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Well here I am up in the tree with two of my favorite beasts, a nice old persimmon and a good ol' possum. You know this is a Hoover hog and this is what we call a Tennessee possum where I'm from. Well I probably wouldn't be this old if we didn't have a bunch of these around. Same way with these persimmons, now this is not an American Persimmon, this is Japanese Persimmon, and they're big and they're good. A persimmon is the most healthful fruit that you can get. Not only that, but it's also a beautiful fruit. At this time of the year the leaves turn color and fall off and all you have left is these beautiful persimmons hanging on the tree. They almost look like Christmas ornaments.

There are several kinds of persimmons. Some are astringent, that means that if you don't let them get completely ripe and you bite them they bite you six times back. Then there's a non-astringent type.

Most people don't realize when to harvest the persimmon. When they turn color that doesn't necessarily mean that they're ready to harvest. They have to be soft, almost to the point when you might think they're rotted, and then they are really juicy and sweet to eat. So think about planting a persimmon. There are some good ones like Fuyu, Tamopan, Taniesha, and this one is Eureka, that we're in now. So think about planting a persimmon for your yard, and growing the most healthful fruit that you can grow. After all you've never seen a sick possum have you?

This is Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.

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