Permaculture forum: Preserving Persimmons

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Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Jan 3, 2015 11:35 AM CST
http://www.groworganic.com/organic-gardening/articles/massag...

My newsletter from Peaceful Valley this week had a great article on preserving persimmons.

If I had some persimmons! So this started me thinking I need to plant some persimmons. Actually, persimmons grow wild here in Alabama, and on one archaeological survey of some isolated woods one fall I ran across a grove of native persimmons.
They do like to grow in groves at the edge of a woods. On this particular day in the late fall, the persimmons were starting to ripen. A band of local possums decided to celebrate the event, by having a baseball game with the persimmons. They were all over the ground, I could just pick them up and stuff into my backpack, thanks to the possum pickers!

Persimmons are such a rare treat, but only available in late fall when they are smacked by the first frost. So the idea of preserving persimmons was an appealing one for me.
[Last edited by hazelnut - Jan 3, 2015 11:39 AM (+)]
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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 7, 2015 4:55 PM CST
actually persimmons are just late ripening, the frost tale is just folklore. The frost actually hurts the fruits by destroying cell walls in the fruit but does remove some astringency. Where I'm at in SC most of the fruits ripen before the frost but some wild cultivars still have fruits on the limbs into november. If you are thinking about growing persimmons there are many american selections that do well in colder parts of the US and will ripen before the first frost. if you live in zone 7 or higher you can try your luck with an asian persimmon and you'll get much larger fruits, However they are prone to leafing out early and suffer from late frost damage some have been known to die because of late frosts. American persimmons leaf and flower later but require both male and female plants to get fruit and it can take upwards to 8 years from seed to tell what you got. there are 2 types of american persimmons diospyros virginiana L that grows wild anywhere north of KY and diospyros virginiana S which grows everywhere south of KY. The diospyros virginiana L produces larger persimmons hints the L and is what's used in most breeding work today. The diospyros virginiana S which is smaller hints the S, has a different chromosome count then L and allows growers to get seedless fruit if using a S male to pollinate a L female. Everyone should have a few persimmon trees if the space is available. native trees reach upwards to 40 ft or more if left unpruned, but the asians are much smaller typically not growing over 20ft and easily maintained to 12 or 14ft. I have some stratified diospyros virginiana S seeds in the fridge ready to be planted out if you'd like some but I'd suggest purchasing plants so you know what you get instead of going with seedlings. nuttrees.net, burntridge.com, raintree.com, groworganic.com, and ediblelandscaping.com are all trusted web based retailers that offer a great varitey of persimmons. I only grow seedlings for rootstocks for my cultivated plants to be grafted onto. persimmon are one of the hardest plant to propagate via grafts and won't root via cuttings or layering this is why they cost so much from retailers. for me success rates hover around 20- 30% and what don't take gets tried again next year. I hope this helps and If you decide you want to try growing from seed just let me know I'll be happy to send you some just cover the postage is all I ask or we can do a trade if you are interested.
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Jun 13, 2015 4:59 PM CST
Are both the northern and southern types equally astringent? Thanks so much for the generous offer, but I am not set-up for seed management quite yet. I hope to have my greenhouse in shape one of these years though.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 14, 2015 8:20 AM CST
unfortunately they are equally astringent until ripe. There are a few hybrids of american and asian persimmons on the market but even the hybrids are astringent until ripe. However with a renewed interest in native edibles like persimmons and pawpaws gaining back popularity it wouldn't surprise me if a non astringent american hybrid is one day available. maybe even interspecific hybrids of black sapote and persimmon may be possible. Right now most non astringent persimmons are grown commercially in zone 8 and up but there are some homeowners who have successfully grown them in zone 6b via microclimates. A non astringent american hybrid that can be grown commercially as far as zone 6 would be a huge game changer and open new markets for colder climate farmers.
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Jun 16, 2015 7:49 AM CST
Having lived a while, I notice that the old varieties of fruit lose their taste when hybridized. Don't know if that's true of persimmons. We had Wold River apples back home in Michigan--the trees are still producing, but rarely picked on the back of the property. Ive never found apples that taste quite the same as apples off the tree--no wax, no shellac, just the way they were for 100 years or more.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
Image
ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 18, 2015 7:55 PM CST
Most fruits you find in the store are bred for shipping and storage to reach a larger audience not so much taste. There are tons of new fruits however for home gardens that have remarkable taste but the fruits aren't sold in stores because of their short shelf life or are not easily harvested by machine. Please don't let the word hybrid fool you, many great things have been made by hybridizing. I hear marketing people say things like " with a heirloom taste" WTH is a heirloom taste? Don't get me wrong I'm all for preserving old or almost lost varieties but some modern fruits have traits the old ones can't hold a candle to. Take blueberries for example many growers love wild blueberries and say there is none better. Evidently they never tasted Star, Sweetcrisp, or Ravens. For thousands of year man has searched for larger, sweeter, and more productive fruits then breed them to make even larger, sweeter, more productive fruits.
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Jun 22, 2015 8:54 AM CST
Good perspective. I tend to be a traditionalist myself--theoretically. But then I haven't tasted the varieties you mention. Ill keep an eye out for them. Any tips on growing blueberries in the South? Have you grown bilberry?
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
Image
ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 22, 2015 8:30 PM CST
Bilberry will not survive my hot summers here in zone 7b/8 I have enough trouble just keeping the honeyberries healthy looking in summer. I'm not sure what zone you are in but in my area blueberries are successfully grown with irrigation and mulch along with proper soil preparation. I know being a permie you hate to hear the word irrigation but blueberries are very shallow rooted and naturally live in moist environments with tons of rainfall and decent draining organic rich soil with a low ph. At the same time they don't like to sit in water either. It's easy to keep deeper soil moist using swells but the top 6 inches is a challenge for many who are plagued with drought in summer. I planted over 200 blueberries about 150 were planted without irrigation to test and see if they would survive. Out of those 150 only about 10 are still hanging in. The others were planted in raised beds or in pots and are watered often and doing just fine. My native blueberries do well along the woods edge but they only produce about 1-1.5 lb of fruit per mature plant. Commercial blueberries don't make a good candidate for permaculture design in my area but are well worth growing if you can supply the extra water needed because they average 10-25lbs per mature plant depending on cultivar and growing conditions. There are both high chill and low chill varieties. If in zone 8 or higher you should go with low chill cultivars if in zone 6 or colder I'd go with high chill but those of us in zone 7 can get the best of both worlds. I would imagine Alabama gets a good bit of precipitation off the gulf so they may work in a permaculture design better for you it's really all about trial and error because each place is different even if in the same hardiness zone. I hope this helps.
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐

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