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Friday, September 27, 2013

Picking Paw Paws on a Sunday Afternoon in the Virginia Mountains (Blog 157)

Last Sunday, I spent part of the day roaming through the woods with my daughter Sarah and son Mark.  We first looked for a place to me to hang a tree stand after locating acorns on a mountain flat, but the main event was still to come.
Our main reason for taking to the mountains together was to pick paw paws, a native fruit that ripens in mid to late September.  Paw paws taste a little like bananas, some folks even call them mountain bananas.  But it is at this time of year that paw paws begin to turn brown from green meaning they are starting to reach their peak of flavor.
Paw paws are so prized by wildlife, such as deer, bear, turkeys, squirrels, and many songbirds, that if we wait until they are fully ripe and have fallen to the ground, they simply won’t be around to gather.  That’s why I like to go paw pawing when the fruits are just starting to turn.
Sarah, Mark, and I managed to pick a half bucket or so of paw paws, not a big haul certainly.  But once they fully ripen, and we can gather some walnuts, we will have the makings for a real taste sensation: Paw Paw and Walnut Bread.

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