Friday, January 02, 2009


So I recently discovered the concept of usufruct in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma.  As I understand it, it is an idea that dates back to the Romans in which a person can us use or benefit from another's property as long as the property isn't damaged.  Pollan writes about an experience in which he took cherries that hung over a tree into a family member's yard.  Pollan also describes places in his hometown, Berkeley, from which he can get fruit from publicly located trees.  

Though I have traditionally been on the cautious side, my wife has readily enjoyed the benefits of the public cornucopia.  One of my earliest memories of this is camping at Craig Lake in the U.P. and finding some wild blueberries.  She, I, and another friend made blueberry pancakes, with the blueberries that survived our happy taste buds.  

Now, the twins and I take bike rides in the fall and pick mulberries from the trees along the Flint River Trail.  It makes for happy messy times.  I look forward to making it a foursome when our new one is old enough.  

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