No Shame!

When it comes to “foraging”, I really have no shame.  Several years ago, we were in Joplin and found a business that had dozens of crab apple trees in their landscaping.

Crab Apples

The trees were so full of fruit so we asked if we could gather some and they said “Take all you want!” so we did.

Crab Apples

Most every time I leave home, I pass a pear tree that is full of pears.  I always ask Vince if we can stop and ask the people if we can have some pears and he won’t do it.  “I’m not begging for food!”  I don’t see it as begging.  If they’re not using them and they’re going to waste, why can’t I have them?

Today I was so tired and decided take a nap.  The minute I got in bed, I remembered those pears and I said . . dang it . . if Vince won’t ask them if we can have some, I will ask them.  I got up, got in the car and went to the pear tree.  I asked and the lady said “Take all you want!”  I took her some eggs and offered to bring her a pear cake or pie but she said she didn’t eat much sweets.



Several bags full of pears came home with me.  They’re small and hard . . good for canning and baking.  Poor tree . . probably hasn’t had any fertilizer or extra water in years and years.

Banana Nut Bread and Pear Cake

Banana Nut Bread and Pear Cake

I came home and cut up enough of them to make a pear cake.  Tomorrow I will cut the rest of them and can them and the best part . . I will save all the skins, cores and parts I don’t use and start a making of pear vinegar . . my favorite fruit vinegar!


  1. 1

    Tricia says

    We live way up in the mountains, out in the middle of nowhere, really. We theoretically have “neighbors” but they live miles away and not anywhere where we can see them except if we meet at the gate to our dirt road. Well, my husband did see our neighbor down our hill in the bushes, apparently picking something. My husband called out, “I know times are bad but I didn’t realize that it had come to you have to forage for nuts and berries!” Apparently we have chokeberries on the edge of our property and his wife could not bear to see them go to waste! I am not keen on kitchen work so I am happy to see them go to a “loving home”!

  2. 2

    Rose says

    Mmmm pears … my favourite fruit!
    Well done you, it’s not good knowing food goes to waste when so much can be done with it.

  3. 3

    Donna Williams says

    I do the same thing! Louis cringes and hopes I don’t see stuff but I have an eagle eye for that kind of thing. Then he is all happy when the forage turns into a goody he likes. Waste not, want not.

  4. 4

    Peggy says

    I have never heard of pear vinegar, but wish I knew about it last month when I was making my version of pear butter. I love pears, but only when they are still hard with a sweet sour taste. My free pears were great this years. I hope yours are good. I am glad you stopped.

  5. 5


    I’m with you. Why waste them? If someone else doesn’t want them, and you do … it’s just natural to ask! I love the idea of pear cake. I’m not fond of pears, but a pear cake sounds very possible.

    • 5.1


      I love pears and of course, I love the cake. It has butter and brown sugar in the bottom,then the pears and pecans, then a cake on top so it’s really an upside down pear cake. So good! Not too sweet but just right.

  6. 6


    What kills me is kitty corner across the street from the local fruit pantry, the house has a bunch of fruit trees in their front yard. And the trees are always full of fruit – I want to ask if it would be ok if I picked them to take to the pantry!
    We have a lemon tree that produces more than we can use. The neighbors on either side know they are welcome to help themselves. But what makes me mad is when strangers just come up and pick; if they asked, I would say OF COURSE! But you don’t ask – well, that is trespassing and stealing!
    I only like pears when they are hard and crisp – most people say not ripe!! LOL

    • 6.1


      You would love these. They are hard and crispy and a bit sweet but a bit sour.

      I agree . . I’ll give away most anything I own but ask before assuming it’s ok to take it.

  7. 7


    Could you please share how you make the vinegar? I just did some internet research on the subject, and would be interested to see how you do it.

  8. 9

    Bon says

    Well, that’s 2 new things for me. I’ve never heard of pear cake or pear vinegar. And your post reminds me that I have 3 pears out on the table that a friend picked up from a tree down the road from where she lives. She gave me a half dozen. Yummy. Bartletts.

  9. 10


    That bread and cake sure look good. I’ve heard of pear butter, but not of pear cake. Do you just make it like pineapple upside down cake? I love pears, and am hoping the recent storm didn’t wipe out the trees on the CSA farm I’ve invested in. A lot of trees were destroyed in that area, so I’m hoping some of the fruit trees were spared.

  10. 12

    Sherrill says

    I thought for sure maybe the chickens would get something left over from the pears! HA But not if you make vinegar from the peels & cores. Poor chickens……

  11. 14

    Joanna says

    Oh, Judy, I so agree with you! I hate to see good fruit go to waste when many go hungry. I do just as you: ask the owner if I can take some, offer a trade of some fruit I have in our yard, or make something for them.
    I see lots of interest in the pear vinegar, and I hope you will share it!
    Thanks, joanna

  12. 15

    Sheila Sanderson says

    Quite right to go ad ask to pick some, it would be a shame if they go to waste. Going out to pick brambles today and hope to make jelly and get more jars than last week 2 and a half 🙂 jars

  13. 16


    You actually did that woman a good deed. The pears would have fallen off the tree, rotted on the ground and attracted yellow jackets that would have stung her. I’ll bet she enjoyed your fresh eggs. Vince probably wasn’t too embarrassed to eat the pear cake.

  14. 18

    Helen Koenig1 says

    Yum! This is the first year I’ve gotten a pear harvest. would have had a peach harvest of ONE peach – but my upstairs neighbours got to it before I did!
    Anyway – your pear cake sounds great – and I’ve never made pear vinegar. How many cores, etc? As you can figure, I’m hoping I will have enough this year from my own harvest.

  15. 19

    Dianne says

    That crab apple photo brought back some great memories. My grandma couldn’t stand to see them going to waste. She thought nothing of asking a tree owner for some. She was amazed when they often told her they wished she could take them all. She made the very best crab apple jelly. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • 19.1

      Helen Koenig1 says

      hmmm – there is at least one person here locally – that I may decide to contact re crab apples! Yum! I do love crab apple jelly – and it seems to me that I remember my grandmother making spiced crab apples for the Thanksgiving table too!

  16. 20


    I can’t eat much fruit because of the sugar, but pears are one of my favorites. So easy to cut up, very little core. I slice them and dry them and then I can handle a couple pieces every now and then. I used to make dried pear scones. They were soooo good.