I am writing a book about pawpaw, the largest edible fruit native to North America. Pawpaw has a tropical flavor and custard-like texture, and tastes like a cross between mango, banana, and pineapple. And while it’s abundant in the wild, pawpaws have become an exotic fruit, forgotten by most Americans. But enthusiasts believe it's poised to make a comeback.
The book will offer a history of pawpaws in America, explore why it's been left in the woods for so long, and about the people who are working to bring it back.
I have already interviewed the fruit's leading breeder, Neal Peterson, and commercial grower Jim Davis in Maryland. I have gone to the International Pawpaw Conference in Frankfort, Kentucky, and the Ohio Pawpaw Festival, in Albany, Ohio. But these are just a few of the important people and places with stories to share.
Part travelogue, I will need to continue traveling throughout the fruit's native range—from Florida to Ontario; from the Atlantic to Nebraska—during a very short season when the fruit is ripe. Your support will enable me to visit orchards in North Carolina and Indiana, to forage in the woods of West Virginia and Kentucky. Along the way, I will even seek to rescue a lost cultivar along the Ohio River.
Your contributions will pay for my travel this September. They will also give me time off work to write several sample chapters that I will then use to seek a publisher for the book.
If you’re able to help in any way—whether by telling a friend, sharing pawpaw stories, or through a contribution—I thank you sincerely.
- (25 days)