Right now, there’s a pear tree on 17th Street in Philadelphia that I could grab a pear or two from if I wanted. At least, according to a new iPhone app Neighborhood Fruit’s Find Fruit there is.

This 99 cent app has mapped out fruit trees on urban public lands and locates them for you according to what is in season at the moment. It also allows you to see what’s available during all seasons.

In July and August I could grab some winterberries off of City Ave. Don’t know what a wineberry is? I didn’t either, but the app also has descriptions, uses, and factoids for each fruit listed. Wineberry bushes bear “bright red, unbelievably sweet and delicious fruit” that can be “eaten fresh, but they also make great wine.”

The app is straightforward and easy to navigate once it has your correct location. I’m having a little trouble getting it to automatically find my location at the moment. It keeps putting me about three hours south of here where I was over the weekend. I can manually change my location, however.

If you don’t have an iPhone, you can get the same information from Neighborhood Fruit’s website. You need to register, and then you can search for fruit in your area. You can also register a fruit tree that you own to give others permission to come and pick from your tree or bush.

I don’t live in a region where there are a ton of fruit trees on public lands. Philadelphia is my closest city and there are a total of 39 trees registered so far. I can imagine if you live in a climate that is warmer year round where edible trees are used as decoration in the median of a road, there would be a lot of choices year round.

It looks like Neighborhood Fruit is constantly adding to their database of fruit trees. According to their website, they have registered “10,000 trees nationwide and counting!” As their database grows so will the usefulness of their website and the iPhone app. 

Image from Neighborhood Fruit

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Neighborhood Fruit locates free fruit on public lands
A website and iPhone app help you find in season fruit trees you can pick from for free.