The next workshops have been scheduled. The Wilderness Survival 101 will be October 22, 2022 and the Advanced Friction Fire will be September 17, 2022. Go to the 'workshops' tab to view or sign up.
I have started writing a column for our local Master Naturalist group, it is titled 'Natures Bounty. I hope you enjoy.
Pre 1600 AD just about every plant, animal, tree and rock had a unique purpose, there were some plants and trees that filled multiple roles and the Pawpaw tree ( native here ) is one of them.
The fruit speaks for itself and will start ripening here late August/early September and it packs a pretty good nutritional punch. The fruit can be eaten raw just like a peach or any other fruit. It can be used in any recipe that banana is called for ( they have similar taste ), custards, breads or my favorite way is making smoothies with them ( 60% frozen pawpaw, protein powder, chopped ginger, touch of maple syrup and fill the remainder of the blender with vanilla oat milk ). The pics show the process and tools for making frozen Pawpaw pulp. After processing the pulp I scatter the discarded seeds through my woods and it's amazing how many will germinate on their own.
The wood of the Pawpaw is one of the best materials for friction fire fireboards. The inner bark makes a very serviceable cordage ( rope ) and the shredded bark will make an adequate tinder bundle.
The dried and powdered seeds make a natural head lice control and some modern lice control treatments still use the same compounds ( Purdue University ).
Lastly, for you butterfly folks, the Pawpaw leaves are the only food source for Zebra Swallowtail larvae to feed on.
The Pawpaw’s range seems to be spreading, there are quite a lot of them now in Central Va.
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