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Google map shows free food sources in city

Aug 24th, 2009 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

googlegatherers_lg1RESIDENTS have pooled their knowledge of public fruit trees and wild foods from Aro Valley to Island Bay and pinpointed the locations on Google Maps.
The map directs to 22 locations of apples, plums, edible mushrooms, wild parsley, blackberries, and more.
Lisa Johnston, 27, a member of environmental group 42 Collective, started the project earlier in the year, and her page has now attracted more than 5000 views.
“If we’re not actually spending some time looking at what we’ve already got and using what we already have, then we’re kind of being neglectful and wasteful,” she says.
It is a work in progress and the idea is that people not only use it to find free food but add pointers to trees and herbs they know about.
Jacob Butler, 22, a student, says his dad told him about the map and he has already used it to gather rosemary and kawakawa that was growing around Newtown.
“I think it’s great, absolutely great, and the more people who get involved, it’s just going to get bigger and the web will grow. There will be more fruit sources and things like that.”
Jacob says there is enough food that students will not pillage the spots but says his one fear is that people might go too far and add pointers to plants like cabbage trees and Nikau palms.
“The problem with harvesting these is that you have to kill the plant.”
Each marker includes a note about what time of year the food is ripe and, if it’s on private land, whether the owner must be asked first before gathering.
Urban hunters and gatherers can type “Edible Wellington – A Gatherer’s Guide” into maps.google.com to find free food and share their own spots.

Jacob Butler collecting rosemary growing in Newtown

Jacob Butler collecting rosemary growing in Newtown

The map points to 22 locations of apples, plums, edible mushrooms, wild parsley, blackberries, and more.

Lisa Johnston, 27, a member of environmental group 42 Collective, started the project earlier in the year, and her page has now attracted more than 5000 views.

“If we’re not actually spending some time looking at what we’ve already got and using what we already have, then we’re kind of being neglectful and wasteful,” she says.

It is a work in progress and the idea is that people not only use it to find free food but add pointers to trees and herbs they know about.

googlegathers_lg2

Jacob Butler (above), 22, a student, says his dad told him about the map and he has already used it to gather rosemary and kawakawa that was growing around Newtown.

“I think it’s great, absolutely great, and the more people who get involved, it’s just going to get bigger and the web will grow. There will be more fruit sources and things like that.”

Jacob says there is enough food that students will not pillage the spots but says his one fear is that people might go too far and add pointers to plants like cabbage trees and Nikau palms.

“The problem with harvesting these is that you have to kill the plant.”

Each marker includes a note about what time of year the food is ripe and, if it’s on private land, whether the owner must be asked first before gathering.

Urban hunters and gatherers can type “Edible Wellington – A Gatherer’s Guide” into maps.google.com to find free food and share their own spots.

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is a Whitireia Journalism Student. He has an obsession with media issues, local government, and sticking up for the little guy. He graduated from Victoria University this year with a double major in English literature and media studies. He plans to become a dogged reporter.
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