Felix takes a look at ripened Pawpaw fruit and discusses the factors affecting its size, the time of picking, the reasons that make it commercially unfit but ideal for the home garden.Transcript
Hello again, this is Felix with Gurney's and we're at the research farm looking at Pawpaw, the fruit and went to pick it. We have some set here right now, it's October, early October, ripening can happen anywhere from early September to end of October. It just depends on where you're growing and again what cultivar you have. This fruit here is nice and green, it's starting to get a little bit yellow, which is an indicator, and then also it's got a slight give. I would leave this fruit on for another five days or so and then pick it. Maybe let it after ripen at the kitchen table a little bit, so it gets nice and soft. The interior needs to be at the consistency of custard. It's a soft pulpy interior which we'll look at here in a little bit, and so the softer that fruit can be more, sugar development you'll have. It'll be sweeter and just better quality over around. Another thing to point out about the fruit is that it'll set, this stem here is where there was a flower at the end, and the fruit has set on that stem end. You can have clusters of two like you have next to this one and up to eight fruit per flower cluster, which is nice, but generally the more set you have per flower cluster, the smaller the fruit is in general. So what we're looking at here is one of the components of Pawpaws, it's important, that we're looking at at Gurney's is how many fruit set per cluster or per flower. Here's an example of two, you can look at the stem here. This stem had a flower at the end of it and we have two fruit setting. We have one here, you can have as many as eight. Generally the more fruit you have setting per flower cluster, the smaller the fruit is. Not always, but generally that's a good rule. So what we're looking for is single fruit per flower, where the fruit can get bigger. This isn't an example, but we have some where you get much larger fruit per single cluster. The other component that's important is that where this is attached, if you harvest this one first and that happens where you'll have nice ripeness there, and this one needs to hang a little longer, you run the risk of tearing the skin on the Pawpaw which reduces its shelf life for you. And so by having a single, you can cut the stem and it's nice and sealed and you have a little longer shelf life. That's another issue with the Pawpaw, is that the reason they're not commercial or available in the grocery stores, they have a very limited shelf life. They'll hold at the best conditions for maybe four weeks, maybe six. And so the grocery store can't handle this fruit and get it in there and keep it. And so this is a wonderful home owner variety as a result, and really that's the only way you're going to get good quality Pawpaws is to grow them yourself.