Figs are like a fruit holiday. They have two short seasons each year. Figs are a little sensitive to cold weather, and therefore not very available in many parts of the world. Including my part of the world, much to my dismay. So what’s a fig lover to do? Grow them, of course!
If you’ve only tasted the dried figs, you don’t know what you’re missing. A ripe, fresh fig is plump, mildly sweet, creamy, and complexly yet delicately flavored. The texture is a pleasure all its own. Every part of the fruit is edible, but some people choose to peel their figs. Try them both ways for a completely different taste experience! The image to the left shows an unripe fig on my young fig tree.
My fig tree is of the variety ‘Violette de Bordeaux’, also sometimes referred to as ‘Negronne’. I have only had it for one year, and I have not yet had the pleasure of tasting its fruit. However, I selected this variety because it is widely claimed to be the best flavored fig. It has a dark skin with strawberry-red, jam-like pulp.
Aside from the delicious edible potential, fig trees make beautiful, easy-care houseplants! Figs are in the genus Ficus, along with many popular houseplants. I keep mine by a window which isn’t very sunny, so I supplement with a grow light. I give it a good soaking of tap water once or twice per week, and each spring and fall I sprinkle a couple handfulls of Vegetarian Organic fertilizer. To say it grows with weed-like vigor would be an understatement.