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Rhubarb and Dandelion Wines from the Amana Colonies

Dutch letters

K&K Popcorn


Massdam Sorghum


Maytag Blue Cheese




Muscatine Melons


Black Walnuts & Pawpaws

Pork Tenderloin

Pawpaws, Black Walnuts, and Maple Syrup

Nut tree farmer and contact for the Southeast Iowa Nut Growers (S.I.N.G), Tom Wahl of Red Fern Farm, thinks there is a definite future in growing naturally certified chestnuts and paw paws, as well as black walnuts. Of greater interest for this project is Wahl’s work and background with pawpaw trees. While he doesn’t have family stories about pawpaws, as a boy, Tom did stumble across pawpaw patches along waterways in southeastern Iowa. A member of the custard apple family, pawpaws are also known as the Midwest banana.

Pawpaw pulp does freeze well and is great in pies, jams, custards, and cakes as well as in ice cream. Wahl reports that an upscale restaurant in Tennessee sells pawpaw ice cream for $10 a gallon. And white tablecloth restaurants in Iowa City, including Kurt Friese’s Devotay, stand in line to get all the paw paws Red Fern Farms can produce.  More

 (4 minutes)
interview with Suzanne Wanatee on maple syrup and black
Download audio transcript



Red Fern Farm

Tom Wahl
13882 "I" Avenue

Wapello, IA 52653




“In Indian households, the food we eat and like is comfort food ~ the food we like to have around.” 

Suzanne Wanatee

this is a photograph of a pawpaw flower this is a photograph of a pawpaw fruit bud this is a photograph of a pawpaw fruit this is a photograph of a pawpaw fruit this is a photograph of a sliced pawpaw fruit

Copyright Iowa Arts Council.   All Rights Reserved.
Photo credits: Some photos courtesy of Tom Wahl and Kentucky State University.