Figs, figs and more figs

tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)July 13, 2012

This is from my Brown Turkey fig tree. I can't keep up with this tree; it's got more figs than I know what to do with. Sadly, the (unspeakable epithet here) sour fruit bugs have invaded and many are ruined before I can even pick them. Add to that the heat and humidity and a lot are fermenting on the tree. The next tree will be one with a closed eye, so maybe the loss to the bugs will not be so bad. The good news is that BT figs are dee-licious. I'm making preserves and jam and today I'm going to try my hand at fig chutney. Anyone got a good fig recipe I can use?

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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

OOOoooo yummy yummy. Will you post your recipes? Or message to me privately. I'm going to be doing some stuff with prickly pears pretty soon and will share. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:08PM
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plstqd(9)

Wow. I was at Whole Foods today, and was drooling over the figs. At $5.99 for a little weensy basket of them, I had to pass them over, so I'm totally jealous of your harvest, (unspeakable epithet here) sour fruit bugs or not!

I love, love, love figs that are slit down the side, stuffed with goat cheese, and roasted in a low oven just until the cheese starts to melt. Mmmmm, heaven in your mouth.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:23PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Follow the link tomatofreak.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fig Recipes

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 7:20PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Figs and goat cheese? What's not to love about that! I see some in my future. The fig and walnut jam is another winner; thanks for those suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 8:19PM
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toucan(9)

Please make this fig ice cream and let us know how it tastes.
http://www.saveur.com/solrSearchResults.jsp?q=fig

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 8:48PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Mmmmm, sounds good; I'll give it a try.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 1:44AM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

haname, this is the easiest possible way to make fig preserves. However, not being one to let well enough alone, I added a pinch of salt, half a stick of cinnamon and about half a lemon, sliced paper thin. In another batch I sliced about an inch of fresh ginger very thin and added that. The flavors are sooooo good. The lemon adds clarity to the syrup and it's a beautiful color.

Today, I'm making some half and half fig/peach jam. And I'd love to trade some if that's what you have in mind!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fig preserves

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:47PM
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sundrop07(9b)

Figs can also be frozen whole on sheet pan and stored in freezer bags. Great thawed just a bit and eaten frozen, little figpops, also great added to smoothies.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 8:55PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

I would love to do a trade, that sounds great. :) I'll let you know when. The first tunas are starting to ripen, so it shouldn't be too long.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:36PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Who is meeting me over at Tomatofreak's house?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:43PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great, beautiful harvest! I'm envious. They look absolutely delicious. I really have no excuse for not growing a fig tree (other than not wanting to clean up the dropped foliage in winter, LOL). You are giving me a total craving! Is there anything one can do to reduce the damage by the sour fruit bugs, other than trying closed-eye varieties?

Thanks again for sharing part of your harvest with us. I'm green with envy! Take care and happy gardening!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:44PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Okay, I know Tomatofreak is on an irrigated lot, but can anyone else tell me how much water fig trees need?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 1:49PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Probably more than you ever wanted to know about fig trees, PC, but skip through and you'll find the water needs of figs here in the SW.

Here is a link that might be useful: all about fig trees

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 5:40PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Thanks for that link, thisisme; it contains a recipe for jam using green figs. Since it's not likely I'm going to save many more ripe figs from the combo of bugs and hot, humid weather, I'm going to try that recipe.

Seriously, as much as I love figs, my next tree will be a closed-eye fig. My plan now is to clean out all the rotten ones and scorch the earth under the tree with a propane torch. Die, bugs, die!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 1:57PM
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haname(z9 AZ NE Phoenix)

Tomato, what variety would you plant next?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 3:00PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Probably one of these:

'Alma' A variety developed by the Agricultural Experiment Service of Texas A&M University. A cross of the variety 'Allison' and a male 'Hamma' caprifig, it was introduced in 1975. It is a medium-small fig that has golden-brown skin with a pear shape and amber pulp. The pulp is very rich and sweet. The eye of 'Alma' is naturally sealed with a drop of resin that prevents problems with insects and fruit spoilage. A moderately vigorous variety, it is very productive and comes into bearing early in its life. 'Alma' has one small problem. It is little less cold hardy than some varieties, especially when young. Once established, the trees are more cold hardy. It grows well in Texas coastal areas as well as South-Central and South Texas. This variety can become a little weedy so it needs some pruning at times to produce good crops.

'Celeste' A medium-small fig with a purple-brown skin and very light pink pulp. It has a small closed eye which inhibits the entry of insects and helps prevent fruit spoilage. The eye remains green until the fig is nearly ripe, unlike 'Brown Turkey' and 'Texas Everbearing.' It is an excellent small fig, one of the better figs for the eastern and northern parts of Texas. It does not seem to do as well in drier areas, such as West and South Texas. This is the most cold hardy of this group of figs, but when it comes to hot weather it will suffer a little unless it is kept watered. 'Celeste' does not have an early (breba) crop, only the main crop that usually starts ripening in late July.

'Kadota' The commercial variety in California. This is a variety mainly for coastal areas of South Texas. It is a high quality fig with greenish-white skin and amber pulp. The pulp is rich and sweet. This is the common canned or dried fig of commerce. It requires heat to develop its best flavor. The eye is open but it is filled with resin that prevents damage from insects and fruit spoilage. It takes two years to recover from being killed to the ground. The fruit becomes rubbery in very dry, hot areas.

I'd love to know if anyone here has the Kadota.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fig varieties

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:23PM
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sundrop07(9b)

A member of the Rare Fruit growers recommended a closed eye fig that he grows called Conadria. It is a green variety, I have one in a pot waiting for cooler weather to plant out.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:47PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

The good news is: I got some delicious figs at first ripening. Ate some, made some jam, dried some. The bad news: Between the sour fruit bugs and the heat/rain/humidity, the rest of the crop is lost. I'm so sad.

Come winter, I'll cut this tree back dramatically and give it more air in the interior. If anyone wants cuttings, now or then, I'll be happy to share. Figs are one of the easiest plants to propagate you could possibly find. You can even pot this fig and keep it at shrub size if you promise yourself to be merciless with pruning. ;o)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:43AM
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devilpup(8a)

I have a Kadota fig growing in my back yard, I planted it last October or so but it was killed to the ground over the winter. I live in the southern high desert, so our temps dropped into the teens a few times plus I was pretty neglectful in watering it. It did come back from the roots though and is now about 8" tall, so I'm still hopeful for a good recovery.

The tree was only about 1.5 feet tall when I plugged it in but it already had 2-3 fruits on it. They were darned tasty so I was pretty bummed when the tree dried out. I was going to dig it up but then decided to leave it and see what happened. It's started to make a come back but we'll see what happens this winter.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 6:33PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Neat discussion everyone. Tomato, are winter time dormant cuttings the best for propagating edible figs? I've never done it and am curious.

Keep the fun comments and updates coming all. I learn something new each time I log in here. Happy gardening, and eating, everyone!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 12:23PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Grant, it's almost "as easy as falling off a log"! I invited a friend to take some cuttings and I don't really remember when he took the shoots, but they all did well. He took one to TX and reported that it had grown to bush size in just a few months. Most of the sites I visited recommended taking cuttings in February or March. Honestly, here, I think anytime during the winter would be OK since we barely have any winter.

On another note, I can't prove it, but I suspect my souring problem is exacerbated by having irrigation and an overgrown tree. I'm going to take a cutting myself and pot it up on the dry side of the yard just to see if it makes a difference. Meantime, if someone has another variety they'd be willing to share a cutting of later this year, let me know.

Here is a link that might be useful: propagating figs from cuttings

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Thanks for the link, TF!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 12:16AM
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DocHollywood 9b Central Tucson(USDA 9b)

My favorite fig recipe is: slice the figs half way through and stuff with goat cheese mixed with a little salt,pepper and a small amount of fresh chopped rosemary. Wrap the figs with prucetta. Cut some fresh rosemary skewers. Skew 2 figs per serving onto the skewers. Drizzle with a little olive oil and grill until the cheese starts to melt and the prucetta crisps-up. Thehe rosemary leaves on the skewers will also start to brown. The browining of the rosemary imparts a nice flavor. Makes a nice appetizer for that summer evening meal.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 12:10AM
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sundrop07(9b)

I've used the method described here;
http://figs4fun.com/
http://figs4fun.com/Rooting_Bag.html
I rooted cutting in a bag and gave them to a friend, he put it in the ground and was picking figs by fall that year. I've never seen this before, he is in Tempe. A lot of fig info on this site.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 7:58PM
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sundrop07(9b)

http://figs4fun.com/
Sorry that didn't work, trying again

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 8:04PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

That is an awesome site that I've gone to before for info; the guy is definitely a self-taught fig expert. I don't know if trusting his taste preferences is a good thing, since he "hates" BT figs and, to me, those are the best!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 1:22AM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Mmm, Doc Hollywood, that sounds luscious...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:14PM
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