The Asian persimmon sold in grocery stores is not cold-hardy. There’s a native version, though, which is well-adapted to the Catskills. It’s fruit is smaller, about the size of a golf ball, but with a richer flavor (“like an apricot, drizzled with honey and given a dash of spice” – Lee Reich). This variety, from noted fruit breeder Elwyn Meader of New Hampshire, is self-fertile (technically, parthenocarpic). Persimmon fruit is astringent until fully ripe – around here, generally after we’ve had a few light frosts – it’s best to only take fruit that have fallen from the tree, either naturally or after you give the branches a light shake.