Letter writer: Edible landscaping is everywhere

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I beg to differ with the claim that “Despite city commitment, not much edible landscaping in Asheville” (the subheadline of “Fruitful Action,” Feb. 3) [Xpress]. Edible, and for that matter drinkable, landscaping is everywhere, including residential lots, city rights of way, and commercial and institutional parking lots.

Last year, my 9/100th-acre home landscape in central Asheville yielded about 75 pounds of crabapples, which became several gallons of canned juice and cider; numerous pawpaws; probably 30 pounds of grapes; 10 or 20 pounds of scallions, onions, leeks and garlic; strawberries; Jerusalem artichokes; rose hips; greens galore; and all the herbs my family needed for the year, including bay leaves, fennel seed and cayenne seasoning.

We harvested serviceberries from a neglected parking lot across the street, from the verges of the Asheville City Hall, and from the North Asheville library’s parking lot, and turned the ripe berries into juice for canning. We harvested pears from abandoned downtown land.

There’s fruit and much more that’s falling to the ground, rotting and going to waste in Asheville. Perhaps what’s needed isn’t more planting of hard-to-maintain orchards, but more effort to tend what already grows. The city really doesn’t need to be “investing in … prime locations that are visible.” The city already owns such parcels.

— Nan K. Chase
Author of “Eat Your Yard!”
Co-author of “Drink the Harvest”
Asheville

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