Falling Fruit map points the way to edible plants on Vancouver streets
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.
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.
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.
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
Jan 3, 2015 at 11:29pm
So there might be some edible fruits within Vancouver.
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...
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.......
Jan 4, 2015 at 2:09pm
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...
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
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.