One of the great things about Los Angeles is the abundance of food. I'm not just talking about restaurants. You need to get out of your car, and walk around your neighborhood. You could make a great meal just from what you find out on the streets. It's free, and most of it's organic. Just be sure to wash any dirt off of your treasure before you bite.
In the great neighborhood of Silver Lake, where I live, you can peruse the Silver Lake Fallen Fruit map (PDF). Pick fruits all year round - from figs and guava, to avocados, and pomegranates. You'll never lack for a meal. You probably won't even need to shop at the grocery store before long.
Planet Green's Stephen Brooks give some great tips on urban foraging. Don't forget these!
- Start in ethnic neighborhoods. My mom grew the best apples. You know why? Because she composted everything before it became cool and hip. Like many immigrants, farming was a part of her daily life in China.
- Ask your neighbors before you pick any fruit from them. First of all, it's just polite, and second of all, you'll be surprised at how many people would be glad to have you help them finish the produce. Once fruits and vegetables start flowering, it's a race to finish them before they go bad.
- Don't limit yourself to just vegetables! Have you ever considered that your ordinary garden snail is quite similar to the sophisticated French escargot dishes? CHOW has a great recipe for you.
- Share your harvest with your friends, family and community. Forage in Silver Lake will take your bounty and turn it into a great meal for you and other patrons.
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