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)

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

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

Recapping Juneberry Joy 2017!

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!

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)

Plant Spotlight: The Joyful Juneberry (Amelanchier spp)

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)

Plant Spotlight: Meet the Pawpaw! (Asimina triloba)

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)

Burdock: Blessing or Burr-den?

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?