Gold Ridge Farm Tour: The Present

Japanese Persimmon

Moving down the trail from Spot #14, we've reached a shady little bend. This is Spot #16, Japanese Persimmons. This is the only type of its species on the farm; it does have edible fruit. The fruit are harvested after the first frost or if picked earlier, placed in an airtight container to reduce their sourness.

Mr. Burbank was interested in crossing this species with the Virginia Persimmon to create a new species that could be harvested before the first frost and still taste good.

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Virginia Persimmon

Very near the Japanese Persimmon is Spot #17, the Virginia Persimmon. This is the species that Mr.Burbank hoped to cross the Japanese Persimmon with, but it didn't work out. Why? Well, these trees need to cross-pollinate and the virginia was what Mr. Burbank called a "shy bearer." There's a little grove of these trees here. The fruit is edible if it's very ripe and has been cooked.

Another trick for ripening a persimmon (if picked before the first frost) is to place it in a bag with an apple. The apple gives off a gas that gets rid of the persimmon's sourness.

Nightshade

Just down the path and on another little bend is Spot #18, Hybrid Nightshade. As you can tell, it has beautiful blue flowers. It also has thorns and its fruit is poisonous.

Mr. Burbank wanted to work with this plant because this plant family had so much variety among its members. Members include the potato, the tomato, belladonna( a poison), and tobacco.

Nice Flowers

Here's a close-up view of the nightshade's flowers. If you look carefully, you can see wild sweet pea curling around the branch. Wild sweet pea blooms in several areas on the Farm.

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