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Persimmon Talk at Gardena Valley JCI on Sunday

GARDENA — A program all about persimmons (also known as kaki) will be held on Sunday, Feb. 11, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall, 1964 W. 162nd St., Gardena.

Tosh Kuratomi of Otow Orchard, which specializes in hoshigaki (dried persimmons).

Meet Tosh Kuratomi of Otow Orchard in Granite Bay (near Sacramento), whose specialty is hoshigaki (dried persimmon), a delicacy savored in Japan and here.

He will explain the intricate process of making hoshigaki, and will answer all your questions about persimmons. Kuratomi and Otow Orchard were featured in an episode of “California’s Gold” with Huell Howser.

Otow Orchard is a century-old family farm that grows a variety of fruits and vegetables but specializes in persimmons: Hachiya, Fuyu, Maru, Hyakume, Vodka, Chocolate and hoshigaki. It harvests about 60,000 pounds of persimmons each season.

The Kuratomis practice organic gardening methods and many of the trees are 70 years old, with some pushing 100. Otow Orchard harvests about 10,000 pounds of persimmons to be used for hoshigaki; that translates to about 2,000 pounds of hoshigaki.

This program is free; donations are welcome. In order to determine the number of seats needed, call (310) 324-6611 or email and tell organizers many people will be attending.

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