Pick A Pomegranate

Nearly everyone knows the pomegranate, although it's probably more common on the West Coast. Its unusually tangy seeds seem designed for mindless, time-passing enjoyment. Pick up a pomegranate and pick out seeds all day long.

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Here's a young, budding pomegranate in my garden on a dewy morning. An unseen spider has been playing "connect-the-dots" with the fruit.

About a month later, it's ready to tear apart and eat. The seeds are delicious in salads and they're a good match with fuyu persimmons.

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"The birthplace of the pomegranate was here in the Kopet Dag Mountains of Central Asia. And here is one of the last places on earth where wild pomegranates grow.” Barbara Baer heard Russian botanist, Dr. Gregory Levin, speak those words on a BBC broadcast in 2001. Barbara eventually tracked down Levin in Turkmenistan and got him to write a book she published called "Pomengranate Roads."

While we mostly find the "Wonderful" variety of pomegranate in stores and in nurseries but Levin had identified 1,117 different varieties -- with yellow, purple, even black seeds -- from twenty-seven countries on four continents. His story is one of dedication and persistence in the face of hardship -- to spend one's professional life collecting and studying with great seriousness this happy fruit.