My first fresh figs! I’m so proud. Two have ripened and quickly been devoured.
The figs have seeds in them, quite a surprise since I assumed they would be asexual.
The flavor is perfect: sweet, subtle, reminiscent of honey and vaguely white grape-like, a taste all its own. Fresh figs right off the tree are the best! I eat the whole fruit, including most of the stem.
The fig’s leaves are rapidly turning yellow and will soon fall. I’m not sure how this will affect the four remaining fruit still to ripen. Since this is my first experience with a fig tree, there is plenty to learn!
The nightly blanketing with a thick cotton bedsheet has protected the tree from light frost. That won’t work much longer. The temperatures will soon dip into the 20s F at night and the little tree will have to move inside. Next spring it will get an earlier start than this year so the fruit will have more time to ripen. I’m already looking forward to next year’s harvest!
This last day of August seems a good time for an update on farm news. My butterfly bush is in full bloom. An anniversary gift from my husband, the bush is at the edge of its northern range here at the farm. Every winter it dies down to the ground. In the spring it sends up new branches and begins to blossom in August. The scent is delicious!
The fig tree is thriving and has settled on five figs chosen to grow to maturity. There were eight little figs but the tree let three shrivel and drop. The figs are about 1.5″ across at the widest. I doubt they will ripen before the first frost. The tree will be moved inside as fall arrives. I hope the fruit continues to ripen and not drop from the shock of being moved.
I spent part of the day stacking firewood. Our wood pile is about two-thirds full. We need at least six cords to be warm through the nine months of heating. To get ahead of the endless tree felling, we decided to buy nine cords of seasoned tree length firewood. It was delivered a couple weeks ago and forms a large pile up near the road. As soon as we finish splitting and piling the wood we cut in our woods, we will start on the new pile. There is a half-cord of ash left to split down in the woods.
Today I harvested the last of my fresh lettuce and had a big salad for lunch. The head lettuce I planted this spring did very well and did not bolt too badly once very hot weather arrived. Today I also canned the last of the wax beans for this year. I put up a total of twenty-one pints of beans. These will be a yummy reminder of summer during the cold months.
Today was very warm and mostly sunny so I took the opportunity to wash both the dogs. They were badly in need of a bath, especially Holly who only likes to wade in the pond and stream while Otto jumps in for total immersion. The dogs look and smell great! And, so, a busy day and month come to an end.
My new fig tree has fruit! Today I was removing a dead leaf and spotted all these tiny figs forming. That was a surprise! I didn’t expect the tree to produce this year. I bought it this spring and it is about four feet tall. During the past couple months it has developed a mop of leaves at the top. Side shoots for lower branches are also starting to form.
The tree appears to be very happy against the south side of the house. I planted some moss roses around the base and water regularly. It’s so exciting to think there may be figs to eat this year!
These fruit are forming without fertilization, called parthenocarpic. They occur as extensions of the stem and will not contain seeds, only flowering bodies. They will still be very yummy, and less crunchy. The “seeds” in figs (the true fruit of the plant) are not my favorite part for eating.
This winter I plan to house the fig tree in a cool room upstairs in my house rather than in the unheated woodshed. The baby fig I had last year got too cold out in the shed and died. Figs are supposed to be able to withstand temps down to 17F, but very young trees are more susceptible to cold. I am much happier with this older, taller tree than with the tiny baby from last year. This tree is old enough to make fruit!!
To update the development of my baby fig: it’s doing great! The photo on right is from when the fig first arrived. The photo at left was taken two days ago. The little tree is very happy in its sunny window.
The poor thing tried to die soon after I received it. I believe the clay pot was the problem, too dry. It has thrived in the plastic pot. Every other day it requires a little water so the soil stays slightly damp all the time. The fig has done so well it needs repotting. The roots are starting to fill the current pot.
I will set it outside today to encourage hardening off for the long winter sleep in the dark, chilly mud room. The shorter days and cooler temperatures will signal it to start dormancy. Next spring the fig can go outside for the warm weather and I hope to get some fruit.
This everbearing fig should grow to about six feet tall and can produce two crops of fruit in a year. Fresh figs are so yummy, I sure look forward to having some!