Paw Paws

Paw paws are here!

Limited number left for the season. Read the very informative excerts below from the California Rare Fruit Growers website--the bottom section on the Harvest will let you know what to expect from your paw paws.

Fruit: The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to America. Individual fruits weigh 5 to 16 ounces and are 3 to 6 inches in length. The larger sizes will appear plump, similar to the mango. The fruit usually has 10 to 14 seeds in two rows. The brownish to blackish seeds are shaped like lima beans, with a length of 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches. Pawpaw fruits often occur as clusters of up to nine individual fruits. The ripe fruit is soft and thin skinned.

Pollination: Poor pollination has always plagued the pawpaw in nature, and the problem has followed them into domestication. Pawpaw flowers are perfect, in that they have both male and female reproduction parts, but they are not self-pollinating. The flowers are also protogynaus, i.e., the female stigma matures and is no longer receptive when the male pollen is shed. In addition pawpaws are self-incompatible, requiring cross pollination from another unrelated pawpaw tree.

Bees show no interest in pawpaw flowers. The task of pollenization is left to unenthusiastic species of flies and beetles. A better solution for the home gardener is to hand pollinate, using a small, soft artist's brush to transfer pollen to the stigma. Pollen is ripe for gathering when the ball of anthers is brownish in color, loose and friable. Pollen grains should appear as small beige-colored particles on the brush hairs. The stigma is receptive when the tips of the pistils are green, glossy and sticky, and the anther ball is firm and greenish to light yellow in color.

Harvest: Pawpaw fruit ripens during a four-week period between mid August and into October, depending on various factors. When ripe, it is soft and yields easily to a gentle squeeze, and has a pronounced perfumed fragrance. The skin of the green fruit usually lightens in color as it ripens and often develops blackish splotches which do not affect the flavor or edibility. The yellow flesh is custard like and highly nutritious. The best fruit has a complex, tropical flavor unlike any other temperate zone fruit. At present, the primary use of pawpaws is for fresh eating out of hand. The ripe fruit is very perishable with a shelf life of 2 or 3 days, but will keep up to 3 weeks if it is refrigerated at 40° - 45° F.

Tip: Mushroom Handling Tips

Mushrooms need to be kept cold in a breathable bag, so store them in the fridge in the paper bag they come in. Shiitake mushrooms have a tough stem, so remove that and save it in the freezer for stocks. Oyster mushrooms are all edible, except for the dirty little bit at the "root." Oyster mushrooms are more...Read more

Testimonials

Fair Shares has created a new level of sales opportunities for area growers beyond restaurants and farmers markets. They have simplified for us the most difficult part of farming: marketing. Selling to Fair Shares has enabled us to sell larger quantities of produce with great ease. Not only is the ordering process simple but we can combine our deliveries with other farms in our area. Their commitment to supporting small local farms is unparalleled in the St Louis area, and we love them for it!
 

sara
Berger Bluff Farm