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 there’s one thing we continually learn in offering our School Orchard Program it’s that culinary classes are always a hit with students and teachers alike! They’re hands-on and sensory-rich, foster team-work, collaboration, and creative thinking, and offer educators a breadth of content integration possibilities. Take for instance a recent summertime lesson on fermentation we offered … Continue reading Getting Funky with Fermentation – MS/HS Lesson (PDF Download)
Well, we all know gardeners can be a little nutty, but these next two groups take the cake. The Pennsylvania Nut Growers Association (PNGA) and New York Nut Growers Association (NNGA) asked POP to join them at their spring meeting at Delaware State University in Doylestown, PA this year, and it was well worth the … Continue reading Those Nutty Gardeners: PA & NY Nut Growers Association!
After a rough winter with some single digit temperatures, we’re very pleased to see most of the figs in the city sprouting new growth! The amount of winter damage has been very variable from site to site and even one tree to another. Some are sprouting high on the tree: Some are only sprouting from … Continue reading Fig winter die-back and spring pruning
Amaranth/Pigweed is one of dozens of the most common urban weeds included in POP’s Weed Identification Guide, which is available for order through our website. I must have seen amaranth a thousand times, as an easily-pulled seedling in my vegetable garden—but I never really noticed it until I stepped onto an organic farm in early … Continue reading Amaranth: Super feed, Super weed
Consider this, in part, a preview to POPCORE3: Plants & Fungi We Love and What To Do With Them on March 22nd, part of our Community Orchard Resilience Education series. We hope you’ll join us to learn new ways to craft from and celebrate your orchard plantings. Shrub: a small to medium-sized woody plant Shrub: a cocktail or soft … Continue reading Shrubs with Shrubs: Incorporating Underutilized Shrubs into Your Garden, and Your Cocktails
On February 10th 2018, more than 20 people gathered at Awbury Agricultural Village to learn about some of the “unusual” fruits that POP plants and why. There were some great takeaways from this workshop including learning more in depth about some of the less common options available to Philadelphia-based orchards. The most important piece from … Continue reading Unusual Fruits for Philly Orchards: The Benefits of Being Different
My name is Megan Brookens and I am the new Repair the World Fellow partnered with POP for the year! I’m working with our Education Director, Alyssa Schimmel, to develop lesson plans and activities to use at our school orchard sites. This season, I am excited to learn with and from the students at our … Continue reading POP Fig Varieties and Introducing Megan Brookens: A Fellow Fig Lover!