May the forage be with you.

Summer is done and there’s a hint of fall in the forest. Fruits and nuts are forming and will be falling soon but not before they ripen. Have you ever taken a nibble of an unripened pawpaw or persimmon?

You would remember for sure especially the persimmon. Your mouth would have puckered up and felt like it turned inside out! The cotton mouth taste comes from tannins in the pulp that act as an astringent when you take a bite.  This is a way the tree lets animals know they’re not welcome to the fruits until they are ripe, and the tannins have faded. When  the seeds inside the fruit are fully developed they will be consumed and hopefully passed out the other end of an animal to start a new tree in a new place. That’s another way nature works. The tree  supplies food for  the raccoon and  the raccoon supplies the best way for the tree to distribute seeds.

Learn more about the mushrooms, nuts and fruits of Missouri’s forests at May the Forage be with You this Saturday at 10 a.m. , 11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. There will be taste tests and even a few recipes to try. Register at

Adults , check out Trivia Tuesday on Oct 6 at 7 p.m.  Grab a team or come alone, you are sure to have fun and you may even win a fabulous prize! Find out more information and register at

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