Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit

Check out a new book about one of the old fruits, the pawpaw. I grew up in Ohio hearing about pawpaws but only seeing them in fruit butter form. Sightings of fruit was and still is rare, except at farmers markets and festivals in places like Southern Ohio. The pawpaw was once grown in 26 states and so one can hope for an expansion of the fruit’s availability down here in Louisiana.

Pawpaw fruits often occur as clusters of up to nine individual fruits. The ripe fruit is soft and thin skinned. 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.

Back in 2009, I even picked up a super cool postcard for that year’s festival that still hangs on my desk.

IMG_20151026_165237The festival has been going on since the late 1990s and is an equal parts camping, music and educational rural Ohio festivity.

Researchers at OSU are working to find out more about its health benefits and possible marketing potential. And now, Andy Moore has finished this lovely book , having raised money through Kickstarter. It is my evening reading this month and then I’ll be sharing it with other pals of mine who are also interested in reviving old traditions. Ask for it in bookstores near you.

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Be a sign up genius

Whenever I get to farmers market conferences, I learn a few new things: this time, I learned about signupgenius.com from Jaime Moore, Columbus area market manager, Ohio Farmers Market Management Network Board member AND “Central Ohio’s Agricultural Queen” with farm Wayward Seed.

Jaime uses it to manage her three area farmers markets volunteers and based on her to-do list, she needs it…
It looks like a great tool to use (and is free) for market organizations of many sizes and types.

Better Eats for All | Belt Magazine | Dispatches From The Rust Belt

A commentary from yours truly on the food system found in my first hometown of Cleveland Ohio. Whenever I return to it, I am struck by the unusual underpinnings of their food work, being as it is deeply embedded within the community organizing/social justice strategy that is alive and well in many of their neighborhoods, as well as in the larger reality of figuring out what to do with their post-industrial inner core. Combine that with enthusiastic corporate greening, municipal support and the awareness of the need to combat the foreclosure crisis with innovative small business and residential reclamations and you get a dynamic little system coming to maturation there.

Better Eats for All | Belt Magazine | Dispatches From The Rust Belt.

Ohio Farmers Market Conference highlights benefits of ‘association’

Farmers Market Coalition Board President Bernie Prince visits Ohio to support their state association and to promote FMC’s work.

Ohio Farmers Market Conference highlights benefits of ‘association’ | Farm and Dairy – The Auction Guide and Rural Marketplace.