We've written extensively about persimmons. If you have some time, check out our essays on persimmon beer in the South, written when we were building out our commercial brewery:
In February 2011, we finally had a chance to brew (and bottle!) First Frost. The winter warmer was very well received.
If you don't know what a persimmon is, we encourage you to learn more about this delicious native fruit. Here's an excellent write-up from Slow Food USA.
THE LAND HAS BEEN GOOD TO US
This year's persimmon harvest has 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 this summer's hot weather may have 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. Be sure you're picking persimmons! Here's a handy guide to the native fruiting tree. Persimmon trees are often at the edge of a farm, bordering properties. Or in the woods, randomly.
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.
Please remove the calyx. Most importantly, 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.
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 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.
– We will update this page if we’re not taking any more local persimmons.
– The collection will run until at least November 15th, and possibly longer.
"Persimmon beer: the poor relation of champagne--with the advantage that nobody is ever the worse for drinking it. "
-- Dishes & Beverages Of The Old South, Martha McCulloch-Williams (1913)