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Philadelphia’s fruit trees are blooming, but questions surround who gets the harvest

The galette, a baked dessert stuffed with mulberries, juneberries, and rhubarb, was sweet and delicious, a perfect confection to accompany a summer afternoon spent lounging on a West Philadelphia porch.

“What you’re tasting is the crime,” explained the baker, Monica Fonorow.

She was joking, kind of.

In West Philly, a foraging culture thrives. Fonorow had pulled the mulberries and juneberries from trees and bushes in West Philadelphia, where trees also tempt with cherries, pawpaws, and figs. But whether to pluck the fruit is a complicated matter, one that touches on property rights and good manners.

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