Monday, 10 August 2020

Counting Figs

First of my figs for 2020, so, so delicious and since these three I've had 12 more - what a treat. 



The fig tree is only a few years old, brought here in a pot after I bought it from Wilkinsons for £3.50 in January 2017, just before we moved here.
Col took up a paving slab from the patio to make a sheltered spot for it and I watered it all through the dry summers we've had since.

We had a fig tree at the smallholding, started in a pot and them planted out at the back of a chicken shed so the water would run off over it. It took many years to fruit as it wasn't really in a sunny enough place.
I remember my Dad saying "are you going to eat them?" and me saying "yes of course, I love them fresh". He said the only other person he knew who'd liked them was his Mother -  the Gran I never knew because she died when I was only a few months old - I wish I'd known her as she loved gardening and farm life.

What about finding out more about this ancient fruit to fill a blog post?

 Figs originate from Mediterranean countries where they grew wild and were eaten fresh and dried as  part of a staple diet. It's thought the  Romans brought the first fruit here but the trees came quite a while later, perhaps in the early 16th century. They were first grown here as an architectural plant, growing up to 26 feet tall. The fruit rarely ripened and even now after breeding new varieties we only get one crop a year whereas in sunnier and warmer countries they have two crops in a year.
Ben Johnson (1572- 1637) wrote
The early cherry with the later plum, fig, grape and quince each in his time doth come.
 and of course figs get lots of mentions in the bible. The Victorians used tin fig leaves to cover nude male statues in museums and country houses.

As children we were given Syrup of Figs quite often even if we didn't know if we'd "been" or not! I didn't mind it................ but dried figs are quite nasty in my opinion - gritty - one of those things bought every Christmas that nobody ate.


 Back Tomorrow
Sue

36 comments:

  1. Figs are something we should have been able to grow in NZ, but despite an extensive house garden we never did. My father loved the dried ones so I learned to love them too, but we only got them at Christmas - expensive luxury. I loved crunching all the individual little seeds. Fresh figs when they arrived very much later in my life were an absolute revelation. Good on you for growing them so successfully. (F)

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    1. It's the seeds in the dried ones that I really don't like.

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  2. I had a big Fig tree in my old garden.
    My DG came for a surprise visit on Saturday and did sime gardening for me. We have a huge concrete post that is covered with Ivy and is about 12ft high x 8ft round above the post, he has cut a lot back and I spent early morning cutting it to put in the garden waste bin, there is and awful lot more to do but it will be so nice when it Is cleared and I can see the field. We have not seen any birds nest so far inside.
    Enjoy your day everyone.

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    1. It's always good to get something tidied for a better view out

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  3. I really like dried figs. Crunchy! I'm not sure whether we could grow figs outdoors here in the north.

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  4. I hated being dosed with Syrup of Figs - couldn't stand the taste or smell. It took about 40 years before I dared to try fresh ones and discovered they were completely different.

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    1. We seemed to get dosed with all sorts of stuff - I can remember cod-liver oil and something that tasted like metal called parishes food!

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  5. We had a magnificent fig tree at the 1930's bungalow we rented after Jointers growing up the side wall of the bungalow in full sun, and we managed to get four shoots from it to root so we brought them with us to Wales. Two survived and are in the Orchard with the henhouse, safe behind a chicken wire cage or so we thought ... they were safe enough from the chickens but the sheep bashed it down and ate all the figs.

    We also bought a tiny fig tree in a pot last year and put it into a larger pot ready for Alan to take to the new place with him. Only Alan eats them as I really dislike the texture of them so much.

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    1. I'd love to live somewhere long enough to have a huge tree!

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  6. My fig tree flourished for 10 years in the conservatory in Leicestershire. For 6 years it's been adjusting to life outside in Norfolk. Healthy crop of leaves this year, no figlets. Hoping that when I can tend it more regularly it will start to produc fruit again

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    1. Hope it gives you lots of figs when you live there all the time.

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  7. My father-in-law used to make the best fig cookies, and I enjoy fig preserve on cheese and crackers with a bit of wine. In fact, we had a glass of wine last night, in which hubby identified one of the flavor notes as fig, which is one that doesn't usually come to mind. He was spot on.

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    1. Not sure about figgy wine! but then I don't drink so really have no idea

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  8. Fresh figs are a thing apart - still warm from the tree. Delicious. There used to be a tree growing on the south wall of the tack room at the stables I worked at on the Hampshire/Sussex border and I would pick them from that. My little tree here - planted by the south wall - never thrived. Perhaps I didn't water it enough.

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    1. I agree about fresh from the tree. I tried some bought fresh ones when we were living in town and they were horrible. Think my tree likes lots of water, full sun for much of the day, a brick wall behind it and reflected heat from the patio paving stones.

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  9. Replies
    1. I rushed up stairs with the camera and caught it just in time!

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  10. I don't think I have ever eaten a fig.

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    1. Really!? They are only good fresh off the tree I think.

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  11. Do parents still inflict syrup of figs on their children? I would hope not, since it was disgusting, though thankfully rarely needed. Roderick

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  12. I have never tried gigs so pleased you are able to grow some x

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  13. I love dried figs - in fact I just bought a packet of them this morning as I'm restocking my dried fruit reserves.
    I've always wondered exactly how you eat them fresh - do people just cut them open and scoop out the centre?

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    1. I cut them in half and scoop out a spoonful of pink deliciousness

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    2. Thank you Sue - they are in the shops right now so maybe I'll pick up some later in the week.

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  14. How wonderful that you are already getting figs from your tree! When I was a child we once had a fig tree and I loved the fruit. My mother made the most delicious fig preserves from it too.

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  15. Any ideas about cooking figs? We keep getting them from friends and I don't like them fresh x

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  16. My fig tree, brought in a huge pot from Tydd, fruited the first year here and then sulked. It is now in Jess's garden and doing very well thank you. I may try another.

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  17. Interesting as I have never seen a fig tree or fresh figs. All we seem to get here in Saskatchewan are the dry and I really don't like them.

    God bless.

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  18. I wonder if you can grow them in containers?
    xx

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    1. Yes you can Joy. The plant will be smaller if you grow it in a container. If it is going to stay in a container I wouldn’t go smaller than a half barrel.

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  19. Sue, apparently, it is very easy to start figs off from cuttings. I haven’t done that yet but plan to do so shortly. The advice from my green fingered friend was as follows:
    I have taken cuttings all through the year and had very few failures at any time. Cut the top of the cutting at an angle so any moisture doesn't sit in the top and rot. I put in fat sticks about the width of a middle finger. Make them about 8-10 inches long and put them in 4-5 inches deep. Keep them damp, plant them round the edge of a square pot which seems to help. Keep them in the shade with a clear plastic bag over the top to keep moisture in.

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