We brew and bottle our winter beer, First Frost, using native persimmons. (Notice the witty use of persimmon-colored bolding throughout this post, circa Internet 1998).
If you have some time, check out our essays on persimmon beer in the South, which I wrote when we built during our initial brewery build-out:
If you don't know what a persimmon is, we encourage you to learn more about this delicious native fruit. Grab some coffee, and enjoy:
- an excellent descriptive overview of persimmons by Slow Food USA
- this story by Our State, which (accurately) describes the persimmon as "our most peculiar fruit"
- DRAFT magazine's coverage of Fullsteam's persimmon harvest and the Forager initiative
I could write more about persimmons, but I'd encourage you to check out the links above.
Anyway...it's harvest time! Let's get to it!
THE LAND HAS BEEN GOOD TO US
As with last year, this year's persimmon harvest started very early. Typically, the wintering fruit is best after the first frost of the season (mid-October) -- hence the name, First Frost. But it appears that (again!) this summer's hot, hot weather contributed to a resplendent, early harvest. This is very good news for us, as we expect to have First Frost ready in time for Christmas.
CALLING ALL FORAGERS!
If you live in central North Carolina and want to forage for persimmons, we will gladly purchase good, soft, washed native persimmons (Diospyros Virginiana) for $3 a pound. Bring them to the tavern between 9 and 5 p.m. weekdays, or write me (Sean) if you want to set up a different time.
Here are some helpful hints so that we can pay you:
- Be sure you're picking persimmons! Here's a handy guide to the native fruiting tree.
- Please remove the calyx.
- We cannot purchase hard persimmons. Know the fruit...the best persimmons are either on the ground or fall from the tree with a gentle shake. If you want to know the difference between a ripe and unripe persimmon, eat a hard one. You'll quickly learn the difference: unripe persimmons are like eating felt. Obviously we don't want those. Click here if you'd like more information on how to tell if a persimmon is ripe.
Don’t want the money from your harvest? We will donate the proceeds we would have given to you to SEEDS, a Durham non-profit community garden.
If you bring us ten or more pounds of native persimmons, you’ll also get a free Forager trucker hat. Only people who forage for us get this special edition schwag!
Obviously, the goal is for you to forage and harvest what’s local and in-season…not for you to buy California persimmons at the grocery store and try to pass them off as a local harvest. Enjoy the spirit of the Forager Collective, and participate if you can. Don't trespass. Fullsteam isn't responsible for injuries. And we reserve the right to refuse the harvest. You know how it is.
- We’ll buy native persimmons from 9am ’til 5pm Monday through Friday. Come in to the brewery through the tavern area and ask for Mary Beth or Sean. If neither of us are there, one of the brewers may be able to help. But start with MB and Sean first.
- We’ll pay you $3 a pound if we can use them.
- We reserve the right to refuse the fruit, either because of the quality or because we have enough.
- The collection will run until at least November 15th.
- Go find (and harvest) a persimmon tree, even if you end up using the fruit all for yourself! It's good for the soul, tasty, and the fruit is really good for you!
The end result, available mid-Autumn