Re: PAW PAW
Paw paws generally found in riparian zones/wetter areas with rich soil w/tons of organic material. Less so on rocky dry areas. There are millions of them it seems along the canal path along the Potomac River and along the Monocacy River near where I live in MD. You can park your car and fill bushels w/them w/o walking more than a few hundred yards at the right time of year.
You can grow them near your house even if you don't live on a stream. Just make sure to prep the planting area w/alot of organic matter, put as much mulch around it as you think makes sense, then double it. Make sure it is well-watered the first year or two to allow it to establish root system then it should be fine.
I have grown them from seed. I forget the source but there are specialty "native plant" seed suppliers you can find on line.
If I recall correctly to get them to germinate I had to put them in damp peat moss in a baggie in my refrigerator for weeks, to trick the seed into thinking it had survived a winter- otherwise if you just plop it in the ground or a planter it will rot and never germinate. And even w/prepping in the fridge germination rare was less than 20%. THis may pose a problem if you by a small bag of seeds and there's only 5 in there (they are big seeds!). So make sure you plant a poop-load from seed, it's better to toss or give away the ones you won't use rather than put all the time in and have nothing to show.
I grew a number of paw paw and persimmon trees from seed, and planted them on my property when I lived in Hagerstown. I had a huge veggie garden, at least 50 yards of raspberry plantings, and 4 years after I planted the persimmon and pawpaw trees they were bearing their 1st fruit. And then I sold the place, had to move for work- AHHHHH!!!!!
Also- the "Blue Tube" tree shelters- use them. I experimented leaving some w/o any protection and others with the blue tubes. Both pawpaw and persimmons in the blue tubes after a few years were easily double the size of the ones without, and they were the 1st to bear fruit.
When was the last time you heard somebody say "Go ahead, it's a free country"?