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Atlanta According to Robby Astrove

The eco-advocate and fruit forager knows where to find the city’s best berries

Robby Astrove

On any given day, you’re likely to find Robby Astrove helping plant young trees, clear trails, shake fruit from branches, or help out any of the countless causes he holds dear. The Florida native is a man of many hats — arborist, educator, park ranger at the Arabia-Davidson Nature Preserve — but is also one of the metro region’s most passionate tree huggers and advocates for Atlanta’s environment.

Arabia Mountain is formerly metro Atlanta’s best kept secret. Thanks for blowing the cover on that one CL.

The best advice I could give an Atlanta visitor is to explore the charm and flavor of intown neighborhoods and to support the local independent small businesses there.

Some of my favorite nature spots are Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, Hahn Woods at Emory University, and Fernbank Forest. I love the botanical preserve that is Oakland Cemetery. Rather than focus on what’s underground at this historic cemetery, the real thing to pay respect to are the plants and wildlife that thrive there.

My favorite neighborhood is — I’m a little biased to share my favorite neighborhood. It’s East Atlanta Village because it’s where I live and the East Atlanta Farmers market is where you go to get fresh with the locals. But West End holds pole position as a favorite too. It’s such a deserving cultural hub for the city. There is lots of creative energy, vegan and soul food galore, and many gardens and farms are located there. I’ve planted many trees in West End since 2007. I’m fond of the historic homes along Peeples Street. The lively Lee Street and Ralph David Abernathy Drive intersection reminds me of home in Miami where I grew up near Little Haiti. I like to people watch there.

The Bank of America building is my favorite building. It’s the building I look for when flying in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. You can see it from the tops of Arabia, Stone, and Panola mountains. It’s that familiar icon of the Atlanta skyline that most of us know. You always know where Peachtree Street is when you see it.

Angel Poventud is my favorite living Atlantan. Much love for the Caboose!

Birthday for Robby Robb? Take me to Doggy Dogg.

Something I know about Atlanta that nobody else knows is where the majority of serviceberries are planted. I’m a fruit forager; I take notice to these things.

The local food movement is the best place to find inspiration in Atlanta. Seriously, they are some of the hardest-working and most generous people around and such beautiful soulful folks.

In the Atlanta of the future the community will be feeding ourselves and it will include fruit tree orchards, berry patches, edible landscaping in city parks, and biologically diverse agroecology landscapes like the ones created by the Grow Where You Are collective. We already live in the City in the Forest. Let’s get growing so we can be the City in the Food Forest! I’m working to guarantee this future.