PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Persimmon (Diospyros)

 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)

PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

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)

Fig winter die-back and spring pruning

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: Super feed, Super weed

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

POP Fig Varieties and Introducing Megan Brookens: A Fellow Fig Lover!

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!

Getting Creative with Fall Foraging: Crabapples and Gingko Nuts and Leaves

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

Bramble On: It’s Blackberry Time!

Q: What makes blackberries special? A: So many things! In order to properly research this blog post, a memory refresher of the taste of blackberries was in order! While the organic vegetable farm I work on does have blackberries growing, (mostly as a side enterprise) they are not yet ripe, and so I trekked to … Continue reading Bramble On: It’s Blackberry Time!

The World of Apples: A Tour of The USDA Apple Collection

  Article and photos by Robyn Mello, POP Program Director. See an extensive photo selection from the tour below the article. On Monday, I had the sheer joy and privilege of taking the day to visit what is likely the most unique display of Malus (apple) trees in the country, a dream nearly two years … Continue reading The World of Apples: A Tour of The USDA Apple Collection

Keep Calm and Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

By POP Intern, Lucia Kearney Description I first met anise hyssop one late summer day while helping my lovely friend Liz Wagner of Crooked Row Farm to finish up her CSA harvest so we could go grab milkshakes. Neither a member of the anise family nor the hyssop family, anise hyssop is actually a member … Continue reading Keep Calm and Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Plant Spotlight: The Plucky Mulberry (Morus)

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)