For some people, one of the sweetest, tastiest signs that summer is ending and autumn is arriving is when pawpaws start to ripen along Missouri’s streams and wooded valleys.
People wanting to learn more about the fruit some refer to as the “Missouri banana” should sign up for the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free virtual program “Pawpaw Pickin'.” This online program will be from 10-10:30 a.m. on Sept. 3 and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. This program is designed for ages 12 and up. People can register for this program at:
In this program, MDC Naturalist Angela Pierce will discuss how pawpaw fruit has a long history in parts of rural Missouri. She will discuss where this fruit can be found, how to harvest it, and will also discuss the different ways pawpaws are used for food. Though this program is free, registration is required. To participate, use the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.
Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.