Unlike my typical posting, this one is going to lean a bit towards rambling without a direct focus. I am currently in Denver for activities relating to a new job. Loving the cooler weather after several months in the lower part of Texas, I have been taking walks in the evening. Today, I was able to get an earlier start, so allowed myself to slow down to a more casual pace.
I have inspected random trees lining the roads. I took the time to inspect the varied lawns people have been carefully tending. I wandered through a park I happened across. Where my feet took me is where I was, without any real direction. On this little walk, two things occurred to me.
First was that I realized just how many people had been planting edible plants and probably never realizing it. The plants chosen for the park were chosen for ease of tending and overall look. The trees lining the streets were chosen for their growing patterns. Lawns invariably are planted for appearance alone.
Despite this, they had planted all sorts of lovely edibles that each had their own season and production value. Doubtlessly, anything not eaten by wildlife would be raked away or mulched. How easy would it be for you to enjoy this free harvest? How simple would it be as a city planner or home owner to make choices that look every bit as beautiful as you want, but also offer up something beyond just their beauty?
This of course led me to the second thought. Why is it so few cities have edible maps? They go by different names, but they are online listings of the locations of various edible plants (mostly trees and bushes) that are growing on public land. I have seen them here or there, but not nearly often enough. Most that exist are for very large cities. I think when I settle into a place for a while, I am going to start going out of my way to post online listings of what perennial edibles can be found locally.
Just the stray thoughts fitting with the Mother Earth Monday topic line. If you know and can spot these edible plants, you might just be shocked how common they are on the public land of your city. Take a look!