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Thread: Paw Paw Fruit

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    Default Paw Paw Fruit

    Has anyone come across Paw Paw trees with ripe goodness waiting to be enjoyed???

    This coming weekend I'll be searching a location in central Illinois.

    https://newherald.news/the-story-of-...-p5395-103.htm


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    According to the American Indian Health and Diet Project, “It is believed that the American Indians planted and cultivated the pawpaw. The Iroquois mashed the fruit into small, dried cakes or dried the fruit by itself. The dried cakes were sometimes soaked in water and used as a sauce or mixed with cornbread.”
    Several sources we found mention the year 1541 as the time when Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto first encountered pawpaws. In “A Pawpaw Primer,” published in the anthology “Cornbread Nation 3,” Colleen Anderson describes de Soto seeing baskets Native Americans had woven from strips of pawpaw bark.
    In an article for Smithsonian Gardens, Jessica Brode writes: “Native people in the Mississippi Valley and elsewhere planted and cultivated pawpaws in ways that are still visible in the landscape today.”
    Brode theorizes that the Spanish could have named the fruit “papaya,” which evolved into the word pawpaw, or perhaps it’s a corrupted spelling of another Caribbean fruit. “What is known,” she continues, “is that the tree’s scientific name (Asimina triloba) comes from the Powhatan word Assimina, which a Jamestown settler transcribed in 1612 as ‘wheat plum.’”
    The pawpaw sustained Lewis and Clark during their travels, and apparently George Washington had a passion for them.
    “Like Lewis and Clark, the many settlers to follow, and the native peoples before him, Washington and his armies would have found this rich fruit a welcome blessing when provisions were low,” writes Andrew Moore in the Washington Post. Moore became so enthralled with the pawpaw that he wrote an entire book about it. “Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit” was published in 2017. Moore says there is a pawpaw patch growing near Washington’s tomb at Mount Vernon.

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    They were plentiful along rivers and creeks when I was younger back in the 60's-70's. After I left middle Tennessee in '79, I would not see another one till about 2005. I spied its fruit immediately and partook of this wondermont of nature. Possums are known for cleaning off the tree and all their like kind(racoons/skunks, etc...) devouring that which hit the ground. I kept an eye on it, was stripped in 3 days! The Dept of Agriculture and many state ag schools tried hard to cultivate this with it ending in total failure. Its like they don't/will not produce in captivity(fabricated orchard), so it was over quick with many devoted contributors broken hearted. That said, it was along slowly flowing Lookout Creek, West base of Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park lands(6000 acres) TN/GA stateline. I have watched it off and on since, but never saw it bear fruit again like that summer. It has a unique bark and can be easily spotted, always adjacent to water of which it thrives. My granny used to gather them by the basket, but you got to be quicker than the critters. They're going down in history like the Mulberry trees and the real mountain folks, that group of citizens who never knew there was a Depression or the Great War.

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    “They're going down in history like the Mulberry trees and the real mountain folks, that group of citizens who never knew there was a Depression or the Great War.”

    Unfortunately pawpaws and mulberries have a short shelf life, so you’ll never see them in grocery stores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Match View Post
    They were plentiful along rivers and creeks when I was younger back in the 60's-70's. After I left middle Tennessee in '79, I would not see another one till about 2005. I spied its fruit immediately and partook of this wondermont of nature. Possums are known for cleaning off the tree and all their like kind(racoons/skunks, etc...) devouring that which hit the ground. I kept an eye on it, was stripped in 3 days! The Dept of Agriculture and many state ag schools tried hard to cultivate this with it ending in total failure. Its like they don't/will not produce in captivity(fabricated orchard), so it was over quick with many devoted contributors broken hearted. That said, it was along slowly flowing Lookout Creek, West base of Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park lands(6000 acres) TN/GA stateline. I have watched it off and on since, but never saw it bear fruit again like that summer. It has a unique bark and can be easily spotted, always adjacent to water of which it thrives. My granny used to gather them by the basket, but you got to be quicker than the critters. They're going down in history like the Mulberry trees and the real mountain folks, that group of citizens who never knew there was a Depression or the Great War.
    I hope to sprout some seeds next spring and grow them for a year and then transplant in a good location along a nearby creek. It's been 2 years since I had a few to snack on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    “They're going down in history like the Mulberry trees and the real mountain folks, that group of citizens who never knew there was a Depression or the Great War.”

    Unfortunately pawpaws and mulberries have a short shelf life, so you’ll never see them in grocery stores.
    If I can find a good amount I'll try my hand at drying some to see how that works to prolong the season of goodness. I've never had dried paw paws, look forward to do some drying. I've been drying apples for the past 2 weeks.

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    "The Dept of Agriculture and many state ag schools tried hard to cultivate this with it ending in total failure." That has not always been true. Here in Frankfort, Kentucky State University's USDA program has done some interesting things with pawpaws. To access information about pawpaw nurseries, and also find recipes for cooking with them, or making ice cream, google " Kentucky State University pawpaw ".

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    I have pawpaw trees in my back field (two different varieties) and the fruits (smaller than usual) are starting to drop. I would be happy to send seeds to WBers who request them (by private message, pls). These are cultivated varieties and you need both for cross-pollination.

    The taste is delicious, but I can only eat pawpaws in small quantities, as they upset my digestion. This is not a rare problem, if pawpaw info I've seen is to be believed.

    The trees are lovely, though they do have send up suckering shoots all around the. Don't plant them too close to a vegetable garden, as I unfortunately did.

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    Right along the trail outside of Harpers Ferry my sons and I walked past some superb looking fruit. Between the Shenandoah River and Chestnut Hill Rd if memory serves correctly.

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    Default Old, like me

    Quote Originally Posted by Siestita View Post
    "The Dept of Agriculture and many state ag schools tried hard to cultivate this with it ending in total failure." That has not always been true. Here in Frankfort, Kentucky State University's USDA program has done some interesting things with pawpaws. To access information about pawpaw nurseries, and also find recipes for cooking with them, or making ice cream, google " Kentucky State University pawpaw ".
    The Paw Paw report I found was thru the US Dept of Agriculture dated back in the 50's, and that was all I could find in around 2005. Information accessability, thanks to the internet, has uncovered vast treasure troves with a click instead of a library.

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    https://hikesandhops.org/tag/pawpaw/

    This hiking spot has a grove of pawpaw trees:

    Cove Mountain Preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed by volunteers from the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club. The Nature Conservancy purchased the land in 2017, making it the first nature preserve owned by TNC in Central PA. This important purchase actually creates a 14-mile stretch of protected land along the Kittatinny Ridge in Central Pennsylvania. This ridge forms a 185-mile stretch of rugged mountain from the Mason-Dixon Line to the Delaware River Gap. According to The Nature Conservancy, this ridge is critical to the biodiversity of Pennsylvania because it provides a forested “superhighway” for animals to escape from the effects of changing climates.

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    Default Thank you Zelph!

    Quote Originally Posted by zelph View Post
    https://hikesandhops.org/tag/pawpaw/

    This hiking spot has a grove of pawpaw trees:

    Cove Mountain Preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed by volunteers from the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club. The Nature Conservancy purchased the land in 2017, making it the first nature preserve owned by TNC in Central PA. This important purchase actually creates a 14-mile stretch of protected land along the Kittatinny Ridge in Central Pennsylvania. This ridge forms a 185-mile stretch of rugged mountain from the Mason-Dixon Line to the Delaware River Gap. According to The Nature Conservancy, this ridge is critical to the biodiversity of Pennsylvania because it provides a forested “superhighway” for animals to escape from the effects of changing climates.
    That broght back a flood of memories. My great, great grandmother was Shawnee, always at war with the Cherokee, unfortunately meeting during harvest times which resulted in horrific clashes. If the Paw Paw trees could talk..............

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    I found some just south of the James River in mid Sept ‘21. Very nice treat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Match View Post
    That broght back a flood of memories. My great, great grandmother was Shawnee, always at war with the Cherokee, unfortunately meeting during harvest times which resulted in horrific clashes. If the Paw Paw trees could talk..............
    When the pawpaw fruit were plentiful, both tribes were at peace sharing the wonders of nature. To bad the fruit shelf life was so short Peace among the tribes....short

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    My searching this past weekend was for naught....

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    I see lots of Paw Paw trees around here in southwest Michigan, but I rarely see fruit. I'm not sure what the secret is. There is a town named Paw Paw not far from here (west of Kalamazoo). There is also a Paw Paw WV, right on the Potomac River at the base of the eastern panhandle. Across the river from there is the Paw Paw tunnel on the C&O Canal. The canal builders got tired of following the meanders in the river at that point so they started cutting through the mountain ridges. One mountain was to big to cut off so they tunneled through it. Quite a site. I used to see Paw Paw fruit fairly often in the mountains of MD where I grew up in the 1970's.

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    I really like the taste of them.....wish I could have found some this year

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