Persimmon Conference

The Indiana Nut Growers is pleased to announce that an American Persimmon Conference has been planned for Sept 27 & 28, 02. The conference theme is, Commercializing the American Persimmon.

Discussion of the following subject material is planned:

Establishing the orchard.
Persimmon diseases & pests.
Varieties and hybrids.
Income potential.
Kaki and American persimmon in the south.
Claypool's breeding orchard.
Past and present commercial persimmon enterprises.
Testing varieties in cooked products.
Processing equipment.
Food processing regulations (Indiana).
Distribution and marketing possibilities.
Consumer demand & establishing a market.
Restaurant use.
Bus trip to Claypool's testing orchard.
Visit to two acre test persimmon orchard being established.

A loose leaf binder will be included with each basic registrant in which to place papers provided by speakers. Papers and material which become available after the conference will be mailed out.

This is also a call for papers and presentations. If you have information on any of the above subjects that you would like to contribute please contact Jerry Lehman at The length of your talk can vary from five to 30 minutes. Sharing and pooling of information is the goal of this conference.

The Holiday Inn, Terre Haute, IN did have a few rooms left in the block of rooms. For late conference reservations call Jerry at 812-298-8733. For motel phone numbers in the area check the registration page.

Tentative Schedule:

Fri., Sept. 27

8:00 A.M. Registration.
9:00 Welcome.
9:30 Papers and presentations. Menu includes persimmon ice cream.
12:00 Pool side indoor luncheon.
1:00 Continuation of papers.
5:00 Adjourn.
6:30 Buffet Banquet at Holiday Inn.
8:30 Banquet presentation.

Sat. Sept. 28

9:00 A.M. Lehman two acre test orchard tour.
11:00 Outdoor grilled lunch at orchard.
12:00 Board bus for trip to Claypool orchard.
3:00 Bus departs for arrival at Holiday Inn.
4:30 Conference end.

* As this is near central Illinois some attendees may wish to depart for home from that location.


Speakers and subject matter.

William Heiman, INGA: Introduction to the James Claypool breeding orchard and history of 30 years of breeding the American persimmon.

Thomas Sears, INGA: Testing persimmon fruit in the Claypool orchard. Claypool varieties suitable for commercial use.

Martha Davis, INGA: Testing various varieties of persimmon pulp in cooked products. Methods and results. She is planning to have cooked products available for tasting.

Scott Kinzie, Indiana State Entomologist: Insects and diseases in the persimmon orchard.

Ken Neighbors, White Owl Winery: Making persimmon and pawpaw wine. Commercial wine sales. He is planning persimmon & pawpaw wine tasting at the Claypool orchard. His White Owl persimmon wine has recently won a gold metal.

Mrs. Dymple Green and Mrs. Dillman: Our years as individual producers of persimmon pulp, canned and frozen. Combined they processed 30,000 pounds annually. They will discuss processing, distributing and selling.

Wally Payne, retired: Past family commercial operation of shipping the American persimmon to Chicago markets.

Dr. Greg Reighard, Clemson Univ.: Kaki persimmon Varieties for South Carolina.

Dr. Kirk Pomper, Kentucky State Univ.: The Development of Pawpaw into a New Commercial Crop.

Dr. Richard Mandell: Some observations on growing and eating persimmon in the Deep South.

Jerry Lehman, INGA: Methods to establish an orchard. Tree density, seed vs. purchasing grafted trees, pollination considerations, sexual traits, flowering habits, hand pollinating for breeding purposes including; bagging flowers, pollen extraction, handling pollen and applying.

Shirley Vargas: Indiana State Dept. of Health, Wholesale Foods Dept. Shirley will discuss regulations for wholesale and retail foods processing.

Richard Glaser, pawpaw grower: Report on Organizing the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Assoc.

Ed Fackler, Banquet speaker: Marketing fruit at the farm market. Ed is an expert having operated a successful farm market for years as well as operating Indiana's largest apple tree nursery. You will enjoy Ed's brand of humor while learning from his experiences.

Claypool Orchard:

See nearly 2,000 trees (both sexes), many bearing ripe fruit. Wonder over the orchard and taste fruit from various trees. Possibly take fruit home in small containers. Organize in small groups to evaluate and compare trees and record fruit evaluation. Persimmon & pawpaw wine tasting.

Registration Form