Fallen Fruit Challenge: Plant a Fruit Tree in Public Space

Fallen Fruit made the LA Times HOT LIST.  They bring together food & art, two of the best things in life.  Fallen Fruit, about five years old now,  is an art collaboration which began by mapping fruit in public spaces.   In 2008, they exhibited as part of Machine Project’s “A Field Guild to the LA County Museum of Art” and now they will EAT LACMA, a nine month project with numerous event.  For more info:  http://www.lacma.org    LA Times article “Food Goes to Artist’s Heads”  (2/4/10).

Why would you plant a fruit tree in a public space?  It would feed future generations.  They say, “It would change our relationship to the city; it would change our children’s relationship to it.”  I commend the co-founders of Fallen Fruit:  Matias Viegener, Austin Young, and David Burns.   Because of Fallen Fruit, we have many garden, food, and art events to look forward to this year.

Thanks to my daughter for this article about a major garden being established in San Francisco.  This certainly is another sign the times are-a-changing.  The garden will grow on Laguna Street between Oak and Fell in San Francisco. On the site of the old Central Freeway on ramp, food for the people:


Wherever a garden grows, a community grows too.



  1. So how do we get Mayor Villaraigosa to do that for LA? 🙂

    Streetsblog is great! I started following them recently after reading a few articles on L.A. bike activism…I also read about Fallen Fruit a year or so back when looking around map websites and considered recording my and a few other neighborhoods but never got around to it! Perhaps I will now. They were started by a friend of a friend of a friend of mine, such a small world. It’s great that they’re doing stuff with LACMA and getting so popular!

    My only concern with planting food in place of lawns and streetside fruit trees is that I’ve noticed that plants that are near enough to where cars are driving tend to be darker, sometimes even with black spots. I read in “Edible and Useful Plants of California” to not pick from plants growing within 100 feet of the street. Do you know why exactly that is and how harmful it is to human health if at all? Please say it isn’t so, I love the food not lawns movement!


    • dana

      Of course we need to use wisdom in eating vegetables or fruit grown close to traffic exhaust. If we followed the 100 feet rule you mention, however, many people wouldn’t eat from their own citrus trees, including me. I wash my limes and lemons well, with a vegetetable-base soap, and rinse and dry well. The dirt/dust comes off. –Dana


  2. P.S. Check out this educational community garden and program in Highland Park. It may be something you look at for your sabbatical! http://hpgarden.org/?page_id=2 through http://slowfoodla.com/2010/01/la-sprouts-at-the-milagro-allegro-community-garden/


    • dana

      Natasha, Thanks for the Milagro Allegro community garden link. I’ve been looking around at school gardens and will also be visiting community gardens. This one looks very interesting.


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