was found to absorb the metals: the shoots of those grown on the garden site contained 1,330 ppm of zinc and 387 ppm of lead. The European Scientific Commission on Food recommends no more than 25 mg per day of zinc and no more than 0.03 mg per day of lead be ingested by a 60 kg person."

      It is generally recommended to use raised planting beds and to import topsoil for vegetable gardening in urban centres , especially near roadways. The UBC release can be found here: http://news.ubc.ca/2014/12/02/elevated-toxic-metals-at-community-garden-...
      The study it references can be accessed here: http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0718-95162014005000052&script=sci_a...

      tedo

      Jan 4, 2015 at 3:22pm

      with vancouvers cold climate, you wont be growing much food in vancouver

      vancouver doesnt exactly have the climate of California or Florida

      @Nimby

      Jan 4, 2015 at 7:30pm

      You're right, there is a huge problem. Thankfully, we have bean counters who reason thusly: even if pollution kills X people, the economy saves Y people, so it is a wash! What is never quantified is just who the people being killed are and who the people being saved are. For all we know, pollution kills sensitive people at the expense of the insensitive, while the economy saves insensitive people, at the expense of the sensitive. I would not be at all surprised.