Spring is nearly here and that means it’s pawpaw time

Foster a Pawpaw presented by GreenState Credit Union is back this year with more opportunities for you to support Iowa’s biodiversity and unique habitats!

Just like last year, you can foster pawpaw seeds into seedlings, we’ve also added two other options for you to get involved. You can volunteer to plant pawpaws at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve or purchase your own stratified pawpaw seeds to plant in your backyard. Registration is required to volunteer.

By fostering pawpaw seeds, you can help us grow the next group of pawpaw seedlings to be planted around Bur Oak properties. The cost to foster is $30 for a crate of 9 seeded pots.

You will care for the seeds until fall when we collect the plants for winter along with the pots and crates to use again next year. Next spring, the seedlings will be ready to plant at other Bur Oak properties to provide habitat for the rarely seen zebra swallowtail butterfly that depends on the pawpaw for food.

Pawpaw trees will also eventually grow North America’s largest native edible fruit. Described as a cross between a mango and a banana, the pawpaw is sweet and has been featured in many recipes, primarily from the Appalachian region. The fruit ripens very quickly and hasn’t been cultivated to last long in grocery stores, but that may change as more research is done about the plant.

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