Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Gathering Pawpaws and Spice Bush Berries


This past weekend my family joined a few friends at the Pawpaw Festival in Athens, OH.  A pawpaw is a fruit native to this region of the country and is a fruit that not many people have even heard about.  It's a fruit that is easily bruised and spoils quickly so it is not sold in stores.  What does a pawpaw taste like?  Well, there are many different varieties, but in general I think the creamy, custard interior tastes like a pineapple crossed with a banana.  The seeds are quite large and the germination rate is a less than 50% so it takes a lot of patience to grow these from seed.  Thankfully a lot can be found growing wild in the woods.  We discovered a few pawpaw trees on our property this spring and cleared out that area so they can receive more sun and grow bigger.

The festival is located on a lake where attendees can take canoes out for a paddle.  While coasting near the shoreline we came across dozens of pawpaw trees bearing fruit so we picked a few to bring home.  Good thing we picked some because the vendors selling pawpaws at the festival ran out of fruit before we bought some.  If you click the picture for enlargement, you can see a pawpaw in Paul's hands that he already bit into.  Some of these pawpaws were used in a cake and cream cheese frosting.

The seeds are quite large!

At the festival there is atlatl throwing.  Paul thoroughly enjoyed this activity and was very good at it.  Basically you throw darts with a wooden spear thrower.  It looks easy, but it takes a bit of coordination, technique, and a lot of aim. 

One spice that is often used with pawpaws is the spice bush berry.  They are very plentiful in our woods. What do they taste like?  Allspice

Only a few berries are needed in a recipe.  They can be chopped or ground up.

The seeds inside can be eaten, but if you can't grind them up, the shells are fine by themselves. 


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About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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