BOULDER – Typically, picking fruit and big cities don't usually go together, but one local organization is trying to make people rethink where they get their fruits and vegetables from.
Falling Fruit was started in 2013 by Ethan Welty, a current University of Colorado-Boulder graduate student, who was simply looking for some more apples to use in his homemade cider.
"I wandered the streets of Boulder and discovered that there was a lot of apples," Welty said. "By the end of the summer, I was getting all my fruit from the streets of Boulder."
Welty began mapping out the best fruit trees around the city – about 11,000, so he could find them again when the seasons passed and the fruit harvested.
Eventually, he created a website with the help of his friend, Caleb Phillip, and the pair founded Falling Fruit.
"The response in other countries was great enough to push us. It basically turned us into a global project," Welty said.
The website mimics Wikipedia, in that people can log on and add fruit trees in their own neighborhoods.
Locations have now been mapped out in more than 1,500 cities in 50 countries worldwide, leading Welty and his team to begin developing an app, which is currently in production.
Some people in Boulder had never heard of the site, but were not unfamiliar with the idea of eating off the street, so to speak.
"It's a strange concept, but it's great," said Devon Fanning, who claimed he often finds fruit on the street in Boulder. "It's amazing how much food there is."
Welty said the founders know that they probably aren't going to end world hunger, but said they want the public to rethink how they get their food.
"Imagine if we made a choice as a society to cover our cities in edible plants," Welty said. "We could do that."
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