I was sitting on a bench in the park. I looked up and saw the tree whose trunk was in front of me and branches above had lots of yellow berry-like fruit on it. All the branches were too high to reach. Then I looked down and saw fruits all over the ground.
I know from experience last summer to respect wild berries, but I was curious. This park is curated and city-owned, so I doubt they’d take on the liability of growing a poisonous plant. Still, last August’s experience was life-changingly awful.
I picked up a few of the fruits, cleaned one off, and took the tiniest nibble I could. It tasted like apple, though more tart and stringent. It looked vaguely like an apple, though without the dimple at top and bottom. The tree looked like an apple tree. I figured it was a crab apple tree.
I ate the rest. It was sweet, sour, astringent, and delicious! The evidence of its safety seemed overwhelming, so I ate a few more, couldn’t stop, and ate more. I love foraging! Things I pick remind me of my phrase “home cooked tastes better, even when it tastes worse.” Not knowing what grows around me reminds me of how removed I am from nature. In many traditional cultures, I would have known every edible plant around. I read that the knowledge about nature drops like a rock from hunting and gathering cultures to agricultural. Learning now is late, but I value it. It also feels primal.
I ate them less than an hour ago, so I may regret it if I ate poisonous wild berries like the nightshade ones last August, but the pictures below look like pictures in the Wikipedia page for crab apples.
I love knowing edible plants around me. If I feel fine the rest of the day and tomorrow, I’ll go back and eat more. Oh yeah, on the way out of the park, I saw another of the trees and ate some of its fruit. Come to think of it, once I started looking, I found another tree with a different kind of fruit or berry. I tried it on the way out, but it seemed not yet ripe.
In the picture below, my hands are still dirty from cleaning the fruits before eating them.
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