Figs

Ficus carica, of the family Moraceae (the mulberry family).

This has been an abundant fig season. And surprisingly so. It started off rather rough – the fig bushes had all died back, and so had to start over from scratch, which means we lost the first flush that would have come in April or May. I was surprised that they had died back, as this hadn’t happened following the 2015-2016 winter. But, moving forward…

10162017 fig plant
October 15, 2017

Truly an heirloom plant – these were offspring of a plant put into the ground by my grandmother, which itself came from a plant of her mother’s. We are at least the fourth generation of our family to enjoy these fruits. My grandmother’s plant was lost when her property was sold.

10162017 figs
October 15, 2017
11042017 frozen figs
Frozen early last week – we will make jam out of most of these.

We had our first freeze on Friday night (November 10), so I awoke to the more tender plants, including the figs, wilted and starting to brown.

 

11112017 figs frost

But the opportunity was “ripe” for harvesting the remaining edible ones, and start the jam-making.

11112017 fig jam
A feast for the eyes. This jam will provide nourishment during the long winter’s sleep.

5 thoughts on “Figs”

  1. We inherited a fig and have yet to figure out what is happening to the figs. They form, look like they’re doing well, and then, they’re gone! I imagine the critters are eating them. Your figs look so delicious, as does the jam. Quick question for you: How do you know when they’re ready to be picked?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for giving me a few days to reply! My grandmother always had squirrels (and maybe bluejays) rob her figs. We haven’t had an issue, probably because of our dogs.

      From my experience, fig maturity (and edibility) can depend on two major factors: climate and variety. Let’s say Maryland’s climate is very similar to the NC piedmont. I don’t know what variety of fig we have, but my sense is that it is a Chicago Hardy Fig, since it is capable of dying completely, and then coming back and producing in that same year. (the link below may help – I don’t purchase from Edible Landscaping, but they have lots of very good information).

      The figs are ready when they have even the slightest give. The more tender, the sweeter, until they get squishy and start to ferment on the bush. When they are slightly soft but not tender, they are sweet but leathery.

      I could go on and on. Thanks for asking, and have a wonderful day!

      http://ediblelandscaping.com/products/shrubs/Figs/HardyChicagoFig.php

      Like

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