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american persimmon...a drought resistant and delicious fruit and source of beautiful carving wood

 
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a handful a day...just begning the season....so good:)
the trees are covered.......
IMG_1421.jpg
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Judith Browning wrote:a handful a day...just begning the season....so good:)
the trees are covered.......



Those look so mouth watering good!

I recall having a large persimmon tree in the front yard when I was a kid. Amazing when the fruit started dropping.

Should plant some here!
 
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Judith Browning wrote:I wonder how grafting would limit the size of the american p. on something shruby? We may need something even more drought hardy here soon. Are black persimmon fruits used to dye anything? I thought I had heard that they were used to dye sheepskin in Mexico. Too many bits of information floating around my brain.



people do dye with persimmons! I don't know how well it works with American persimmons. they use the unripe fruits for the tannins and it is a traditional Japanese dye method called Kakishibu. There was an article about it in some fiber arts magazine several years ago and I have wanted to try it ever since but have not had access to lots of unripe persimmons. I am planting to get some trees so I can dye with them but also for eating the fruit.
 
Judith Browning
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Since we are eating so many persimmons lately, my 'sweet tooth' has been satisfied. I dehydrate most of them, we are going on more than two gallons of dried ones. We eat handfuls everyday fresh. I gave up doing anything with them that heats them beyond the 100 degree dehydration temperature, because the flavor changes and they loose their sweetness for some reason...it seems counterproductive to have to then add sugar to them to make a bread or something.
I thought it was time to check on nutritional information...they always seem like they should be good for us...........and it turns out they are!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persimmon#Nutrient_and_phytochemical_content
 
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Ours are still astringent.
 
Judith Browning
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R Scott wrote:Ours are still astringent.



have they begun to fall at all? I don't understand why but we have them ripening as early as the end of august some years.....and on into November depending on the trees. We have several natural 'groves' of four or five trees each that all seem to ripen at different times and have their own particular flavor. For the most part the trees are very small...maybe six to eight inch trunks tops and I have three that bore this year for the first time at three years old.
I grew up never having a ripe persimmon in Illinois...it was the trick we played/passed on to unknowing other kids...we would only get away with it once.
 
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We are able to grow and ripen the earlier bearing ones here in W ORegon, but even Ruby ripens most years. We have a longer growing season due to mild climate. The selected varieties of early ripening ones are astonishingly rewarding. Garretson and Early Golden are great! Excellent permaculture tree too: different family botanically (Ebony!) Disease and pest resistant. Most importantly: really yummy. Slow to mature though.
John S
PDX OR
 
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I am so happy to read this thread! We just bought 8 acres in northeast Texas that has native persimmon trees. We currently live 160 miles away and go up for several days out of the week or on weekends to work on the house, getting it ready to move into. I stood in the drizzling rain last Saturday picking the small persimmons and eating them. They were so good! I will be watching this thread for more info.

Persimmon bread was mentioned, anybody have a recipe for it?

As far as straining them, I have an old aluminum tomato/berry strainer that is cone shaped. It fits on legs and has a wooden mallet for mashing the fruit. I wonder if it would work for the persimmons? I might not get to do much this year with them, but I sure will next year.
 
R Scott
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Judith Browning wrote:

R Scott wrote:Ours are still astringent.



have they begun to fall at all? I don't understand why but we have them ripening as early as the end of august some years.....and on into November depending on the trees. We have several natural 'groves' of four or five trees each that all seem to ripen at different times and have their own particular flavor. For the most part the trees are very small...maybe six to eight inch trunks tops and I have three that bore this year for the first time at three years old.
I grew up never having a ripe persimmon in Illinois...it was the trick we played/passed on to unknowing other kids...we would only get away with it once.



You have trees that won the genetic lottery. Propagate those seeds.

Ours will turn soon, they start about now and will continue turning and falling through winter. Sometimes they don't all fall until March. Not good if you want to make preserves, but great for feeding the livestock and wildlife.
 
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I usually make some jam/preserves out of my American persimmons, this year I'm making some persimmon wine too as an experiment.

Nothing fancy, just squished fruit, some extra sugar, baker's yeast, water in a big plastic jar.

Within 3 days of starting fermentaion it already had the tell tale alcohol scent.

 
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John Saltveit wrote:We are able to grow and ripen the earlier bearing ones here in W ORegon, but even Ruby ripens most years. We have a longer growing season due to mild climate. The selected varieties of early ripening ones are astonishingly rewarding. Garretson and Early Golden are great! Excellent permaculture tree too: different family botanically (Ebony!) Disease and pest resistant. Most importantly: really yummy. Slow to mature though.
John S
PDX OR



I live in western Oregon, zone 8, and I have a couple of ungrafted American persimmon seedlings in 4 gallon pots that I got in a trade this past spring. The trees are from Indiana, and I'm thinking about transplanting them next year during the late winter. Has anyone else on here grown ungrafted varieties in the Pacific Northwest and have them ripen? Or should I graft Meader onto them? I'm thinking that these northern ones might be able to ripen here, but I want more input before I plant them out. Also, do they need any protection from deer in the PNW? The deer on my farm will eat just about anything but fig trees!
 
Judith Browning
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You have trees that won the genetic lottery. Propagate those seeds



we do! once they begin to bear we check them every day or so and the seeds from what we eat while picking them up get spit into the next 'grove'...the seed from the ones we dry and eat in the house are kept in a bowl to pitch out on the edges of the woods and to plant at our old homestead forty miles away.
I kept better track of the last patch and found that only three out of eight or ten trees were bearing after three years...I think most of the others are male.
The grove that is ripening now is the tastiest of all and a larger fruit, over an inch, and has the texture and flavor of dates and oranges and is just outstanding. Those I sometimes freeze on a tray and then into a container so we have a few fresh like, on into the winter.
I think some folks are put off by the seeds...just think watermelon seed spitting.........the fruit is so worth it....I think it is an important permaculture tree, at least the 'wild' american persimmon that just comes in on its own.
and we have two that have fruit that hangs on to the tree as you describe...I've learned to carefully pick them but still get something astringent sometimes.
 
Judith Browning
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Dana Jones wrote:I am so happy to read this thread! We just bought 8 acres in northeast Texas that has native persimmon trees. We currently live 160 miles away and go up for several days out of the week or on weekends to work on the house, getting it ready to move into. I stood in the drizzling rain last Saturday picking the small persimmons and eating them. They were so good! I will be watching this thread for more info.

Persimmon bread was mentioned, anybody have a recipe for it?

As far as straining them, I have an old aluminum tomato/berry strainer that is cone shaped. It fits on legs and has a wooden mallet for mashing the fruit. I wonder if it would work for the persimmons? I might not get to do much this year with them, but I sure will next year.



I used to have the strainer that you mention and I think it was trying to use it with persimmons that made me get rid of it:) The seeds are so big and the fruit so dry that everything just seemed to climb up the sides of the strainer and I wasn't able to get much out the bottom, most stayed with the seeds...a big mess. I think to finish up I ended up adding water to at least get some more pulp off of the seeds. I can warn you about trying a Squeezo strainer also...those big seeds totally plugged it up. When you do get the pulp separated it can be used in any recipe as a substituted for the pumpkin or squash in a bread bread...probably substituted for banana also.
I don't know why but heating the pulp takes away the sweetness and most of the flavor. We just dehydrate them now...squish each individual fruit a bit to flatten and dry at less than 110 degrees . Our dehydrator has a fan and it takes a couple days or more sometimes but once really dry they keep well and are good flavored and sweet still.
Do know what variety of persimmon you have? Someone in this thread spoke of a black persimmon native to Texas.
 
John Suavecito
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MK-
I'm trying to figure this out. Do you live in one of the valleys, coast range, or on the coast? It matters a lot. I would probably graft Meader if I were you. Meader tastes good, pollenizes itself, and ripens regularly here in the valleys. I've been eating them regularly since September, but I live in the suburbs of Portland in an urban heat sink. The selected varieties just taste so much better than the wild ones. There are wild ones near the zoo, and they're ok, but not worth going out of your way for, unless you want seed to make seedlings.
JohN S
PDX OR
 
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Judith, I don't know what variety they are. They look a lot like the picture you posted. We are only able to go up on the weekends, trying to get the house ready. Haven't had much time for the persimmons, but last weekend, there were still some on the trees. Maybe next year I can dehydrate some of them. I like your idea of cleaning up the ground underneath, then shaking the tree!

So, cooking them takes away the sweetness and flavor? Picky darn things, aren't they? LOL At least I now know don't bother with the old strainer.
 
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A year ago somebody gave me the suggestion to squeeze the persimmons in one of those zippered mesh laundry bags that has the holes just a bit smaller than your average persimmon seed. It's messy and you need strong hands, but it works really well. Just hold the bag with one hand and work the mass with your other hand. Sticky pulp will accumulate on your hand, so you'll have to scrape that into the bowl as well.

The bags launder well (that's what they are designed for) and are re-usable, though they do stain a bit.
 
Dan Boone
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I found my pictures of the pulping process.
image.jpg
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Persimmons for pulping
image.jpg
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Messy, messy!
image.jpg
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Five cups of pulp
 
Judith Browning
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Dan, that's a great idea.........and it looks like you are freezing your pulp? Do you use it fresh then or baked in breads, etc? Someone has asked about recipes if you would like to post any. Do you notice a loss of sweetness and flavor with heating/cooking?
 
Dan Boone
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I've been freezing it and using it to make a persimmon bread, which we quite like. The recipe is one I found on the web, I'll need to look for it. Conventional wisdom is that you can substitute persimmon pulp one-for-one in any recipe that uses mashed bananas, and I believe it.

I haven't noticed sweetness diminish with cooking, but persimmons have an unusual property that makes cooking them work poorly. All that astringency that keeps us from eating the ripe fruit? Those tannic compounds don't go away when the fruit ripens, they just get bound up chemically somehow. And too much cooking liberates those chemical bonds. When I cook persimmon pulp too much, I find it starts to become astringent again -- never as much as raw green persimmons, but enough to make the cooked product less pleasant.

I had found a recipe for boiling down persimmon pulp into a molasses -- basically just "cover the persimmons with water, cook lightly, strain out all the pulp, boil down the result until it's like molasses." (It was a really old recipe.) I tried it by rinsing all the pulp off the seeds and skins left in my mesh bag, and then boiling that down in a crock pot. It started as a sweet liquid, but the longer it cooked the more astringent it got. I gave up long before my liquid was boiled down sufficiently, because it was horrid in the mouth. I think the key is "strain out all the pulp" -- maybe if you did 10 passes through cheesecloth and got rid of every solid fiber, leaving only sugar water, it would work. But persimmon pulp is wicked-hard to strain, because it clogs every filter medium I've tried.
 
Judith Browning
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I had found a recipe for boiling down persimmon pulp into a molasses -- basically just "cover the persimmons with water, cook lightly, strain out all the pulp, boil down the result until it's like molasses." (It was a really old recipe.) I tried it by rinsing all the pulp off the seeds and skins left in my mesh bag, and then boiling that down in a crock pot. It started as a sweet liquid, but the longer it cooked the more astringent it got. I gave up long before my liquid was boiled down sufficiently, because it was horrid in the mouth. I think the key is "strain out all the pulp" -- maybe if you did 10 passes through cheesecloth and got rid of every solid fiber, leaving only sugar water, it would work. But persimmon pulp is wicked-hard to strain, because it clogs every filter medium I've tried.



years ago we thought that persimmon butter would work just like apple or pear and had a similar experience to yours. I do notice that if my dehydrating temperature is over 115 degrees F they definitely lose sweetness...no astringency that we notice but not as date like as when dried at 95-100 degrees F. I think maybe that still in a bread where it usually calls for sugar or honey or molasses that might make up for loss of sweetness (or release of astringency) with heat.
They are just sooooooooooo good fresh, it would be wonderful to have a way to capture all of that sweetness other than drying.
Sometimes I freeze the whole fruit on a tray and then bag for thanksgiving...persimmon popsicles...we have just gotten used to having a bowl to spit seeds into during the season.
 
Meryt Helmer
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I bet frozen persimmon pulp would work well in smoothies and maybe also in Popsicle. I am following the thread because I intend to grow some persimmon trees but I don't have any yet. maybe i will try freezing pulp from one I bought in the store and see how it works for smoothies.
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
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John Saltveit wrote:MK-
I'm trying to figure this out. Do you live in one of the valleys, coast range, or on the coast? It matters a lot. I would probably graft Meader if I were you. Meader tastes good, pollenizes itself, and ripens regularly here in the valleys. I've been eating them regularly since September, but I live in the suburbs of Portland in an urban heat sink. The selected varieties just taste so much better than the wild ones. There are wild ones near the zoo, and they're ok, but not worth going out of your way for, unless you want seed to make seedlings.
JohN S
PDX OR



I live in the Coast Range at a low elevation- 700 feet. We get SW exposure, but there is some shade from big firs. It sounds like I should try grafting Meader.
 
John Suavecito
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Here in W. Oregon many people grow Asian persimmons, but American persimmons grow well too. People just don't know about them, because theyr'e not native. They are one of my absolute favorite fruits. The flavor of a selected American variety is so much more complex and interesting in my opinion than the Asian ones, which have been overly bred. The Americans are a spectacular backyard fruit tree. Usually need either Meader or male and female tree, or to graft. Maybe not so great for U-pick or commercial sales out here though.
John S
PDX OR
 
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I bought land, hadn't really gotten down into the pasture much due to being very busy trying to get things under control. Went down the other day, and the American Persimmon I knew was down there has about 200 babies near it! Awesome!! I love it when my plans for "plant a bunch of fruit trees" just got jump-started about three years. These look like about 3 year old trees, the neighbors say no one has cut down there for about that time. Whoo! So excited!!

Bookmarked this topic so I can come back to the recipes when I have fruit!

Yay persimmon trees!!
 
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Hi everyone

I am from Hungary but had the pleasure to try american and asian persimmons too. And i decided to try tp grow the american persimmons here. But now i find hard to get seeds from a good source. You can find a lot on ebay for example, but most of them are not american, and i am not even sure if they even good at all. So here after reading all the posts please help the hungarian guy to try his luck out there! If anyone knows a good source or can sell or send seeds her or himself dont hesitate to write a message!
Best regards

David
 
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I have Nikita’s Gift hybrid. When fully ripe, I don’t like the mushy texture. They get very sweet. I like them a few days before they are mushy. This year I picked most when they were just starting to soften and still bitter. I dehydrated them. This took the bitterness out. Mixed with nuts, they make a great trail mix. They sometimes don’t have any seeds. Last year they had very small seeds. The fruits are as big as four American persimmons. The tree is very healthy. It’s had some fall webbworm damage.

I prefer the taste and texture of very ripe American Persimmons. I don’t have access to a good tree anymore. The fruits from the only tree I have now never lose their bitterness. I need to try dehydrating some. I need to find a better tree. I have a young, grafted, American planted. I think it is Yates, but I’ll have to check. No fruit yet.



 
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I planted 4 trees last year. Im not sure when they will start producing but i'm excited.

Last year was the first-year i ever ate one. I probably first heard about them here.  Then read further and found out they are native to my area.
 
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duane hennon wrote:I live in west pa, zone 5 and have both American and oriental persimmons for years they take the cold and bear fruit but neither have ever fully ripened i've picked them out of the snow on the  ground and my mouth still puckers! the deer, however, love them there are tracks in the snow under the trees right now



Put them in a bowl and let them site until they pucker up and look like they're past eating - then try one. I don't know if that will work on yours, but it definitely works on mine. When I pick them they look like they'd be perfect to eat, but they're really only sweet when they seem far past their prime.
 
John Suavecito
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This is one of my favorite fruits. Super delicious, trouble free, pretty, very nutritious.  Don't try to buy it at the grocery store. You can't.
John S
PDX OR
 
Judith Browning
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John Saltveit wrote:This is one of my favorite fruits. Super delicious, trouble free, pretty, very nutritious.  Don't try to buy it at the grocery store. You can't.
John S
PDX OR



So true John...I miss our trees.  We haven't found any near our new place and really, they are best when checked daily for ripe ones so need to be close by.

I did plant a lot of seed along the 'edges' here two years ago but haven't found any sprouts yet....still hopeful
 
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