I had the pleasure of visiting Owen Taylor at his farm within the Mill Hollow Farm in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Owen runs Truelove Seeds, a network of 20 farms that offers “rare, open pollinated, and culturally important vegetable, herb, and flower seeds.” Among this network of seed growers are several POP orchard partner sites, including Sankofa Farm at Bartram’s Garden, Mill Creek Farm, and Pentridge Children’s Garden.
In surveying our 62 orchard partners through our annual orchard partner survey, we heard that some fruit gets picked before it’s ripe and that some partners wanted more information to share with their community members on how to harvest, store, and prepare common or native fruits of their orchards. This feedback has been pretty common … Continue reading Introducing POP’s Bilingual Rainbow Nutrition & Recipe Cards — Available for Download
The POPHarvest gleaning program has taken a few turns and this year ventured into new fruiterritory, launching a new POPHarvestEd workshop series! The POPHarvest program, first piloted in 2014, is focused on picking and distributing fruit that would otherwise go to waste. These programs have taken two primary forms: distributing excess production from regional commercial … Continue reading POPHarvest Program Update 2018-19
As you might already know, POP’s community orchards are beneficial in a number of ways, providing: Beautiful neighborhood green spaces that provide opportunities for community gathering and engagement; A wide range of environmental benefits including providing pollinator habitats, sequestering carbon, and reducing stormwater runoff; Opportunities for micro-enterprise and hands-on food system and nature education; A … Continue reading Health Benefits of Orchard Fruits
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