Nov 6, 2017
Ginkgo seed gathering
￼After reading @genkidesu 's post about seeing the ginkgo leaves change, it reminded me of something I found amusing between Japan and the states. In the states, if someone has a fruit tree growing in their yard, and the branches reach over onto the sidewalk, many in my neighborhoods where I have lived considered this public free for all to pick the fruit that has begun to ripen on the street side. However, this doesn’t pertain to public trees on public property like inside a park. That would be stealing public property. Mind you, most parks in the states don’t contain fruit trees. There are many with ginkgo trees, considered decoration, not a food source. However, here in Japan as well as other Asian countries, ginkgo is edible and a waste to just leave the seeds to rot on the ground. I remember a time in university when a friend’s family would sneak in the dead of night to collect the seeds from the nearby park, afraid of police shooing them off but happy to have some ginkgo for their Chinese dishes.
Japan seems to be the complete opposite when it comes to fruit trees. if a tree is growing on someones personal property, regardless of if the ripe fruit is smacking you in the face on a public sidewalk, it is not a free for all to take or even touch the fruit growing on the tree. Nor is it ok to pick the fallen fruit, either. I even had a grumpy neighbor threaten to call the police because he thought I was stealing his precious fruit. I had only picked up a fallen pomegranate to take a picture. However, just the other day, I saw two ladies out at a park with plastic bags, taking their time and meticulously clearing the area of all ginkgo seeds on the ground. Their bags completely full as they walked back home, no worries about being caught or even scolded for “stealing public property”.
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too