Hashimoto’s Kula Persimmon Farm Ships to Your Door
But the season is short, so order now.
“You want persimmons, I suppose,” Noel Hashimoto says when we walk up to the window where he’s sorting the day’s harvest. We’ve driven up to Hashimoto’s Kula Persimmon and Cherimoya farm on Maui, and here, on the cool slopes of Haleakalā, it feels like fall—albeit a tropical version, its colors manifested in pumpkin-hued flowering vines, orange birds of paradise, and, what we’re here for, the persimmon grove, heavy with fruit.
The farm is in the swing of persimmon season. Lucky for us on O‘ahu, a few years ago, the family started an online store so we can now get fresh persimmons, persimmon jam, and dried fruit shipped to our door. But the season is short—only about two months, so get your orders in now. Harvest for the maru, characterized by its brown-speckled flesh, began in October and is already over. Preorders are beginning for the fuyu, the variety we most commonly see, bright orange, firm and sweet.
Hashimoto’s 3-acre farm of about 400 trees is almost evenly divided between the maru and fuyu varieties, with just a few hachiya, astringent right off the tree, but which eventually melt into a jelly consistency when they ripen. (Hashimoto says these aren’t very popular, so you’ll have to special order them.) Hashimoto’s great-grandfather started the farm, and some of the trees are more than 100 years old. And you can tell—compared to neighbors’ younger persimmon trees, Noel’s are gnarled, their branches sprawling over the trellises. A few years ago, he and his brothers split the Hashimoto Persimmon Farm and each is doing his own thing. Noel’s brother will wholesale Hashimoto persimmons—you might be able to catch them at Aunty Lucy Hiraoka’s stand at the Windward Mall farmers market on Sundays, and on Farm Link Hawai‘i. But Noel only sells directly to consumers, so it’s a great way to take advantage of the local, fleeting persimmon season. Hashimoto tells us that Michelle Karr-Ueoka of MW Restaurant had just ordered 80 pounds, and then gave birth a few days later, as if the two events were related. But given the sweet anticipation of persimmon season, maybe they are.