Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration originally conceived in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Vegener and Austin Young. Since 2013, David and Austin have continued the collaborative work. The project began when its founders discovered that by L.A. city law, fruit hanging over sidewalks and public places could be picked by anyone.
The group’s initial exercise involved the mapping the locations of plant trees within public space in Southern California for local residents and the homeless. Fallen Fruit then expanded to include periodic and ongoing nocturnal fruit foraging tours open to the general public. The tours not only educate residents and visitors to the bountiful ecosystems in their neighborhood, but also allow people the opportunity to interact with the residents whose properties are next to the fruit trees.
Fallen Fruit subsequently introduced jammaking sessions in which participants bring in fruit from their own properties or from public fruit to make and share recipes for jam. They also organized efforts to provide fruit tree adoptions, with the intention that they be placed on the periphery of private properties and eventually made available to passing pedestrians.
According to Young, the group’s work is really about community. The programs and initiatives they have developed draw people together by creating a shared experience around a shared resource – one that had historically been overlooked.
This year, Fallen Fruit launched Endless Orchard: an app which will allow everyone to plant fruit trees, care for them, and map them for the world to see.