Debbie Dalrymple and I are harvesting apples from a big backyard tree in Denver’s dense Washington Park neighborhood. Debbie does a lot of guerrilla harvesting throughout the neighborhood, and always with enthusiasm. While I stick to ladders, she climbs around in the tree, standing on branches and reaching for the very best treetop apples. She has a fruit obsession, she says, often stopping by houses with big trees to make sure the fruit will be harvested. A lot of homeowners, it seems, are happy to have her pick their fruit to give to her customers rather than waste it.
Five years ago, Debbie started Farm Yard CSA. It’s similar to a traditional community-supported agriculture (CSA) scheme, but rather than source all the food from a single farm outside the city, or even a few coordinated larger farms, hers is a neighborhood CSA. All Farm Yard produce grows in front and backyards within a five-mile radius of her house. Debbie’s house is a half-block from my house, and I've been enjoying walking to pick up my fresh produce all summer and fall.