Indiana Banana

Written by Doug Oster on .


It's called a paw paw, a native tree that produces these six ounce fruits.

They are often called the Indiana Banana; the flesh is yellow with the consistency and flavor of banana custard. I especially love them chilled.

I planted the trees on a whim 10 years ago, not knowing what a paw paw tasted like. This is the best year so far for a harvest, I picked 30 or so. Actually they fall off the tree when they are really ripe, and when they don't, I just shake the trunk and they fall to the ground.

Two trees are needed for pollination. Settlers used to hang a dead squirrel in the branches to attract flies, which are the pollinators.

It's an understory tree, so doesn't mind living in shade and it sends up lots of shoots which can be transplanted to make more trees.

I think I'm going to dig them up and make a whole orchard of paw paw trees.

It's something different and wonderful.



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