I drool on myself thinking of the fruit that I want to grow. I go catatonic and slack jaw as my mind wanders from one out of body culinary hallucination to the next leaving a gapping hole for the drool to just dribble out.
I live in a rental in Wallingford a cute and quiet garden neighborhood of Seattle with two lawns, one in the front and one in the back, neither of which I can rip out and replant with childish haste the fruits that I dream about. The thing is, I’m not even sure that the effort and care that I would undoubtedly put into these trees and shrubs and vines would be reciprocated with ripe fruit. My USDA hardiness zone is 8, which would to easily thrive here, but fruit? That’s a little trickier. The chill hours (the number of hours needed for a fruiting perennial to stay dormant before production) I have, it’s the ripening time and the heat to do so that I’m not so sure about. Regardless I’m in a rental that I won’t be in for long enough to even experiment with these fruits so until I do I will describe them while I drool on my self.
#1 Paw Paw (Asminia triloba) : The Banana of the North. ~ When I was a kid my grandpa Scotty used to buy me an eclair before we went fishing. The custard would ooze out of the dough and down my chin and I would smile this huge smile. Since I first heard about the Paw Paw and how it tasted like spice custard I’ve wanted to grow it, harvest the ripe fruit one early summer morning and go sit in a boat on a lake and think about all the fish I don’t have time to fish for because I’m eating real live natural custard with a huge smile on my face.
#2 Persimmon (Diospyros kaki and americana) ~ Diospyros means fruit of the gods according to Lee Reich. He may be lying but he ain’t lying if you catch my drift. When I lived in Olympia, WA I would go to the co-op and get these delectable fruits from Burnt Ridge Nursery right about now. They didn’t last long, but Good GOD! I would pay half my student loans per pound and take it to the front stoop of the store and eat it, suck on it, rub my lips with this small human heart shaped half-rotting fruit just basking in the sweet jelly like glory of the meat. I can’t think of one that made it home. And those were just the Asian varietals. The Americans were so different. Butterscotch in flavor and the size of a large cherry tomato. I don’t remember much about that day that I tried the wild American Persimmon. It was sunny and I was in White Salmon on a friends farm, the rest is a blur, all except the butterscotch.
#3 Shipova I have never tried a Shipova, but I once grew several when I worked at Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth, WA, but I never saw them fruit. Somewhere between a European pear, an Asian Pear and heaven lies, according to catalogues, the flavor of the Shipova. They are rare beauties whose graceful habits are ruined by pruning (so I’ve heard). They don’t store so you must eat them quickly, but it’s been getting around that store them isn’t as much of a problem is taking a break from eating them.
Do you grow any of these? Let me know. I promise I’ll leave some for you…
eat well. live well. be happy.