This Summer in the Ozarks was a gardeners nightmare! It started with a lovely Spring, great intermittent rain and warm temperatures. We often get a late frost and loose much of the fruit harvest but not this Spring! It has been an overly abundant Summer and Fall fruit harvest!
Just yesterday on my morning walk I discovered the persimmons have started to ripen and even fall on the ground. Yes, I ate my first persimmon of the year yesterday, several of them in fact. Every fall I start carefully inspecting the ground around the persimmon trees along the driveway. As soon as I start finding them fallen the basket is soon to follow. But the basket only comes after many days of eating, right off the ground, my fill of fresh ripe sweet persimmons!
Mid September is a bit early especially when you listen to the old tales of how it has to freeze before you can eat persimmons. Not true. You eat persimmons as soon as they fall to the ground. One never picks persimmons, for they will pucker you up like you ain’t never seen the likes of!
The goal is two-fold; 1) eat persimmons fresh off the ground for several days as they begin to ripen (just pick them up, dust them off and eat! Spit out the 4 – 6 or 7 seeds), and 2) collect enough to make several batches of persimmon breads, pudding, cookies and maybe a little frozen for adding to smoothies, which is a new idea for me this year.
I freeze persimmon pulp in 1 cup batches in freezer bags. Easy to use, measure and clean up as it is kind of a sticky proposition. I think I’ll freeze some in ice cube trays to use for smoothies… an idea I got while perusing a cook book at Hastings last week. Check out Moonmooring Grub for recipes (now I have to get some persimmon recipes added!).
This year brought an amazing amount of wild plums, elderberries, possum grapes, peaches, persimmons and I recently discovered a cherry tree growing just down the road to my delight. In all the years I have been walking this way I have never seen it before. What a delight!