I'm wondering how many religious conservatives in "real America" would have a problem with this, even though it says in Leviticus: You shall not pick your vineyard bare or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. The Environment Report - Printable Transcript With everybody looking for ways to save money, free food has never looked better. Devin Browne followed around a group of people who forage for fruit in the city. They look for fruit trees on private and public property to see what they can grab: Its perfectly legal here in Los Angeles to pick fruit from trees that are planted on private property as long as the fruit drops into a public space like a sidewalk or an alley. There are rules, though, to proper, legal urban foraging and the group Fallen Fruit knows them well. Woody Sandberg is with the group. "Youre not allowed to reach across someones fence. Youre not allowed to reach into someones yard. Youre not allowed to crawl up peoples fences or lean ladders on their fences." Most of the people in Fallen Fruit ride bikes, sometimes mopeds. A lot of them carry fruit pickers on their back like you might carry a bow and arrow. Theres something almost primal in the way they all look together, fanning out into the street like a band of hunter/gatherers in search of fresh food. (sound of street and birds) "Were looking for trees or any thing that produces food that hangs over the fence so we can pick it and eat it." Sandbergs not actually picking fruit today - hes just finding the best places to forage. Later, theyll go on a harvest ride. Then theyll make jam and juice and beer with the fruit theyve found. Today, the mission is just to make maps of where the trees are. "Over here we got nopalitos and a lime and some nasturiums." People sitting on their porches seem not to mind at all when the group stops outside their house. No one in Fallen Fruit can remember a time when a fruit tree owner yelled or screamed or tried to kick em off the sidewalk. (sound of foragers giving directions to each other) Which none of the foragers seem surprised by. Fallen Fruit is highly convinced of their mission. Part of this sense of legitimacy comes from the fact that the group originally conceived of itself in biblical terms. The name Fallen Fruit even comes from a verse in Leviticus: You shall not pick your vineyard bare or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. The founders also thought that cities should start planting fruit trees in public spaces, instead of thirsty, frivolous plants. But fruit trees are oddly political. And city officials say there are reasons why they do not and will not plant them in public space. The first reason LAs Chief Forrester, George Gonzalez, gave had to do with people tripping and falling on fruit & then suing the city. "One of the main reasons is a potential liability from fruitfruit drop." He also said that trends in tree-planting have changed and they like to plant hearty , drought-resistant trees now. "Also, fruit trees require more water." And then, there are the rats. "Rodents love fruit trees... yes." Still, the City regularly gives away fruit trees to people who want to plant them in their yards. Its part of the mayors Million Trees LA pledge. Like Sandberg, Gonzalez sees fruit trees on private space as a way to benefit the public good. "Cause when they look at a map and see it dotted everywhere with fruit trees hanging over the fence I think its going to blow peoples minds about how much food is out there. Because the current mindset is that food is in the grocery store." Its a mindset not even the most dedicated of fruit foragers can escape.