Found Fruit - Wild Apple Picking in the City

| 12/4/2013 10:43:00 AM

Erin SheehanOne of my favorite memories of going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house is eating Grandma’s currant jelly. I remember the beautiful color and the so-sweet but so-tart taste like it was yesterday. Much as I would like to have my own currant bushes, Jim and I haven’t put in any fruit trees. We rent our house and are reluctant to make an investment in fruit trees only to leave them behind someday. So far we just grow watermelon and rhubarb, and pick blueberries on a friend’s property. That’s why I was so excited when I recently stumbled upon two wild apple trees, both loaded with ripe, tasty fruit and both easily accessible.

Riding the bus to and from work allows me to see what’s going on around me – between the walk to the bus stop and looking out the bus window I see more than I would from behind the wheel. Last week as I walked home a noisy squirrel helped me to notice a small apple tree.

Small Apple Tree

The tree sits on a wedge of property owned by a nearby apartment complex. Out of curiosity I picked a low-hanging apple. Wouldn’t you know, although it was small, it was delicious; worm-free and one of the tastiest apples I’ve ever eaten. Jim and I returned to the tree later and picked nearly 15 pounds of these tiny, flavor-filled gems.

Small Apples

A few days later, while sitting on the bus, I noticed a woman crouching below yet another apple tree, this one in the neighborhood where I work. It is on property owned by the state-run college, next to a dormitory. The woman attracted my attention because she was filling a grocery bag with apples she was picking up from the ground.