31 July 2009

Fruit(less)

Happy Birthday, Patrik!

If you've driven around Puerto Rico at different times during the year, you would have seen this: Trees laden with fruit, that only occasionally gets picked. Happens a lot with mangos. There's a spot on the main road into Rincón where some 20-25 mango trees flourish every year with hundreds of mangos and some people do stop along the roadside to pick a bag or two. But by and large, in many areas of Puerto Rico, fruits and even coffee are left to drop to the ground and rot, simply because the growers can't pay to have it picked and even when they do pay, they can't find anyone willing to do the work. 

But what if a system were created where anyone could come pick the fruit or coffee, keep one-third of what they pick for themselves, give one-third to the owner of the tree or bush and give the remaining one-third to a food bank to feed the indigent and homeless?

Such a system has been implemented in several places, most notably in British Columbia, under the Powell River Food Security Project. The plan allows for farmers and growers to harvest produce with volunteers, who save money on fruits and vegetables and both groups help provide food for the needy. Once the logistics (delivery to food banks, recruiting of volunteers) are worked out, it is a fabulous system that cleverly meets several needs.

So why do I feel that if I presented this idea to My Bretheren here on My Island, they would look at Me with borderline disgust and say I only get to keep a third of what I pick? or I have to give a third to the owner who's doing nothing?, which ultimately amount to the same thing: I have to work to get only a third?

Maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

6 comments:

Antigonum Cajan said...

Puerto
Ricans do not live connected to
the land/soil except when drunk.
YOUR comment on British Columbia
is happening in CA also. It is
a bright idea producing benefits
to all involved with just an
investment of energy and environmentally correct bags
chosen to place the mangos
or any fruit in question.

Skai said...

I am a transplant and I am shocked at the enormous amount of fruit I see on the roads, especially mangoes just going bad...I think a great tourism ad could read:

FREE FOOD!! The place would be bustling.

But seriously, no one in PR should ever go hungry. There is an abundance they will never tap into.

Peace Skai

Gil C. Schmidt said...

Thank you, Skai. Hope you drop by often...

Antigonum Cajan said...

Thanks to me also punk!

Gil C. Schmidt said...

Since you ask sooo nicely...no!

Gabriel said...

33% of something or 100% of nothing. We suck at math don't we?

My Portland relatives engage in this sort of thing all the time. Aside from the free fruit its a great way to spend some time with the family and brings some education to the children.
If schools did it maybe some kids would learn to value and love the land, and decide to work it to. And all the kids would learn that a mango/orange/whatever fruit picked by themselves tastes much, much better than one bought at a market. Working for one's stuff has as a peculiar effect on humans.