Beaucoups des Figs

| 8/11/2014 8:16:00 AM

Renee-Lucie BenoitThis is my French way of saying we got a lot of figs this year! Now the question is what to do with them? Let me say right from the start: I love figs. I like them best right off the tree. It’s just like finding a big patch of wild blackberries. You pick one. You eat one. You pick two. You eat one. The only trouble with fresh figs is birds like them, too! They like them a lot. So it’s a race to see who can get the fresh figs first when they are tree ripe. Is it going to be me or the birds?

This year I am ahead of the birds. Maybe it’s because there are so many figs that the birds just can’t eat any more. (Bird: “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!”) As a strategy to make sure I get my share, I have been picking them when they begin to get soft. Just on the verge of being tree ripe. I’d love to let them stay until they fall off the tree but I absolutely know those durn birds will get to them before I can so that’s my strategy. Anyhow, I’m not worried because they ripen nicely on the counter. What a treat!

We were lucky to have the mature trees on our property when we got here. They are Black Mission Figs. They are a common fig in these here parts. Fig trees are so great to have in a garden repertoire because they are tough, tough, tough. They don’t need a lot of water and are resistant to disease. However they aren’t impervious. Last year, when we weren’t looking, the feral burros stripped and ate the bark off the lower trunk of one of the two trees we have.

I’m sorry to say that the part above the bare trunk is slowly expiring. However, the tree still leafed out and bears a lot of fruit. I’m happy to see that new shoots are growing from below the stripped section. The Force is strong in this one! So if the upper part does eventually croak, the root stock will grow a new tree around the failed one. Aren’t they amazing? Now we’re keeping those feral burros far, far away!


Fresh Figs

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