I recently found out about red zone fruit foraging. A friend of mine had told me that she had discovered fruit trees left in the red zone and that there was so much fruit to be had. I hated the idea of forgotten fruit falling and wasting. Shouldn’t it be shared with people?
So I rang CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) to find out the legality of fruit foraging in the Christchurch red zone. The simple answer is, it is not legal. However, the CERA correspondent that I spoke to was very accommodating; she informed me that it is private land owned by the crown, that they have to make it illegal because the red zone is hazardous, but she said that they do not pursue people who are picking the fruit, and that it is actually legal to pick fruit that is reachable from footpaths.
I have since discovered a Facebook page that is dedicated to (but not exclusive to) Christchurch fruit foraging and has been around since 2009. The Facebook page has information about what is in season and it even has a link to a New Zealand map of fruit trees available for foraging. Check it out! This is their mission statement:
All over the city there is food that is being grown by nature, which falls on the ground and rots without being utilized. This group will function as a treasure map for the city, displaying information about foraging throughout the Christchurch area.
I went to see some of the not-so-forgotten fruit for myself and took some photos.