Craig Durkin and Aubrey Daniels took notice of this excess a little over a decade ago when the gift of a cider press prompted them to throw a party. As cash-strapped college students, they lacked the funds to buy enough apples to press for their guests. So they scoured the neighborhoods for apple trees, knocking on doors to ask for permission to pick the fruit. Inevitably the answer was yes.
Their party, Ciderfest, became an annual event. Friends pitched in to harvest not only apples, but all kinds of urban-dwelling edibles. They experimented with unfamiliar discoveries, turning flying dragon fruit into citrusy drinks and custardy pawpaws into tropical-flavored ice cream. They also began donating their overabundance to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries.