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Wanna learn about edible plants that grow in Chambana? Wanna learn about the pawpaw? Want an excuse to ride around C-U on a beautiful Saturday afternoon? Any of these is a valid reason to join us tomorrow!

The Tour de Fruit is one part community bike ride and one part fruit-seeking adventure. Neutral Cycle, partnered with C-U Wild Fruit, takes you on a free guided tour around Champaign-Urbana, helping you to connect you with your surroundings by focusing on local flora.

Our last two events have had a great turnout, with residents of all ages and backgrounds learning about what’s around them. This event will focus on the pawpaw, the largest fruit native to North America. It’s rarely cultivated commercially and relatively unknown, but it’s one of Illinois’ comestible treasures. If you want to know what it tastes like, think of a mango crossed with a banana. Not what you think of when you think of Illinois, but it should be!

The event starts at 3:00 p.m. at Neutral Cycle. We’ll spend the next few hours biking around to different pawpaw trees and even equip you with the knowledge you’ll need to grow your own pawpaw patch. Through the lens of pawpaw we’ll touch upon history, ethnobotany, native ecology, poetry, propagation, cuisine, folk songs, and much more.

And last, but not least, we’ll finish the event with pawpaw ice cream, courtesy of the Red Herring.

If you’re interested in coming, please RSVP on our Facebook event, but this is not required, so even if you don’t, feel free to just show up!

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For more photos of previous events, see our Facebook album here.

This ride is sponsored by Weiskamp Screen PrintingChampaign-Urbana Design Organization :: CUDOUrbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, and The Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant, so that’s to whom you should direct your thanks for you new-found pawpaw knowledge!

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