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April 23, 2007

And once again we return to persimmons

Somehow I find myself writing a great deal about persimmons, particularly the American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana). I've been a part of breeding programs in strawberries, blackberries, peaches, blueberries, and grapes, and yet I've probably written more on this blog about persimmons, a crop I've never grown myself, than any of them (except maybe grapes). Why, I'm not quite sure. Maybe it's because I've always found myself attracted to the crops in which little breeding has been done, and because the American persimmon, for whatever reason, seems to inspire a passion in its aficionados well out of proportion with its importance as a crop, and as a result, a remarkable amount has been written about it.

One of those aficionados, John Raymond, sent me a message today, which included a link to his website, The Persimmon Patch. Although a few sections still sport "Under Construction" signs (and I look forward to seeing what replaces them), the site already has an impressive amount of information available. The highlight, in my opinion, anyway, is the lengthy article on persimmon improvement reproduced from the November 2006 issue of The Nutshell (the newsletter of the National Nut Growers Association) and recently updated by the author.

The website also features a nice page of links, especially for nursery sources, and an extremely comprehensive, if rather confusing, list of references. I'm looking forward to watching this site expand and grow and hope to be talking about it more in the future.

Update: What the heck...I've put The Persimmon Patch over in the links in the sidebar. And while I was at it, I also added Pommiers.com, a French site which offers a great way of tracking down obscure fruit varieties, at least within Europe. The downside, of course, is all the French, but if I can puzzle through most of it, it can't be that tough.

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