Have you ever been slightly saddened to see an overgrown, untended fruit tree dropping its half-rotted, bird-ravaged wares onto the ground? Have you wished that if people knew where publicly-available fruit was located, everyone could share in the harvest? If so, you might want to check out this Saturday's Tour de Fruit, which will "educate people about food in season in their community that's free," according to organizer Maggie Taylor.
The Tour de Fruit will depart from The Bike Project, located at 202 S. Broadway in Urbana, at 6:30 on Saturday evening. The free, three to four mile bike tour will meander among some of Urbana's fruit trees and berry bushes, including apples, persimmons, serviceberries, pawpaws, and many more. Taylor explains, "Some of the people [whose trees will be part of the tour] have given approval for their fruit to be picked, and [the rest] are on city or organizational property."
According to the event announcement, "The purpose of the ride is to share knowledge [of] trees, identify native edibles, engage with the community and talk about new ways of navigating our landscape." The ride will end with snacks at La Casa, "a co-op house where the residents are working on a permaculture food forest."
Taylor asked that participants bring their own containers and wear bicycle helmets throughout the ride.
Taylor and J.P. Goguen are also the driving forces behind the Champaign-Urbana Fruit Map, a collaborative Google map project, of which a screenshot is shown above. It identifies fruit trees and berry bushes throughout the C-U area, with comments and sometimes even pictures.