Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Foraging for Paw Paws

My only association with paw paws before now was the song about the paw paw patch my mom sang to me when I was little.  I didn't know what they looked like, or how they tasted.

But Paul and I have always been kind of interested in foraging, and lately we stepped up our game by watching some videos and reading some books on the subject (I may do a post on these resources in the future - some of them were excellent). 

Around our land, we have foraged things like wineberries, walnuts, acorns, persimmons, and morel mushrooms.  I have plans to try a few things with dandelion roots this fall, when they are prime for digging.

But Paul found out about a place where they have paw paws.  These are Virginia's largest native fruit.  You pick them once they fall off and start turning brown.  They taste kind of similar to a papaya. 

I was a little wary, since resources online said that some people are allergic.  So we each just tried a small amount.  Turns out no one had any issues.  And all of us liked the paw paws, except for Cort. 

Paul saved a bunch of the seeds to try to plant some on our property, down by the stream.  Apparently they like those sorts of areas, but can be a little hard to get the seeds started.  We will see - maybe we'll have some growing in the future.

27 comments:

Buttons Thoughts said...

I have never heard of them I would surely try them. Foraging for your own food on your own land is smart if you know what you are doing:) Hug B

reana claire said...

Never seen this before... they look kind of cute.. edible?

Out on the prairie said...

they are a fun find, a fall forage with my grandmother. I see them more to the south of me.

Crystal Collier said...

Ooh! I want to try some. We get wild watermelons growing all over around here, but I'm not a huge fan.

Linda E said...

I have neither seen nor heard of them. Interesting; now I will have to look them up as well. Have a happy day!

Nancy Chan said...

Hi Lisa, my first visit here via Reana Claire's blog. I have not seen this fruit before. I guess they do not grow in my country. In a way they do look like bananas. So they taste like papaya? I love papaya. You have a very interesting blog.

SweetMarie said...

never heard of this fruit, but how cool! I would love to have fruit trees. my grandmother shares wonderful stories from her childhood where she had plenty of fruit trees to eat from. :)

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I usually smell them before I see any, kind of a ripe banana smell as one walks through the woods. Of course the large leaves are a give away even when driving by the woods. My aunt was allergic to them but I haven't heard of anyone else being so. They have nice large seeds that look like they would make a good necklace.

PioneerPreppy said...

You want to keep any seeds that sprout out of direct sunlight. I always fail at Paw Paw planting.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I've never even heard of them!

Michael Manning said...

I must admit that I have never heard of this fruit. Interesting. :)

Sally said...

New one for me, Lisa! I'm glad no one was allergic, and perhaps you'll have a crop next year. :)

xoxo

Fernando Santos (Chana) said...

Olá Lisa; nunca ouvi falar deles...Bela fotografia...Espectacular....
Cumprimentos

Hi! I am LiLi! said...

Never heard of this fruit. Please share a photo of a sliced one next time.

Karen S. said...

Wow, very interesting, I haven't seen them but I have heard about them.

Texan said...

My friend started some from seeds and gave me two! I have had them in pots growing them up for over a year.. this fall they go in the ground. Funny I have now seen post on Paw paws twice in a week! I didn't realize they would grow in a much colder winter climate than ours. I hope mine will do good!

TexWisGirl said...

have never seen them before! cool!

Harry Flashman said...

Way down yonder in the Paw Paw patch.

Where, oh where, oh where is Susie?
Where, oh where, oh where is Susie?
Where, oh where, of where is Susie?
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

Chorus:
Picking up paw-paws; put 'em in a basket.
Picking up paw-paws; put 'em in a basket.
Picking up paw-paws;put 'em in a basket.
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

Come along, boys, and let's go find her.
Come along, boys, and let's go find her.
Come along, boys, and let's go find her.
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch

My mom sang that to me when I was a little boy.



alissa apel said...

I've never heard of them. I wonder if they grow in Nebraska. I'll have to look it up.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

That is very interesting,,,, we have never seen or heard of those things.
love
tweedles

Lin said...

Never heard of them until I saw Harry's comment...then it reminded me that I had indeed heard of them...but had NO idea what the heck they were. You sure have some weird stuff growing over there!

Endah Murniyati said...

It's really new for me.

Becky Mushko said...

Your pawpaws look good! Our pawpaw harvest in Penhook, VA, only yielded about 2 dozen, and they were smaller than usual. I blogged about them here: http://peevishpen.blogspot.com/2015/09/pawpaws-2015.html. To get the seeds to grow, you have to scuff them up a bit.

Beth from VA, . . ."E" said...

i feel there is a story about these trees. do they give fruit of some kind? i think maybe this is the tree that the hubby has spoken on before? we kayak all the time & i think we did smell something from them. i wonder if i am getting it confused with another tree?

way cool either way. ( :

Linda said...

Neat! I don't think I've ever found any.

mail4rosey said...

Good luck getting them to grow. That would be really cool!

Annette said...

How interesting! Good luck in trying to grow them. (I remember the song...)