289: Andrew Moore on Pawpaw Fruit.

Appreciating America’s forgotten fruit.


photo credit Jonathan Yahalom

Andrew grew up in Lake Wales, Florida, just south of the pawpaw’s native range. He is a writer and gardener, and now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His first book, Pawpaw, In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit was published through Chelsea Green in 2015 as a hardback and this year in paperback.  It was also nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award..

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In This Podcast:

Amazed upon being introduced to a delicious tropical fruit that grew in temperate areas of the Americas, Andrew Moore delved into some heavy research to learn more about it. He found that this fruit has been growing on the continent for a very long time, has a rich history with both ancient fauna and early human civilizations. He tells us some of what he learned and why it has been forgotten.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Going through his first winter as an adult and being introduced to the pawpaw
  • What the pawpaw is and where it grows
  • How it is the biggest tree fruit
  • It is a tropical fruit, yet is found in a temperate climate
  • How big they can get
  • Some of its connection to American history
  • The early history as far back as 56 million years
  • Early civilizations on this continent
  • European introduction
  • Historical research that he did for his book
  • Where he went to get information
  • Johnny Pawpawseed – a nickname for Neil Peterson the man who helped create the pawpaw revival
  • Some of the reasons that the pawpaw has lost its place
  • Growing the pawpaw at home organically
  • The pawpaw revival as part of the sustainable food movement
  • The pawpaw festival in Ohio
  • The pawpaw season is right now!
  • Fresh pawpaw from Earthy Delights
  • Frozen pawpaw from Integration Acres

As well as:

  • His failure – Setting up too many things on his to-do list
  • His success – Marrying the woman he married
  • His drive – Curiosity
  • His advice – Try growing the pawpaw wherever you are – give it a shot

Books written by Andrew:

Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit

Andrew’s Book recommendations:         

American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree by Susan Freinkel

How to reach Andrew:       

Website: Chelseagreen.com/pawpaw

Facebook: @pawpawbook (Pawpaw: In Search of Americas Forgotten Fruit)

UrbanFarm.org/Pawpaw


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4 Comments

  1. As someone who grew up in rural Indiana, with a Dad who was born in 1910, I am always interested in hearing stories about paw paws. We would play in the woods near our home and pick paw paws in abundance when in season. Dad told stories about his sisters and him picking paw paws as children. Those woods also gave us wonderfully huge blackberries and a pond to ice skate on in winter. I live in Texas now and don’t hear much about paw paws. Great podcast. Andrew Moore has a great outlook on life and growing.

  2. I don’t imagine there are too many paw paw trees in Arizona where I live. After listening to this podcast, I purchased the paw paw book, and I am hooked. I love the history! Andrew Moore created a picture in mind of all the places he explored in search of paw paw. Thanks for the adventure.

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