Food foraging around the Bay Area is awesome this time of year. I picked enough food for a days worth of breakfast, lunch and snacks on a foraging mission yesterday at the El Cerrito Plaza in East Bay, all within a mile radius. (And check out the link at the bottom on the mental health benefits of food foraging! It’s exciting research.)
Here are 5 trees I came across that you should know about, though these only show a fraction of everything I found. Remember to give thanks to these trees and the people who planted/tended them as you pick from them. Take only what you need. Please don’t clean pick trees. Nature has such a surplus and I love how great she is at sharing. Experience the abundance for yourself and happy foraging!
- Olive trees (pictured above) are all over the spot, especially abundant in North Berkeley area. This one is in El Cerrito. Olives usually run about $10/lbs in a grocery store- collect your own fresh olives fo’ free! Pick up ones that have dropped and look up how to cure them or give them about 5 weeks to ripen fully and eat raw.
2. Pineapple Guavas (Feijoas) are going off right now around the Bay. Had my first one EVER just a few days ago. Literally brought me to tears they’re so good. Keep your eyes open, the insides are delicious even when the outside seems a bit tough. Often the skin is edible and delicious too depending on ripeness. There are many varieties, collect ’em all.
3. Many orange trees produce year round in the Bay. Tap into the citrus network around your area and be fed all the time. And you should never buy a lemon in a store if you live in the Bay, they are growing within a block of you most likely. Pictured above are tiny mandarins.
4. FIGS! – the holy fruit. They are finally here. Make sure they are really squishy before you pick. Figs do NOT ripen more once they are picked. If you pick the fig and there is no milky white liquid at the stem, then you know you’ve picked a nicely ripened fig. I sometimes pick them a tad early and eat just the inside. I advocate for patience though and promote consuming the entire fruit. There are all sorts of varieties ripening at different speeds keep your eyes out for what’s poppin’ off right now.
5. Apples are all over right now and you can’t beat a fresh apple. No need to pay $4+/bag for prematurely picked “organic” apples at the store (plus store bought apples have weird waxy coating stuff put on them often times). And eat the seeds! They are nutritious and will not kill you, as many people falsely believe. Yes they do contain trace amounts of cyanide, but not enough to cause any substantial effect, unless you ate like 2,000 whole apples in one sitting. So eat all of your apple and enjoy the stem as a toothpick.
Food foraging reduces your grocery bill, connects you to your food source, gives you fresher produce and also releases dopamine in your brain. Read more about how this ancient art can assist with depression and anxiety at the link below.
Much love, be well, uplift each other ❤