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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley


Aug 30, 2022 09:54PM ● By Bear Creek Organics

Pickin’ up pawpaws, put ‘em in your pocket.

Pickin’ up pawpaws, put ‘em in your pocket.

Pickin’ up pawpaws, put ‘em in your pocket.

Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch.

When I sang that song as a child, I had no idea what a pawpaw was. I had never seen one in the wild. I’d never seen the fruit for sale in the store. It remained a mystery fruit until I got into edible landscaping.  

The pawpaw tree is the only tropical tree to have escaped the tropics!

 One look at its leaves and growth habit and you’d think somebody plucked it straight out of the Amazon rainforest.  However, this tree is native to our area and has adapted to our temperate climate, growing wild in the woods of the eastern United States. 

Oh, the fruit! 

The pawpaw fruit is the largest native fruit in all of North America. The large, green-skinned fruit grows in clusters with individual fruit weighing over one pound. When you cut the fruit open, a beautiful orange to yellow custard pulp is exposed. Most describe the flavor as banana and mango combined, with after-tones of pineapple, strawberry, or vanilla. 

According to Michael Judd, author and edible landscaper: 

Nutritionally speaking, pawpaws are vitamin-packed antioxidant powerhouses - the original super fruit!  Pawpaw protein contains all essential amino acids in contents higher than that of apples, bananas, or oranges.  Full of vital vitamins and minerals, exceeding peaches, grapes and apples.  It is exceptionally high in potassium, calcium, vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper and magnesium.  High in antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids.

Wow!  That’s impressive. 

No spray tree! 

Some fruit trees can be persnickety here in PA, but not the pawpaw. It is native to the woods in our region and grows well for the backyard orchardist. Once established, the pawpaw is a ‘no spray tree.’ Its leaves carry a mild toxin, so it has no pest or other disease issues unlike most backyard fruit trees. It’s also very deer resistant. 

Grow your own!  

So, you want to eat some pawpaws? Your best bet is to grow them yourself. Just know what genetics you are planting. Wild type trees can have very small fruit filled with seeds whereas some commercial cultivars have huge tasty fruit with less seeds. 

Are you ready to give it a try?  Contact Richie Mitchell from Bear Creek Organics. He has a wide selection of pawpaws ready to plant this fall.  He carries healthy pawpaw seedlings with the best genetics for large and tasty fruit quality.  To get some pawpaws, visit and fill out the ‘Contact Us” section at the bottom of the page. 

More Info on Bear Creek Organics:

Bear Creek Organics - 76 Helmer White Haven PA

Bear Creek Organics - 76 Helmer, White Haven, PA

We create organic and ecological edible landscapes. With mother nature as our teacher, and extensive knowledge of edible plants, we develop beautiful food production systems that support ... Read More »