Photo: elisfanclub, Flickr
As anyone who's ever owned a fruit tree knows, there's nothing quite like sinking your teeth into that first ripe plum (or fig or cherry) of the season -- but what do you do with the other, oh, five thousand of them?
Once you've plied your family, friends and neighbors with bushel upon bushel, if you're lucky enough to live in Seattle, you head to City Fruit. The founders of the local nonprofit recognized that there was a whole bounty of fresh, locally grown fruit literally going to waste, from backyard Bartlett pears to "feral" apples growing on public land.
The group not only educates fruit-tree owners on how best to care for their trees, it also organizes "harvesting groups" and maintains a list of food banks and other charitable organizations that welcome donations of fresh fruit.
It all sounds very quaint, yes, but these folks aren't stuck back in the days of Johnny Appleseed. In what is perhaps one of the coolest uses of Google Maps to date, City Fruit has unveiled the Fruit Tree Map of Seattle. The map gives tree owners who are stuck with an embarrassment of riches a chance to share their harvest, and it also allows anyone who happens to spot a public tree that's ripe for the picking to alert other fruit fans to its location.