Abandoned Fruit: Is It Yours for the Picking?

You’re walking past an abandoned or foreclosed property on an evening stroll. In addition to all the overgrown grass and rampant weeds, you notice trees with ripe fruits and a garden full of veggies, begging to be picked. Do you help yourself?

According to the New York Times, many people are doing just that. Thinking whoever planted the edible garden isn’t around to enjoy the harvest, neighbors figure no one will mind if they pick some tomatoes here and some squash there. Some even post maps of vacant lots online, and organize picking parties.

Still, picking fruit that you didn’t plant technically is stealing, just as guerrilla gardening on land that doesn’t belong to you is vandalism. But is it a bigger crime to let food go to waste?

Do you think people have a right to pick on abandoned or foreclosed property?