Re: Solving World Problems: Hunger

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 18:02:38 MST

On 1/28/02 4:25 PM, "Miriam English" <> wrote:
> I think there is another problem, in Australia at least...
> Some time ago I looked into the idea of getting councils to plant fruit
> trees rather than decorative ones, and found out that it was either against
> some law or against some set of rules or guidelines. (I can't remember
> exactly... it was about 20 years ago that I looked into this.)
> The point is that there must be some reasoning behind preventing this...
> never found out what...
> - maybe it is to lessen the cost of cleaning up putrefying fruit
> - maybe it is because previous attempts to do this produced local squabbles
> - maybe people snuck around and stripped trees of fruit and sold it at
> local markets
> - maybe moneyed interests in the local fruit trade were just afraid of
> their profits going down...

As someone who grew up around gobs of fruit trees of all types, I would say
your first reason is the correct one. A healthy fruit tree produces a *LOT*
of fruit, even a small one, and depending on the type of tree may produce
all year. There are three things you can do about it: 1) Do nothing and
have a very nasty and unsightly mess, 2) pay someone to cleanup and maintain
the trees, or 3) pay someone to spray hormones that keep the tree from
producing fruit.

If all the trees were fruit trees, not cleaning up the mess wouldn't be an
option or you would be swimming in rotten fruit goop. Paying someone to
clean up fallen fruit several times a week would get expensive. Paying
someone to spray hormones to keep the fruit from producing (the preferred
choice in regions here where people are inundated with fruit) would defeat
the original purpose. Having a ton of fruit trees seems like a neat idea
until you've actually been in that scenario; it really only takes a few
fruit trees to satisfy the demand of an entire neighborhood. Planting a few
fruit trees would be alright if people were consuming the fruit, but if you
are planting a lot of trees you'll want most of them to be the "non-fruit
producing" kind.

I think part of the reason I don't eat much fruit today (though I do it lots
of veggies) is that I got truly sick of fruit as child, since there was a
bottomless supply of free fruit of all types growing in our neighborhood. I
think the few small trees in our yard alone were producing several pounds of
fruit a day in peak season. One of the hazards of when fruit trees grow
like weeds.


-James Rogers

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