Recently, as we've driven around town on various errands, I have noticed an apricot tree a couple of blocks from our house. The tree and the ground around it are covered with ripe fruit. We have seen birds and bunnies nibbling on the fallen fruit and I've wondered why nobody is gathering it.
Today, on an impulse, I pulled over and rang the doorbell. An elderly gentleman answered and I asked him if we could gather a few apricots. He smiled and said I could take as much as I wanted. I thanked him and told him we would bring him some apricot jam.
We ran home and gathered up some baskets, buckets, and bags and set to work.
Thanks to Google, I found a great site with detailed instructions on how to make apricot jam. We still have the basket and the large blue bucket left to process.
The moral to this story is, "It never hurts to ask." We have some wonderful, apricot jam to share with others and enjoy ourselves, made from scratch, for free! If I had never asked for permission to gather the fruit, I would have missed out on this great opportunity.