The MNFGA 2021 Spring Meeting was a virtual meeting using Zoom. It was held on April 10.
The guest speaker was paw paw grower Marc Boone. Marc successfully grows paw paws southwest of Ann Arbor, MI. He talked about the history, growing, grafting, harvesting and processing of paw paws, and other fruits and nuts. Paw paws are a relatively easy-to-grow tree in Michigan (they are native…ever hear of Paw Paw, MI?) yet are not seen in many grocery stores due to their fragile nature when fully ripe. They are excellent fresh and made into other foods (bakery, gelato, ice cream) and store well as a frozen puree. Marc explained that the mastodons used to be propagators of paw paws. They would gorge on the fruits and then spread the seeds in their travels. So, until mastodons come back, it will mostly be up to humans to help propagate paw paws. Please do your part! However, do NOT dehydrate paw paws for later consumption. Dehydrating them seems to concentrate some of the components in paw paws and the concentration leads to severe gastrointestinal discomfort for most people.