The Pawpaw, America’s Largest Edible Fruit, Grows Quietly in Baltimore
by Lydia Woolever
Published July 28 in Baltimore Magazine
Excerpt: Doron Kutnick emerges from the overflowing shrubs of his white farmhouse in Hampstead before his first cup of coffee. It’s late June, just days before the summer solstice, and at 9 a.m., the morning shade still sweeps across the open fields and enclosed greenhouses of the two-acre Two Boots Farm that he runs with his wife, Elisa.
But we’re not here for the flowers and vegetables that grow before us, being tended to by several employees before the day’s heat unfurls like a stretching cat. Instead, in a straw hat and gray T-shirt, holding a ceramic mug, Kutnick ambles down the hill, past the persimmons, into a meadow-like path, and through the forest, which eventually leads to a small clearing, filled with rows and rows of pawpaw trees.
“It’s a beautiful tree, and it really is a lot of fun to take care of these things,” says Kutnick, standing amidst the slender gray trunks and broad symmetrical leaves of some 200, ranging in size from small, grafted saplings to 12-foot specimens dangling with powdery green clusters of what look like soft-skinned avocados or unripe mangos.