Gleaning Just Like Ruth Would Have Done, If She’d Had Google Maps

May 14, 2013

Source: The Times of Israel


The new open-source website,, maps fruit trees and other edible plants available for free harvesting in urban environments all over the world. Anyone can download its data, and all are welcome to update and add more sources of potential bounty.


Though based in the United States, the tailored Google map is ever-growing and currently has pin drops from a dozen countries. Since its quiet late-March launch, it’s had some 40,000 visits from all over the world, from Israel to Israel-friendly Micronesia.


What Falling Fruit is trying to achieve is a community of foragers, sharing information and creating a dialogue between them — and donating excess largess to local food charities.


Essentially the principle behind Falling Fruit is “waste not, want not,” an idea that jibes well with the festival of Shavuot as observed through reading the Book of Ruth: Having fallen on hard times, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, feed themselves through gleaning in their distant relative Boaz’s fields.


Orthodox Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, Founder and president of justice organization Uri L’Tzedek, says Jewish tradition is all for sharing Mother Earth’s wealth.


“The Jewish tradition adamantly emphasizes again and again that the earth is not our own and that we ought not waste its fruits,” he says. ”Falling Fruit has raised the bar, offering the potential to take the Biblical mandate to another level from reacting to fallen fruit to being proactive to address hunger and deeply cherish God’s creation.”


Read the article in The Times of Israel.

Updated: May. 20, 2013