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Pawpaw fruit in Seattle

 
Posts: 5
Location: Nelson, Canada
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So I've been thinking of planting more Pawpaw seedlings but figure it would be prudent to actually see if I like the fruit before I put much more energy and real estate into something that likely won't produce here anyways. I'm in the BC interior.

So, I have a relative passing through Seattle and was hoping they could pick up some fruit for me to sample. This pawpaw fruit is proving quite difficult to track down, especially remotely.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 
Posts: 33
Location: Inland Northwest/Eastern Washington
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While pawpaw trees do exist out west, they are grown by the likes of folks on these forums for their own use. I have heard of some popping up here and there at a farmer's market or two out west but you'll be hard pressed to find any, especially being at the tail end of the season. I'd recommend hitting up one of the pawpaw festivals next year back east, Ohio's especially, to really get a feel for the various cultivars, etc as some do better in norther climes. They do grow into southern Ontario, natively I believe so the assumption is that they could grow in the northwest. I tried finding a thread I was reading here the other day about people trying to grow pawpaws in northern parts of the US with limited success. If you do a forum search for pawpaw you'll probably find it and there was mention of varieties that folks have tried up north.
 
Carrie Nicole
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Location: Inland Northwest/Eastern Washington
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All that said, I'm always one for trying things myself so I would give it a go. If nothing else you learn how the seed germ, what growing conditions seedlings like, etc and they may even grow on to give you fruit in a few years. But if they didn't survive, at least you'd be one step ahead on the how to for your area once you do find some varieties you think may do well.
 
jacob Collens
Posts: 5
Location: Nelson, Canada
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Go to an arboretum near your, and ask someone who works there if they have Asimina triloba, the papaw. The largest fruit native to USA.

PawPaw is also the poster fruit for alot of foodforest so if you find any community food forest near you, try and figure out when they meetup or their mailing list or meetup group, then mentioned that you would like to see the plants, and the next harvest season you can go and harvest some.

You might be able to even find some to eat right now. I have 2 plants and I harvest aug, sept and october, The arboretum near me have trees that start producing the last week in July. They have quite a few plants.

I do understand your struggle in finding a website or farmers market that sells pawpaw. You will "most likely not" find any because they don't ship well. they bruise and rot super quick. Some people might freeze it but I find the unfrozen taste to be better and possible safer ( I don't want the skin, breaking down on me)
 
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jacob Collens wrote:So I've been thinking of planting more Pawpaw seedlings but figure it would be prudent to actually see if I like the fruit before I put much more energy and real estate into something that likely won't produce here anyways. I'm in the BC interior.



Google says Nelson is in climate zone 7a - if that's correct then I would not at all expect it to be too cold during the winter.

But...

It's not the cold during the dead of winter that is the showstopper - it's the fact that asimina likes to leaf out early and a late frost will pretty much wipe you out for the year.  The leaves will regrow but the flower buds will be gone. In the worst case a very young plant might even be killed outright.

We were super happy with our crop this year in a harsher climate than yours but this is after 2 consecutive years of hard frosts in April. When the first one came everybody said it's a 30-year event - and then the next one came directly the next year. So if you have some way of setting up protection against spring frosts that would go a long way toward improving your chances for a good crop.

On the subject of taste, in my experience (which is not limited to just finally getting a crop this one year) the fruit, after having been picked, can change taste A LOT during the various stages of ripeness. It can start out being just like a banana, possibly even with some bitter undertones, then progress to being mango-ish and eventually, when the skin has already started to turn brown, end up tasting like vanilla and caramel.

We were waiting for such a long time for our crop that will all the statements everywhere about asimina's taste I was worried we were going to be massively dissapointed due to expectations being set too high. But hey - we were amazed. It's not often that something actually lives up to all the talk.

 
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I have grown Paw paw for 20 years here in Portland, where it is easy.  I believe that Nelson has far fewer heat units.  I think that is your limit.  You could certainlly try it.  Seattle has a lot less heat than Portland, and I would think that Nelson would have a lot less than Seattle.
John S
PDX OR
 
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