On a recent Sunday morning, a group of eight people gather at a San Pedro home for a morning of fruit harvesting and creating seasonal cocktails made from locally grown fruit. There are two types of fruit tours offered — one with a cocktail focus, and the other tour is family-friendly. The creator and hostess of the tours is Army Linderborg, whose philosophy is to swap and share from the abundant fruit trees in San Pedro, so nothing goes to waste. Her tours are also a way to educate people on how unpicked fruit can be donated and traded at no cost.
Tours often include various people, including visitors from out of the area or country, couples on a date, people celebrating a special occasion, friend outings, and families. Army quickly makes everybody feel at home in her spacious yard shaded by fruit trees. She encourages guests to sample fruit they have never tasted to connect people closer to the earth.
On this tour, guests are immediately put to work juicing blood oranges for mimosas. Everybody is getting to know each other while learning how to use the picking tools to harvest kumquats and loquats off the higher branches. The tour includes education about fruit and a quick trip into the neighbor’s yard for more harvesting. Army picks and swaps fruit from her neighbors and friends all year long, so the tours are ever-changing. The mimosas are refreshing, and a nice break before the group heads to a house down the street to pick avocados that are challenging to get from the very high branches. Walking down the street, Army greets neighbors by name and gives local tips to her guests like the new Sunday pizza pop-up on 15th and Grand called Miller Butler.
Army, a reality television show producer, noticed an abundance of unpicked fruit in San Pedro and wanted to make use of the surplus fruit. She helped create a free garden swap that is held monthly at NUDA Juice and Wellness. Anybody can donate fruit and take what they need at no cost. Army also assists residents with picking their trees and trading fruit with them or donating that fruit to charities like San Pedro Meals on Wheels. She also puts fruit in corner stands (30th and Alma/8th and Walker) that offer free food.
Army often takes tour guests in her big Suburban to yards around San Pedro to pick fruit and see another side of our town, the local fruit trees. It is an intimate and friendly time together for two hours, and guests leave with fruit to take home. Recently, one tour included a stop at local San Pedro Today food writer Sanam Lamborn’s yard. Guests picked citrus and enjoyed a cake baked by Sanam made with an entire orange from her tree.
Guests can register for a fruit tour on Airbnb Experiences ($25-$35 and up per person). Each tour is different depending on the fruit season but can include nectarines, peaches, mulberries, guava, persimmons, apricots, and much more. Airbnb provides her insurance to go into yards and drive her guests to local homes.
If every block in San Pedro had an Army, no locally grown fruit would go to waste. Her tours are bringing tourism to San Pedro in a healthy and educated way.
If you have a fruit tree that you would like Army to pick, contact her via Instagram @armylinderborg, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone at (602) 290-8024. Her Airbnb experiences can be booked through these airbnb.com links: Family Friendly Fruit Pick San Pedro and Fresh Picked Happy Hour. spt