[NAFEX] Trees in city

John McCuan wawo at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 25 15:58:35 EDT 2006

  A number of years ago I was in Leipzig, Germany (in the former East  Germany).  Along one street some huge trees (18-24 inches in  diameter) were dropping little red drupes all over the sidewalk,  street, etc.   Initially I didn't know what they were, but  ventured a taste and they were delicious!  I at last guessed they  were mulberries.
  Unfortunately, the trees were so tall it was impossible to pick the  fruit without a tall ladder, and since the dropped fruit fell on the  sidewalks and streets it got trodden under feet and wheels.  I  never saw anyone pick any.
  Right now, however, the region is fairly prosperous, and people can buy  food at the market.  During the socialist regime, however, food  was in shorter supply and I expect the mulberries were consumed  then.  There is a long tradition of urban gardens in Germany  (Scheber gardens) and under the GDR those gardens were a significant  source of fresh vegetables for urban dwellers.
  Also, during WW II England relied heavily on rose hips as a source of  Vitamin C.  Urban landscapers (and suburban, too)  could view  fruit plantings as a sort of "insurance policy" for a source of  nutrients in case shortages did arise, though of course it would be  best if the fruit were continually appreciated and consumed.
  Melinda McCuan

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