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Urban Foraging - Auckland and Christchurch


Recently there have been two google maps set up for the purposes of highlighting areas where food may be collected in urban areas. The first is the Auckland Fruit Economy Map which concentrates on fruit trees in the greater Auckland area and the one that I set up after coming across the Auckland site, Otautahi Urban Foraging which is intended to include not only fruit trees but areas where firewood, herbs, and other produce may be collected.

One of my main motivations is in teaching my young children about the environment where they live and even living in a built up area, there are opportunities to sustainably harvest from nature if you are willing to learn and be in harmony with nature as over the last few decades with the mass importation of foods from all over the world we are loosing touch of what is naturally in season. Even gardeners seem to be more obsessed with getting new potatoes and other produce earlier in season rather than relying on nature to do the work for them.

So far all the locations on the Otautahi map are in public areas but it would be great if people were willing to add their own properties if they have an over abundance of produce that they are currently unable to utilise.

I have been quite blown away with the positive feedback and offers of help I have recieved in the few days since creating the Otautahi map and am being interviewed on National Radio around 9.30 next monday morning if anyone is interested.

Currently both sites are open for anybody with a google account to edit and add their own locations so I would encourage anyone in these areas to get involved for those elsewhere to set up their own maps I think you would be suprised as I was how much is on our doorsteps if we are willing to look around.


Fantastic stuff!   I've seen

Fantastic stuff!

   I've seen articles on a similair movement in the UK, where people are actively going around there neighbourhoods and utilising the resources they come across. It's amazing how many wild fruit tree's and herbs are growing on our streets.


    just from a wellington-centric point, is there any such initiative in the capital?

I haven't heard of one for

I haven't heard of one for Welly, but it's really simple to set up a google map for this purpose, what I have done on the Otautahi maps so far has taken less than a couple of hours

worldwide foraging map

Cool map, i've been working on a similar project mapping edible and useful wild plants in urban areas.  We have been developing our own google map that is also integrated with a database of plant uses.

It's still a work in progress, but as things develop we will be able to search the map by location/plant name/plant use/public/private/plants in season/etc...


As is increasingly the case, Bookface is the source of all knowledge:

"This is a group dedicated to freedom and food. More specifically, it is a place to find and share information on free publicly available fruit trees and the like. Think of it like a treasure map and the booty is some tasty fruit. Yarr.

Anyway...feel free to add to the Google map any fruit trees you might know of in public, or if you have trees of your own and you don't mind having scavengers. Add as many details as necessary, what kind of fruit, how to find it, when best to find it, does permission have to be asked for first."

The Map:

Hey if you read this, can you

Hey if you read this, can you get in touch with me, someone from the Dom Post got in touch with me and wants to interview you about your map.

kerry (at) katipo (dot) co (dot) nz

Otautahi Urban Foraging

Cool! Well done. Thanks Kerry.

Another thing that is relatively easy for people to do is plant fruit and nut trees in parks and playgrounds.

We planted some fruit trees in our local park last year and are going to plant some more plus a walnut soon. Plant them with 2'+ 2' stakes either side with some rubber tubing nailed on and twisted around tree.

This is how the council plants trees and if planted this way, it will look as though they are meant to be there and have been planted by 'council'. This increases the chances of them being left alone and not riped out.

Quite often, if one asks around in ones hood, there will be someone who has fruit tree saplings they don't want, that can be transplanted.

Once planted they can then be marked on the map.

Happy foraging,


There's now facebook pages

There's now facebook pages for both Auckland Fruit Economy and Otautahi Urban Foraging

this really is the bomb. so

this really is the bomb. so primo. and practical.

I think this type of thing

I think this type of thing will become more useful once the depression really kicks in. If you talk about all this hippy shit of living in harmony with nature (whatever that is) you will turn most people off. It's like you are moralistically telling people off for not being in touch with the seasons. Bad working class people, if only they stopped consuming all that nasty imported food and lived our righteous lifestyle and did good righteous deeds like foraging in parks the world would be a better place. Not.

I think this type of thing...

You think helping people get their hands on free, healthy, fresh food, as an alternative to being fed expensive, poisoned food that's been off the plant and losing nutrients for days, week or months, is moralistic!?! Here's a free tip for middle-class workerists. Eating free (as in beer), and healthy food is a no-brainer for humans of *any* class, especially the ones with more time than money. The psychological benefits of spending more time outside, and being in touch with seasonal changes, are just a bonus.

The way this article is

The way this article is written comes across as moralistic, yes. The main reasons that are given for 'urban foraging' are getting in harmony with nature and the seasons. If you want to appeal to a larger group of people than a few hippies, then stressing free food (and dropping the hippy shit) would be a good idea.

Even then, there aren't enough fruit and nut trees around in public places to feed more than a handful of people for a day or two. We are forced into buying shit but cheap imported food from supermarkets. That's the way capitalism works. To tell working class people off for consuming cheap imported food and not being in touch with nature and the seasons is moralistic and elitist, especially during a depression. And it is quite religious to think that by mere force of example you can change the world. A few hippies doing 'good deeds' won't change the world, but it might make those hippies feel good and pure and better than other people.

And thanks for asking about my class background. I am working class and I hate work. I detest workerists who glorify work and workers as much as I do hippies.

reply to anon..

The article actually said that it was to teach his children about nature etc..not "workers". What exactly do u think we should be teaching our kids about Anon(not verified)? Or should we just leave education strictly up to the State??

Maybe you think our weekends would be better spent watching shit on t.v and eating junk food than taking the children out to find food and grow plants?

The idea behind the foraging map/s is that we increase our networks for sharing food so that we can become less reliant on capitalist means of production and more connected within our communities and more locally self-reliant and aware as such of each others needs.

I can understand that families are forced to buy cheap crap food and we are very much in that position ourselves. But it's more than just that, there's also a huge amount of propaganda from crap food companies pressuring people to buy their crap.

The idea that "hippies" aren't "workers" or that having knowledge about the earth, health and how to grow and find your own food makes you a "hippy" is a mistake and there's nothing very revolutionary about hating other people!



Thanks for bringing this to wider attention - I just caught your item on Nat Rad.  I am in Auckland so I will be spreading the word to my friends and neighbours and encouraging them to put their fruit trees etc on the Auckland map.

Lots of lovely lemons out there right now!