I know I've gone on about this before - probably many times, but it always amazes me how much free food never gets taken/picked or gathered, certainly where we live.
We are blessed in this region with wonderful walnut trees - the nut of which I believe has super cancer-beating properties as well as being a king of free food, and totally delicious in cake, salads, etc.
There is a tree about the size of a double decker bus down our road, always laden in late October/early November. A few autumnal squalls and the ground is covered with walnuts - which only we seem to collect. Is it a time thing? We are busy but find ten minutes to walk down the road, or perhaps a 'can't be bothered thing' - just get some when we're in the supermarket.
The seasons come and go and we collect many other ignored fruits: apricots, apples, plums, occasionally a rare treat of an abandoned peach tree's fruit, figs, lemons - if down on the coast, and pomegranates.
The fact that these wonders of nature are ignored, out of all the other freebies, boggles my mind immensely.
A super food, crammed with minerals, vitamins, and the most beautiful colour when made into juice/jelly . . . everywhere for the taking, in peoples gardens, on roadsides . . . ignored. People do seem to buy them in shops - I see them, delivered from Spain - the same variety. Weird.
Anyway, we've done our jam batches, and now the free food slims down over winter until wild asparagus and 'nèfle' fruits, which no one ever picks (medlar in English, I think). There's always mushrooms, but we have yet to conquer our fear of eating the wrong thing, or being shot by over-excited hunters, which does occasionally happen . . .