Meet your neighbors by getting to know their fruit trees. During September and October of 2007, I canvassed the neighborhood specifically in search of fuyu and hachiya persimmon trees, and I found four hachiya trees and one fuyu tree in a five block radius. Hachiya persimmons are the hill shaped persimmons that reach full ripeness when the skin becomes totally translucent and the flesh becomes soft like applesauce. Fuyu persimmons can be eaten when they are firm like apples, and they will have a crunch.
I rang a doorbell on Boyd St. and a skeptical but ultimately friendly neighbor came to the front door. I told her that I couldn’t help but notice her beautiful hachiya persimmons- which are also my favorite fruit- and I asked her if I could harvest four persimmon. She unequivocally said yes, and informed me that she never harvested the persimmons growing in her front yard. I harvested four and for the rest of the persimmon season, I biked past her house and watched the tree become more leafless by the day, until late October when there wasn’t a single leaf on the tree. This leaflessness was in stark contrast to the weighty fruit hanging from its limbs.
On Lawton St. I mailed a postcard to my neighbor asking to come by and meet the people who lived at the house by Broadway St. with the hachiya persimmon tree in the front yard. I left my phone number and house number, and one day later, I received a brown bag of hachiyas and a voicemail message from a gentle sounding lady telling me that I could stop by later in the season for more persimmons.
The photo at the top is one I took of hachiya and fuyu I harvested in November 2007.