It's Persimmon Time! / by Christine Smith

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Nicknamed the ‘Divine Fruit’ in China, Persimmon is grown widely throughout the eastern United States from Ohio to Florida. Here in Lexington, the tree begins to fruit in August and begins to ripen from mid-late September until the first frost. Scientifically, the Persimmon is a berry. Puddings, Pies and smoothies are perfect serving options for the persimmon as the flesh is smooth and custardy with a jewel-like glistening orange color. Now is the time to harvest Persimmon and they are available this year at three Seedleaf garden locations: Grace Garden (449 Race Street), London Ferrell Community Garden (235 E. Third Street), and The North Pole Community Garden (909 N.Limestone).

Here’s how to harvest:

  1. Locate fruit that is bright orange and somewhat squishy. DO NOT PICK HARD FRUIT OR UNSQUISHY FRUIT. Unripened persimmon is highly astringent and will suck all the moisture out or your mouth and throat.

  2. Reach up and grab the fruit. If ripe, it should give easily.

  3. Persimmon is covered with a thin skin that one can eat. If you wish to avoid the skin, simply split the fruit in half with you fingers and eat the flesh. Spit out the seeds.

  4. Get some more.

Happy Fall!