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Mango Heaven: The Urban Forager's Guide to Free Mangoes

Mangoes, mangoes, mangoes. Eat em for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Bath in mangoes. Why? Because in Miami, mango season is here. They are so abundant, you can get 'em for free.

Farms, businesses and individuals are taking advantage of the constant flow of these sweet and fleshy fruits, with many roadside vendors popping up and selling them for a buck apiece. But you can get em for free.


Before you head off and start plucking fruit off a tree, know that trespassing is illegal and even if you did not trespass, you could be charged with Florida Statues Title XLVI Chapter 812.014 (2)(c)13(e), or petit theft, in the process. And stealing 2,000 or more pieces of fruit from a citrus tree is considered grand theft. Be aware.

There is no law on the books the specifically addresses the issue of snatching fruit from a tree branch that hangs over your fence line, but in Florida stealing any fruit from agriculturally zoned land is a felony.

"If the branches are hanging over the fence, I would appreciate it if someone would ask me," says Lana Morris, 43, who sells mangoes from her trees for one dollar apiece near Galloway Road in Pinecrest. "When someone would come over and take them off the tree without asking

then I would have a problem with it because the tree is on my property."

But you shouldn't have to take fruit from trees hanging over her fence, because directly across from her house are three mango trees chock full of fruit sitting along the side of the road beyond any noticeable property line.

Stray banana trees bearing fruit may be a bit harder to find but they are out there. To find a patch of fruit-bearing banana trees like the one in front of the The Falls Shopping Center security office is even harder.

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