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  • What is it about this fruit obsession?

    What is it about this fruit obsession? It drives many of us to do strange things that other people just don't seem to understand.

    Case in point: today is my birthday, so what do I do? I transplant an 8 foot magnolia tree that's in the spot where I want to plant my persimmon tree when it arrives next month.

    By myself.
    With no tools except a shovel and wheelbarrow.
    Hopefully I didn't mangle the roots too badly, lots of rocks.

    What's your story of fruit obsession?
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

  • #2
    First Kelby...Happy Birthday

    I'm nearly 70....at age six I was picking queen ann cherries out of my grandmothers front window, Kadota figs, apples and bing cherries in her back yard. From a very early age I was taught the value of fruit trees and I've left small fruit tree orchards everywhere I've owned or rented since 1970....There is something about the rich experience of raising a tree to fruition and sharing the bounty with everyone around you. The passion, the struggles, the rewards.....it's a lifestyle you're taught by your parents and theirs.... and the rich experiences along the way just reinforce it.

    I'm looking for a place toretire now...and plan on leaving a fig orchard here at the current residence when I leave...maybe 15-20 trees.

    My wife does't get it...I think my son understands....he aids my obsession as he can.

    I always prune fruit trees low so kids can pick them....It starts them out at an early age appreciating the bounty, reinforced by the sweetness of tree ripened goodness.

    You love it or not...I do
    Last edited by rusty hooks; 04-10-2015, 01:00 AM.
    Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

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    • Rewton
      Rewton commented
      Editing a comment
      Rusty, what a great area you live in for someone with a fruit obsession. I was in Santa Rosa in December for the first time and was really impressed even though it rained most of the time! I'm sure you would be happy if it were raining now.

    • newnandawg
      newnandawg commented
      Editing a comment
      Love to grow things and harvesting the fruit is a bonus.

      Happy Birthday Kelby. My wife has her birthday today also.

    • Rafaelissimmo
      Rafaelissimmo commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree 100% with your thoughts!

  • #3
    Kelby. I wish I knew. Why do some refuse to have anything to do with growing anything. I remember planting a garden as a kid and other kids wondering why I wouldn't play ball. I will admit that this fig obsession has even got me wondering. I'm getting the top put in the fig house not to try to keep the birds out. They are already pecking the fruit. Why would anyone go to these extremes and want to grow so many different varieties?
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
    Last edited by Hershell; 04-09-2015, 01:18 PM.
    Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

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    • #4
      I think you're a special breed of obsessed, Hershell! I mean that in a good way.
      https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
      SE PA
      Zone 6

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      • #5
        I don't consider our love of gardening an obsession. Obsession seems too negative. I think it more of a passion. My "obsession" is an excuse to get away from people who don't appreciate gardening and to form bonds with people that do. Plus, plants don't tell me to get in the kitchen and make 'em some food or clean up the mess they made downstairs

        Also, Happy Birthday!
        Alma from Maryland 7b

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        • #6
          Happy Birthday Kelby. For me, my grandfather was in the produce business, my father was in the business and I spent the better part of fifty years in the produce department. I think it is in my blood. That being said, my wife doesn't quite get it.
          Dave- Waterford, Ct. Zone 6a

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          • #7
            Happy Birthday Kelby!

            Personally I think its our inner cave man or survival instinct, at least for me. My Grandfather, who was born in Italy always had a huge backyard garden, and selling the fruits of his labor (literally) helped get them through the great depression.
            Phil
            Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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            • Rafaelissimmo
              Rafaelissimmo commented
              Editing a comment
              Thats a great story Phil!

            • Taverna78
              Taverna78 commented
              Editing a comment
              Buon Compleanno Kelby!

              I agree with drphil69. Most old country farm for food to eat and food to sell or trade for other food and drink. Look at us.. Yes we live well but and can afford to buy food but we'll grow fig even though we can go out and buy it we trade it.
              I also think is the gratification of taking a simple stick and with the right teacher love and care you can turn stick into a beautify tree that will feed you for taking care of her.
              I Also think is the feeling you get when someone is excited to see what you have created that normally only mother nature is in control of. So for me is learning, making friend along the way, perfecting, enjoying and finally passing down your wonderful wisdom to a child,friend or stranger. Then your feeling is twice as wonderful feeling because you made your mentor proud and your student make you proud..... All from a stick. Dolce vita

          • #8
            Happy Birthday Kelby!!!
            andreas-patras Peloponnisos Greece zone 9a

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            • #9
              Happy Birthday Kelby !

              I think it's more a passion than an obsession. But nothing beats the taste of a ripe fruit pick off a tree or fresh vegetable grown in your'e garden. I think we all shared person who saw a great gardener in us as kids and showed us to be passionate about growing figs and others fruit and veggies ; )
              Vincent Canada Québec zone5

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              • #10
                Happy Birthday, Kelby!
                Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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                • #11
                  Many have hit the nail on the head above.
                  I will add the desire to have perfectly ripened fresh fruit and the calming therapy of growing plants coupled with their reward for our parentage. Not to mention that since I can't go out and harpoon a whale I need to do something to bring in a good harvest. Just kidding..kinda.
                  Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                  Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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                  • #12
                    I often wonder if I'm growing figs or if the figs are growing me.
                    Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
                    N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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                    • noss
                      noss commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Neither. The figs are compelling you to grow them. You can't resist the siren call of the fig trees. noss

                    • Bijan
                      Bijan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hi Noss,

                      Good to see you.

                  • #13
                    There is certainly a passion involved in growing plants and the rewards of growing fruiting plants simply make a good thing great. If it was not passion, I'm sure that most of us would fade from the hobby, because it can be as heartbreaking and cruel at is can be rewarding. We all have suffered loss, the unrooted cutting that grew like crazy and died, the grafts that failed, the crops that failed, the crops that were destroyed by weather, the five year old tree that died for no reason. What ever it was, what ever it is, we all been there! Yet we still continue on, pick ourselves up, regroup, construct a new plan and move on... that my friends is passion!!!
                    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                    • #14
                      My neighbor and my mom got me gardening when I was a kid. I've enjoyed growing stuff ever since. There's a satisfaction I get from nurturing a plant so that it thrives. There's also the added bonus that most of those plants bear tasty fruit that is leaps and bounds better than store bought. And now that I have kids, I've gotten even more into growing edibles since I want them to have nutritious food and know what good produce is supposed to taste like.

                      I've never considered it weird that I enjoy growing fruit and sometimes go to impractical lengths to do so. But then again, most of my friends either do some sort of food gardening or want to but can't due to lack of time/space. I find the people who don't understand the interest in growing food to be the outliers. As an example, when we were house shopping, we mentioned to our agent that we wanted a yard where I could garden and grow tomatoes and the like. Our agent made a statement about how she didn't think it necessary to grow tomatoes since she could go to the store and buy them whenever she needed them. We just had to shake our heads at that one, and pity the poor soul who had not yet tasted the difference between watery cardboard and real food.
                      Johnny
                      Stuff I grow: Google Doc

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                      • rusty hooks
                        rusty hooks commented
                        Editing a comment
                        you might take that realtor a vine ripened heirloom tomatoe and have her do a taste test.....I might recommend "Cheroke" or "german mammoth gold" for that test

                        or....perhaps a nicely ripened rare fig...(;>)....

                        its up to those that know...to spread the knowledge

                      • jkuo
                        jkuo commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I'm happy to share tomatoes because I get more than I can use. But that nicely ripened rare fig on the other hand won't make it past the immediate family until I have some more mature trees!

                      • drphil69
                        drphil69 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        OMG! Store bought tomatoes are the WORST! I will not eat them. Sadly it probably means she never had a freshly picked vine-ripened tomato.

                    • #15
                      The only thing I don't like about gardening is weeding, and sometimes even that is fun. And what I love to garden is food-producing plants. Ornamentals? not so much. I can enjoy my neighbors pretty plants from across the fence, but they wouldn't like it if I came over and picked their oranges. If I grow something, I want to be able to pick something to eat from it.

                      Both of my parents gardened, as do almost all of my relatives. It's in the genes. It's one of the few things I can do where I get so involved, I pleasantly get lost in time.
                      SoCal, zone 10.
                      www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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                      • jkuo
                        jkuo commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I used to not like growing ornamentals so much. Why grow something non-edible when you could have something producing food for you that also looks nice? I've changed my view a bit though in the past year. I've been intentionally planting small flowering ornamentals to make sure I have something blooming in the landscape at all times to keep the pollinators happy.

                      • drphil69
                        drphil69 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I'm with you. If I can't eat it , I'm not likely to plant it. And my neighbor's across the street have a beautiful lawn, landscaping and ornamentals... for me to enjoy!

                    • #16
                      Happy birthday Buddy, hope you had a great day
                      Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

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                      • #17
                        Happy b-day Kelby!

                        Obsession=Kelby plots to steal fig trees from Bill, beats up John and takes his, hoardes and refuses to share what he has.
                        Passion=Kelby shares plants or cuttings, does what he can to help others, spreads knowledge.
                        I think we know which definition fits you Kelby, thanks for being passionate
                        Ed
                        SW PA zone 6a

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                        • Kelby
                          Kelby commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Shhh, it's my cover!

                        • Chrisk
                          Chrisk commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Very well said Ed!

                      • #18
                        Happy birthday Kelby!

                        My reason to grow my own fruit is simple, most fruit in stores is selected for long shelf life, not for taste/quality.
                        Growing my own ensures me i get the best varieties possible picked exactly at the right time.
                        I wouldnt say i am obsessed with all fruit trees, it's just them figs that's giving me sleepless nights hahaha.
                        Rotterdam / the Netherlands.
                        Zone 8B

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                        • #19
                          My grandfather, who was born in Madeira, had 10 acres of apricots and plums in what is now known as Silicon Valley. He raised 8 kids selling dried 'cots' and prunes, along with a bit of 'shine' during the depression. When I was about 12 or 13, he let me be his helper in the orchard during the summer. I was strong enough to carry a ladder, so he and I picked the apricots. It never felt like work, even loading 40 pound boxes of apricots onto his Model A pickup. At lunch, he and I would eat in the pump house, and after eating, he'd open a small cabinet door, and take out 2 small glasses and a jug of port. He'd pour us each a glass, and we'd sit and talk, or not. There were 15 or 20 other people working, cutting the apricots and putting them on trays for drying, but lunch was just he and I. I think of those days often, and now, 50 years later, I'm still planting fruit trees.
                          Happy Birthday, Kelby!
                          Gary USDA 9A
                          Sebastopol, CA

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                          • Gina
                            Gina commented
                            Editing a comment
                            When I was a kid, for one year we lived somewhere in the San Jose/San Mateo area. I remember lots of plum/prune and apricot orchards in the area. I remember going to one place were there were trays and trays and trays of drying apricots in the sun. And open wooden barn-type structures with workers slicing more.

                          • figgary
                            figgary commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Gina, they were a common sight all around Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino. It was a beautiful area to grow up.

                          • rusty hooks
                            rusty hooks commented
                            Editing a comment
                            When they developed silicon valley they covered over some of the most productive fruit bearing soil in Northern California. My grandparents used to take us over that way for a sunday smorgaasboard...swedish style....right across the street from the fruit stand....a glorious place to be sure...and there were always dried fruits to take home...in San Leandro...small world we live in

                        • #20
                          Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone!

                          I think you all got the reasons...I know I love the simple act of growing something from nothing (or very little), enjoying fresh, ripe produce that I couldn't get otherwise, and the heritage it draws from.
                          https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                          SE PA
                          Zone 6

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                          • #21
                            Its great to see so many share the passion. I think all of the reason I grow have been covered above. Most important to me is I know where it came from. Happy Birthday

                            I had to edit as I do think I am obsessed. As I look around I have 80 fig rooting. Another 200+ to get started, 3 banna tees, pineapples, pepper vine for pepper corns, vanilla bean, goji berries, ect.... Then a friend went to the asian market today and I had her pick me up a few things. 3 jak fruits, 20 mango's, 3 different varieties of banannas, maybe 60 in total, Avacados, dragonfruit, durian and a few citrus..

                            Then if we go outside, 14 peach trees, 3 different varieties, 3 different varities of apples and also cherries. 2 different pears and 3 different plums. 3 more fruit trees on the way from Starks and then maybe some goumies. I think I'm finished after that since I am moving to a warmer climte within a year or so. Either the carolinas or hawaii. If I decide on Hawaii then all of this was a practice run since none of it can go with me.
                            Last edited by figherder; 04-11-2015, 02:14 AM.
                            Jeff in 6a

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                            • rusty hooks
                              rusty hooks commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Durian....you've got to be obsessed...(;>)...nice orchard though

                            • drphil69
                              drphil69 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Wow. If only I had the time and space. Sounds fantastic!

                          • #22
                            Happy belated Birthday! I agree with all the above. I must add that your own homegrown is always the best and that the best tasting fruits and vegetables are always the ones that you grew yourself! Nothing is worse than a store bought tomato or peach.
                            PPP
                            Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a

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                            • #23
                              Oops late again! Well happy birthday Kelby! Great thread by the way. All of the above is my story also. I Grew up all around fruit trees and amazing people that worked very hard to make things grow! The turning point was when our next door neibour grafted an almont tree ,that was planted in his property but right next to our fence ,to produce plumbs, apricots and peaches!" This is for you Chris" he said, knowing that I loved picking and eating fresh fruit of any kind!" It will be growing along side with you" . That was fourty years ago but it seems that time is unable to dilute such acts of selflessness and caring! Point was made and now I am trying to pass it along to my children and theirs! Like Kelby said and I quote " make something from nothing"

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                              • #24
                                Personally I think I have went beyond passion and obsession and showing signs of addiction. I am at times embarrassed to list all fruiting plants I grow. Hiding things and sneaking in new stuff. I bought around a dozen new trees today none of them figs, and probably not a plant different enough from current plants to justify them, and a couple were duplicates to present plants. My records are not current and concerned It’s partially due to denial. Thinking I need to cull and focus and I am sure in time I will, but I guess the 1st step in recovery is admitting the problem. I am a 1st generation non-farmer maybe I am just finding myself.
                                Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,

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                                • drphil69
                                  drphil69 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Ok, you admitted you have a problem, now you have to stay away form enablers... need some cuttins... i got extras...lol.

                              • #25
                                Barbra has been fully aware as to the extent of my fig/pomegranate obsession since we first started dating. She is supportive of my hobby (even encouraging at times). Still, I keep a package of cuttings in the fridge at all times. When new packages arrive, I put them in the garage until no one is home. Then I open the package, admire what my enablers (you know who you are) have sent, and assimilate them with the other cuttings in the bag in the fridge. They would notice new packages in the fridge, but do not seem to pay attention to the size of the bag that is always in there... At least that is what I tell myself.

                                I am also quick and stealthy in blending new trees with the ones in the backyard.
                                Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
                                N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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                                • cis4elk
                                  cis4elk commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  LOL!!
                                  I hear you Bijan, I do similar things as well.
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