Anyone who has stumbled across a fruit tree while walking the dog probably shares the sentiment of author Darrin Nordahl. To pull a fig, apple or orange from a tree and eat it on the spot is a great experience. Perhaps we enjoy the fruit because of its freshness, but I suspect there is something more innate about it; as though our bodies simply know this is the healthiest way to eat. Indeed, our ancestors survived exactly this way.
Public Produce (2009) advocates for gardens and fruit trees on public land not just for the enjoyment of dog walkers, but also to improve access to fresh, healthy food. Many of society’s most vulnerable lack the ability to find or afford what has sadly become somewhat of a luxury.
Many cities and municipalities are taking steps in the right direction. Michelle Obama’s much publicized White House garden is a great example. Public land already must be maintained – why not increase its value and grow nutritious foods at the same time? If done with conviction, a community stands to benefit greatly.