On small garden treats

I realized yesterday that I never made a follow-up post about the figs.

Well, it’s now or never, I thought:  walking through the garden over lunch, I snagged the very last little fig!  This variety is called Chicago Hardy.  Supposedly it is hardy to zone 5 (i.e., Chicago), but I have been cautious with my plants and have brought them into either the root cellar or the greenhouse during the winter.  (Considering the snow and the fact that they’ve just lost all their leaves, it’s time to move them again.)  The “trees” are about 2.5′ tall, in big pots.  Every year I get more fruit from them.  I will bet the harvest was about 4 dozen total this season from the two trees.  They’re small, they are tasty, and mostly they’re mine (the child knows where they are and knows what they look like when they’re ripe).

I still don’t have enough to preserve, but…like the cherry tomatoes and sweet carrots, they’re merely a reward for the gardener and all her hard work.  Thanks, trees!

8 responses to “On small garden treats

  1. Wow, zone 5! That’s very encouraging. I’m in zone 6 and figs are the fruit I miss more than any other now that almost all our produce is seasonal/local. I don’t know of anyone who produces figs in my area. Long term, we want a greenhouse/conservatory where we can have year-round herbs, a citrus tree or two, and figs would be great to have in there too. Thanks for posting about this, El.

  2. If you are moving them in during the winter are you growing these in large pots?

  3. Oh, El. Not everything needs to be preserved. Enjoy them!

  4. Yum! I love figs. Eventually I plan to have one or two fig trees. You can make a lovely fig preserve to put on biscuits. I think the one I made was either Joy or Betty. Yum, fig preserves on biscuits or scones. Or just eat them straight.

  5. I agree with Cookiecrumb; some pleasures are meant to be fleeting.

  6. I’ve had a small fig (variety “Turkey”, I think) tree/bush in a huge pot for about 8 years now that I drag outside in the springtime & back into the garage in the fall (just this week, actually). It gets no water or sunlight for the entire winter, and yet it survives — don’t ask me how. Each year we get more & more figs & they’re quite sweet & delicious. I never think of making preserves or anything out of them because I’m too busy stuffing them into my mouth. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures. Oh, and I also give them a shot of fertilizer in the spring & make sure to water them almost daily to keep them happy. Otherwise you will see their leaves begin to wilt.

  7. No problem, Kate. But you got me thinking that there are a lot of minor fruits we have around here: currants, gooseberries, blueberries, lingonberries. They’re all mini-harvests too. Look at my Seeds Trees link above and you will find a purveyor of hardy citrus trees! Long-term, I would love to do more nut trees on the farm, and some odder fruits too like persimmons and elderberries and serviceberries. It’ll be a few years yet until my pawpaws and other orchard plants actually produce anything for me.

    Yep, Angie, they’re in terra cotta pots that are about 18″ tall and wide. They should be fine in them for a while but they always send one big root out the drain hole every summer.

    CC, I know! But there’s always someone who wants to know how to preserve them! ANd just think: fig chutney.

    Jules, everything is lovely on biscuits, I think! Yeah. Yum.

    Pamela, I agree too. It is fun seeing the child furtively sneaking out of the garden with a couple figs in her hand.

    Laurene, I am glad you went into more detail than me: you saved me some work!! I remember about your fig too. I might try to get some different kinds. Ah. The bottomless wish list.

  8. Oh figs! They are just lovely. They are my mother’s favourite fruit and as house warming gifts she gives cuttings away. I am one such beneficiary. The variety is “White Adriatic” reminiscent of those from her home country. My husband and mother bonded over their mutual worship of figs! I’m more partial to tropical fruit. Too cold up here to grow them but I’m wondering if I’m too old to throw a fit and cry and beg my mother to plant a mango in her Sydney garden. Unseemly?

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