Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Forest Products Week Continued: Tasty Treats

I've been loading up this evening on homemade persimmon cookies; a treat you won't find in the supermarket.  Persimmons need to ripen on the tree, and some of them won't be ready to eat until you've had a frost.  The flavor of persimmons varies tree to tree, and we sample several around the farm to find the best ones.

Persimmon wood was the most valuable hardwood we grew twenty-five years ago.  Persimmon logs were cut into short flitches, and golf clubs were processed from sections with the shaft parallel to the pith.  Persimmon wood is hard and heavy, but has been replaced by cast metal for the drivers used in the game of golf.  Persimmon is now an orphan species in timber sales, but it does make good firewood.  It is a "white" wood, with very little natural preservative, and when a persimmon tree dies, the bugs move in almost as quickly as they do in hickory.

Persimmon is also one of our most colorful trees in the fall.  Persimmons are a brilliant yellow when the sun hits them, and if they are loaded with fruit, you have little orange gems scattered throughout the crown, adding to the visual joy.

Oh...and they tell you what the winter will bring.  This fall, I have been seeing spoons, and that is what others in Southern Illinois are reporting.  Expect some heavy snow in Illinois during the upcoming winter.   It's at least as reliable as global warming reports!

UPDATE!!!! Click Here to learn about persimmon pulp, and a cookie recipe!

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