Saturday, December 3, 2011


We planted a persimmon tree in our backyard the summer of 2004. I remember the date because for a while we were following the tradition of wedding anniversary gifts by year (first anniversary: paper, second anniversary: cotton...) We have since given up, after stumping on bronze, but in 2004, which is the year of Fruits and Flowers, we were still at it.

This persimmon tree is therefore very young, and I marvel at its tremendous load. I can almost hear the upcoming sigh of relief this poor thing is going to make once all that fruit is off

We have had fierce winds these last few days, and the leaves have all fallen out

Northern California is a good area for persimmons (can you tell?). They are everywhere. Mine is the Hachiya variety, and you have to wait till the fruit is soft to eat it. Otherwise, the astringency will knock you over. The trees get to be really tall, up to 25 feet or more, and at a time of the year when the leaves have fallen and there is little color, it is a delight to see them with their flaming orange fruits, hanging like big ornaments.

I have let this little tree grow pretty much untamed, and this is why there are lots of crisscrossed branches. I need to fix this as soon as the fruit is off the tree. Pruning is not my favorite gardening activity. The saying goes, The cobbler's children go barefoot (or in Spanish we would say, En casa del herrero, cuchillo de palo). I have a degree in Plant Science, and this would have granted me a big F!

The birds are plenty happy. I just hope they leave a few persimmons for me

While taking these photos, I ran into this cutie

I am a big fan of the Play With Your Food books, by Joost Elffers. This persimmon could have been featured in the series, maybe as an evil witch, or perhaps a toucan.

Although I have a whole cookbook on persimmons, I think this year we may have to dry some. I am going to do some research.

Final piece of trivia: one of my college lab mates was Japanese. Someone brought persimmons one day, and much to my delight, I discovered that persimmon is pronounced the same in Japanese (Kaki) and in Spanish (caqui).


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