Are birds and insects indicative of ripe fruit?

canishel(z7 TN)July 17, 2010

Hello all. I'm not very knowledgeable about figs.

This is the first year that my fig trees (Brown Turkey and Celeste) have what promises to be a good crop and I want to recover as many as possible.

Search results confuse me. Some people pick figs from the tree, others wait for the figs to fall. Apparently, a ripe fig is one that falls off the tree. However, the birds and insects get the figs before they fall. That is, I have never seen figs on the ground.

So, how much flavor and nutrition do not develop because the fig is picked from the tree when compared to fallen figs? That is, if birds and insects eat the fruit while still on the tree, is the fruit "almost" ready to eat? I usually pick figs from the tree, but since I want to dry/freeze the excess, I want to be sure of what to do.

Thanks for any help.

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Figs get a little soft and droop when they are ripe for fresh eating. Pick a day or two too soon and they are not as sweet and the texture is not as appetizing. Wait a day or two too long and they dry out and they are not worth eating.

I have never heard of anyone who lets them fall off the tree before eating them.

The video below shows how they are picked commercially. Its a good video for new growers to watch but she picks them sooner than they should be for fresh eating. The figs she is picking are for chefs which use them mostly for cooking. They ship better the way she does it but they are not really ripe.

A word of advice. Figs absorb water when you wash them as done in the video. If you let the water stand for a few hours before putting the figs in the water the chlorine will evaporate out of it before the water is absorbed by the figs.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Fabulous Fig

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 5:17PM
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canishel(z7 TN)

WOW! Great video. Thank you so much.
Gotta go and pick figs...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 5:32PM
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Great Video. It is lots of work and few crops. No wonder the Figs are very expensive. I love Figs and occasionally my grocery store has some. They sell it at 4-5 dollars per pound. I can eat a lot of it I love it. Can't wait for my figs to ripen. I am wondering why did she pick the green ones?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 12:35AM
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foolishpleasure some fig varieties like the Kadota she was harvesting are still green when ripe. Green figs have one advantage over dark figs. Most birds leave them alone because they don't know when they are ripe.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 1:09AM
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