|Pawpaw fruit on a seedling tree|
What is a Pawpaw (Paw paw) Tree?
A pawpaw is a fruit tree native to much of North America - zones 5 -7 (areas with cold winters and warm summers)
The fruit is in the "custard apple" family. And tastes of banana, papaya, and some say of melon
They are nutritious, with high levels of Vitamin C, iron, potassium, and other important vitamins and minerals
In it's native habitat, the paw paw tree has few pests
The zebra swallowtail butterfly larvae feeds exclusively on pawpaw leaves - but not in large or destructive numbers
Deer tend to feed only on the fruit; leaving the trees and branches alone - making the tree deer resistant
The fruit do not travel well commercially or last longer than several days when fully ripe. This is why you may never have seen pawpaws in grocery stores
(information gathered from Sun Nurseries Pawpaws and Kentucky State University Pawpaw planting guide)
|Public Domain Photo by Manuel.conde|
My Pawpaw Adventure
I love Sun Nurseries and discovered it early this past spring. It is a bit of drive to get to it, so I don't go as often as I would like. But when I realized they had Pawpaws for sale, I made plans to drive over.
I'm so glad I did. As usual, the Sun Nurseries staff were amazingly friendly and helpful. I bought a pawpaw, they gave me a plastic spoon, and I went outside and sat on the gazebo step as I prepared to eat my first pawpaw.
I had brought my own knife, and I was a bit surprised by the spoon. As soon as I cut the top off the fruit, I realized that the spoon was pretty important.
The cold (it had been refrigerated), sweet, yellow fruit was very soft. In fact, the texture reminded me of flan. The taste was a combination of subtle banana and papaya...with the fresh coolness of melon.
When I was finished, I wrapped up the seeds (to avoid littering) and stuck them in my bag. I was glad I did. The staff told me that I could plant the seeds if I'd like - since I'm not in a rush to have mature trees quickly. The seeds information was good news. I was worried that the seedling plants they offered for sale would be too large to get safely from Maryland to my land in West Virginia. Sure, the trees could sit on the front seat of the Jeep and poke out the sun rider roof, but the wind would surely cause great damage to the tree.
You can bet I'll be planting my pawpaw seeds and trying to grow my own sweet, soft, wonderful fruit and/or trying to find a way to transport a seedling tree up to my land.
An article about my first trip to Sun Nurseries. If you are in the Maryland area and are looking for a wonderful place to see, consider, and purchase plants, shrubs, trees, roses, garden benches, fountains, boulder owls, and so much more... Sun Nurseries is your best bet. Definitely worth a drive. Each time I've been there, the staff are friendly, helpful, and they go above and beyond to make sure you are a happy customer. Each time I go, I wander around for hours; planning my future outdoor space, listening to the birds, sitting near the fountains, and watching the butterflies.
The Shack is where I'll plant my pawpaw trees and where someday I'll live a country and more self-sufficient life. I think pawpaw trees will be a great addition to that little piece of land. I think the perfect spot will be where the "yard" meets the woods - near MY other trees (It still excites me to call them "my" trees!).
In my search for pawpaw recipes, I've found this book. Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit has been added to my wishlist.
|Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit|