It is no wonder that persimmon’s Latin genus name “Diospyros” translates as “food of the gods” for the fruit’s divine, sweet flavor. The fall-ripening fruit of persimmon trees are rich and jammy and its honeyed flavor can be exquisitely sweet on the palette when given the proper ripening time on or off the tree — and especially … Continue reading Puckery, Perfect, or Preserved: Exploring Persimmons Fresh & Dried – MS/HS Lesson (PDF Download)
PERSIMMON TREE FACTS Asian Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is native to China, where it has been cultivated for centuries. Korea and Japan have also been centers of its cultivation, and it was introduced to California in the mid 1800’s. Asian Persimmons usually grow between 13-20 ft tall and wide and are self-fertile. At our community orchards, … Continue reading PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Persimmon (Diospyros)
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) Tree Facts Black Walnut (Juglans Nigra) is a perennial, stone fruit tree native to Eastern North America, commonly found in riparian zones (area between water and land). Technically the walnut produces a fruit called a “drupe” and is not a true nut! The drupes are harvested in the fall, dehulled and … Continue reading PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
If you’ve walked around the streets of Philadelphia in the fall, you’ve likely seen the gorgeous foliage and decor of crabapple and gingko trees. Although these trees are popular in urban landscapes and beyond, they are oft-overlooked as sources of foraged food. During this fall season, we encourage you to get creative and harvest these … Continue reading Getting Creative with Fall Foraging: Crabapples and Gingko Nuts and Leaves
After our Juneberry Joy jubilee, we are jumping for joy! An annual tradition in its second year, Juneberry Joy is an exciting collaboration between the Philadelphia Orchard Project, volunteers, and food artisans across the city. Each year, our POP volunteers help us harvest juneberries (also known as serviceberries or saskatoons) from the many juneberry trees polka-dotting … Continue reading Recapping Juneberry Joy 2017!
Written by 2016 POP Intern, Lucia Kearney. Despite their reputation as a weed tree, many people in both urban and rural environments have very fond childhood memories of mulberries! My own past is filled deliciously with mulberries. When I was a kid, my parents worked in Manayunk. On days when there was no school, I’d go to … Continue reading Plant Spotlight: The Plucky Mulberry (Morus)
By 2016 POP Intern, Lucia Kearney. It’s June, and that means a piece of good news for us all: the juneberries are ripening! While this is making some of us leap up and down doing happy dances, I’m sure it’s also making some ask, “What the heck’s a juneberry?!” Great question. Read all about them … Continue reading Plant Spotlight: The Joyful Juneberry (Amelanchier spp)
By 2016 POP Intern, Lucia Kearney. I first encountered the pawpaw one late-September day when my former elementary school art teacher came to my parents’ house for dinner. She and her husband had gone foraging for them on Swarthmore College’s campus before heading our way. I was perplexed; these fruits were native to the area, … Continue reading Plant Spotlight: Meet the Pawpaw! (Asimina triloba)
By 2016 POP Intern, Lucia Kearney Cornelian Cherries are some of the first trees to bloom, their bright yellow flowers bursting forth at the end of winter right when everyone could use some color in their lives. A member of the dogwood family, Cornelian Cherries are small trees, usually growing to around 16 feet in … Continue reading Cornelian Cherry (Cornus Mas), An Early Bloomer
By 2016 POP Intern, Bridget Downey, and POP Program Director, Robyn Mello Burdock is one of the first plants to be aware of at the start of spring when plants begin to emerge. Though it’s mostly loathed by gardeners, landscapers, and pet-owners due to its opportunistic nature and tenacious seedheads, it’s also a weed that is … Continue reading Burdock: Blessing or Burr-den?