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  • Herman's best dozen

    This message is meant for Herman (hermansur on Ebay). I would have sent it privately, but I don't see his name among the members.

    You are a very well-respected grower and seller. I have at least thee varieties (Marseilles Black, Vasilika Sika, and Florea) with your initials attached as an informal brand that signifies quality. As I value your opinion, I feel obliged to tell you that you may have inadvertently acted in a way that undermines your credibility.

    You sell cuttings with different levels of endorsement, but the best are presented as "part of the one dozen Winners here on east coast." I do not disagree with your assessments. But precisely because I value your opinion, I have been tracking your favorites. And in recent months, I have noted fourteen different varieties presented as belonging to this dozen. Here they are, in no particular order:
    1. Vasilika Sika
    2. Marseilles Black
    3. Dalmatie
    4. Malta Black
    5. Improved Celeste
    6. Adriatic JH
    7. Col de Dame Grise
    8. Negretta
    9. Ronde de Bordeaux
    10. Battaglia Green
    11. Gino’s Black
    12. Nero 600M
    13. Longue D’Aout
    14. St. Anthony
    By my quick count, you have at least eleven of these varieties on sale now.

    I doubt that you intended any misrepresentation. Maybe you were just hasty and careless. Maybe you were generously offering a "baker's dozen" (plus one) of great varieties. Just please be careful not to expand the group further without saying so. You can certainly pick new favorites. But if your Premier League contains an even dozen, then when you promote one variety, you should publicly relegate another to a lower Division and stop selling it as one of the top dozen. Thanks.
    Joe, Z6B, RI. Looking forward to next season.

  • #2
    Lol

    Comment


    • #3
      Just as the "baker's dozen" is 13, the "figmaster's dozen" is 14! It's like selling someone cuttings and throwing in one or two extra ;-) (...Which Herman2/Hermansur/VS ALWAYS does, by the way! ;-)
      Jim -- Central NJ, Zone 6b

      Comment


      • Fygmalion
        Fygmalion commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes he does but folks should remember that when he does it is a bonus and should not be "expected"

      • Needaclone
        Needaclone commented
        Editing a comment
        Never expected, always appreciated...whether from him or anyone else...

    • #4
      Unfortunately herman2 seems to have removed himself from any forums, so I doubt he will see this message.
      https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
      SE PA
      Zone 6

      Comment


      • #5
        Hermans CDDG is not the real one.There is a thread on this here.

        Comment


        • Rafaelissimmo
          Rafaelissimmo commented
          Editing a comment
          It is not correct that "all" of Herman's Col de Dame Grise are defective, several people have reported and shown fruit that could be genuine, it is possible that he had multiple trees and only one (and its descendants) were the incorrect one. I had one of the fakes.

      • #6
        I must be doing doing pretty good, I have 10 of the figmaster's 'dozen'. Though my Dalmatie is a Stella, and my Negretta is a Jason's Unknown Black Ischia, I think they are likely the same. If Herman2 / Vasile says they are a best 'dozen' then that is good enough for me.
        Ed
        SW PA zone 6a

        Comment


        • jrdewhirst
          jrdewhirst commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, I've been following his comments since my first fig, a Florea. I've got 9 of the 14.

        • FMD
          FMD commented
          Editing a comment
          @eboone
          Ed, My Jason's Negretta finally fruited and surprise...it's a Celeste. Does yours fruit? If so does it look like the Negretta I posted pictures of earlier this month?

        • eboone
          eboone commented
          Editing a comment
          FMD - sorry I did not see your question until now. See answers at end of thread

      • #7
        That looks similar his list of Hardy, Tasty and Productive for in-ground zone 7, NJ.
        Which is probably why they're his "bakers dozen".
        Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

        Comment


        • #8
          Joe, how long have you been tracking this? I only ask because I know that Herman will add or remove figs from his recommended list based on how the climate has been trending. e.g. if NJ has had cold and rainy springs for the last 5 years compared to the years before, he will stop recommending a fig that doesn't perform well with cold wet springs.
          Jim -- Central NJ, Zone 6b

          Comment


          • #9
            I've been following Herman's comments for a few years, but I only began compiling this list from E-bay offerings over the recent winter. And the list had exactly 12 members until today, when I noticed his offerings of LdA and St Anthony, which I hadn't noticed before. I can't say whether he had identified them as "top 12" before this past December.
            Joe, Z6B, RI. Looking forward to next season.

            Comment


            • #10
              I have been keeping track as well and there are actually 16 from his eBay listings over the last couple of months:
              Malta Black
              LSU Improved Celeste
              Marseilles Black VS
              Dalmatie
              Negretta
              Adriatic JH
              Col de Dame Grise
              Vasilika Sika VS
              Ronde de Bordeaux
              Nero 600m
              Gino's Black
              Battaglia Green
              Italian 258
              Saint Anthony
              Takoma Violet
              Longue d'Aout
              James - Zone 6b - Lancaster, PA

              Comment


              • #11
                Has Figs, didn't say he could count. LOL, it is amazing what people do with the time they have, LOL,

                I have been doing it all wrong, I should be counting things like this instead of working on my figs since I retired.
                Wish List - Any LSU fig

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by dkirtexas View Post
                  Has Figs, didn't say he could count. LOL, it is amazing what people do with the time they have, LOL,

                  I have been doing it all wrong, I should be counting things like this instead of working on my figs since I retired.
                  Toche! Maybe I do have too much time! But when it gets dark at 4:00 p.m. in December, and it's 15 F outside anyway, other options become limited. This was one of those mindless multi-tasking exercises that I could manage while watching the TV news.

                  My rationale, of course, was that I'd rather invest real work in only the best varieties. Keeping tabs on Herman's top picks for the Northeast saved me from lots of other fruitless (for me) discussions about what wonderful varieties we might grow if only we lived in Texas or California.

                  Joe, Z6B, RI. Looking forward to next season.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    All in fun. I kinda think that it works better for me to limit myself to those figs that I know will grow around here and then make my own taste determination. My palate is not real sophisticated and I thinks all figs taste like figs, some more "figgy" than others but they taste like figs to me, not berries, melons, etc. Like I said not a real sophisticated palate. I don't think much(often) about what figs do in West Texas, much less about in the barren, frosty Northern climes, or California, LOL
                    Wish List - Any LSU fig

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      << All in fun. >>

                      Yeah, understood. At one point last winter, I looked at myself making these records of so-and-so's favorite trees and I said to myself, "You nerd, you really need to get a life!" But then my wife, our friends, our kids, and our grandkids all love fresh figs (often to their total surprise). I've given probably 40 trees to friends and relatives who just had to have one of their own. So I end up feeling that the investment is worth it, especially if I do it in the dark and cold of winter.

                      I don't have much of a palate either, so I haven't met a ripe fig that I didn't like. But not all varieties will ripen well, or at all, in Z5-6. So lists from people like Herman in NJ and Kerry in NH are invaluable.
                      Joe, Z6B, RI. Looking forward to next season.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        I've looked over Herman's "dirty dozen" as well. In addition to talking to other folks in NJ and the Northeast and asking for opinions. Just to see what grows best in this climate. It's worked out well, in terms of hardy varieties.

                        I think it was on f4f a couple years ago I mentioned a fig tree I had bought and if anyone had advice. Herman dropped a bomb: no good for NJ, drops all the fruit, get rid of it. It was like a lightning bolt hurled into my garden.

                        So's I got rid of it It didn't hold any fruit.
                        Arne - Northern NJ - Zone 6A

                        Comment


                        • Rewton
                          Rewton commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I'm curious - what variety was it?

                        • ako1974
                          ako1974 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          At that time, it may have been a not-Improved Celeste. I had also come across Encanto Red from somewhere. Neither of those held fruit.

                      • #16
                        Joe, I agree completely. Herman and Kerry's lists are where I'm trying to focus the bulk of my collection. Of course, I get caught with some of the "must have" figs but I'm getting the idea that I should really be focusing on the ones I have vs adding new "fancy" varieties.

                        Most of trees have come from Kerry and a few from Herman.

                        Made a visit to the driveway farm a few weeks ago and was amazed at his trees. If he can do that two hours north of me, I should be able to do better than I am now. Focusing on the trees I have and like right now.

                        Last year for some varieties that are not producing...
                        Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

                        Comment


                        • jrdewhirst
                          jrdewhirst commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thanks. FWIW, I have relatively few of the same varieties. Of those that overlap:

                          DK has produced decent figs for me but it can be temperamental. Right now my two trees are loaded, so I have high hopes. Brebas only, of course. it's great to have a breba-producer.

                          I agree, MBvs is great (better than my Hardy Chicago). O'Rourke is very good, though maybe simple taste-wise. My Italian Honey (Lattarula) is still TBD, but I seem not to like honey figs as much as others.

                          I've tasted Conadria and it seems to get watery, so I never grew it.

                          I have 1-yr-old cuttings of Malta Black, Norella, Nero 600M, and JHA as well as new cuttings of Vasilika Sika. It's generally too soon to tell on those. But I was convinced by the 2-3 figs that JHA produced last year that it is a keeper.

                          You didn't mention Ronde de Bordeaux. You should get it. If interested, I could root a cutting or make you an air layer for you. Florea has been a great, early in-ground workhorse for me, with very good but not outstanding figs.

                        • fitzski
                          fitzski commented
                          Editing a comment
                          i forgot to mention RdB and Florea. Hope to have figs from them this year. Thanks for the offer though.

                          What i'm trying to create is collection that is mostly filled with workhorse figs. Might not be the best tasting but so long as they produce and are consistent. That's fine with me. MBVS, gino's, O'Rourke, HC, etc are in that category for me right now.

                          I also have a Hardy Chicago which I inherited from my sister in law's father when he passed. Just keeping this one to pass on to my nieces when they are old enough. It does well but is definitely late for me.

                          Part of what I'm still learning is how to detect a ripe fig. The dark figs I'm pretty good at, i'm still working on the light figs. I finally figured out that when the Italian Honey is butt ugly, that means it's ripe. Still working on Conadria and other green/white figs, too many times I've picked one and said "not quite ripe yet".

                          Things are looking good in the GH. Everything has leafed out and is ready to go. Looking forward to this year
                          Last edited by fitzski; 04-28-2017, 09:45 AM.

                        • Go_Figger
                          Go_Figger commented
                          Editing a comment
                          "...when the Italian Honey is butt ugly, that means it's ripe." This is golden lol

                          I'm so far from having ripe figs it's sad. But I realize I have no idea how to tell, so gathering this kind of information is probably prudent

                      • #17
                        Indeed I figured Herman's list would be invaluable for as what to grow in-ground here in PA. Looks like Petite Aubique just got added to this list too.
                        James - Zone 6b - Lancaster, PA

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                      • #18
                        I would buy anything that had Herman attached to it and would not care if it said top 25 who cares if he changes his mind I trust him fully and if he adds one or two to his top favorites yeah for us. I wish he would post on the forum and I send him notes when I buy from him and he always writes me back

                        Comment


                        • jrdewhirst
                          jrdewhirst commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I agree, with one caveat: From the pattern of his offerings on eBay, it's clear that Herman isn't changing his mind. He's simply marketing each of at least 17 different varieties as one of his top "dozen." No doubt they are all good varieties. If he called them his "Top 25," I wouldn't care. Actually, I don't really care much that he refers to his favorites as a dozen. I just think it hurts his personal brand.

                      • #19
                        hmmm I think he uses dozen as a round number would it matter if he said his "favorites" period I don't think it hurts him at all. We know he is not branding these figs as "his" just a loose summation of ones he has confidence in and meets his standards.

                        Comment


                        • jrdewhirst
                          jrdewhirst commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I think it's even less conscious than that. I think he prepared the marketing piece when there was a dozen (i.e., 12) or at least close. But in his haste, he just cuts and pastes new names into the old template.

                          It only matters if you'd like sellers to be more careful about how they tout their goods.

                        • Go_Figger
                          Go_Figger commented
                          Editing a comment
                          The template theory would make even more sense if English is not his first language. Idk, I'm still new here, but I know enough to recognize his opinions (and trees!) as very valuable

                        • jrdewhirst
                          jrdewhirst commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I believe that, as you suspect, English is not his first language. My notes say that Florea (Michurinska 10) was a variety raised by his father in Bulgaria.

                      • #20
                        I think it evolved something like this:
                        "My best fig is Marseilles Black...Marseilles Black and St. Anthony...St. Anthony and Marseilles Black...My two best figs are Marseilles Black and St. Anthony...and Dalmatie...My *three* best figs are Marseilles Black, St. Anthony, Dalmatie...and Ronde de Bordeaux...My *four*...no...*Amongst* my figs....Amongst my best figs....are such varieties as Marseilles Black, St. Anthony...I'll come in again."

                        "Amongst my best figs are such diverse varieties as: Marseilles Black, St. Anthony, Dalmatie, Ronde de Bordeaux, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!"
                        Last edited by Needaclone; 05-02-2017, 08:17 PM.
                        Jim -- Central NJ, Zone 6b

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                        • #21
                          jim you too funny yuck yuck

                          Comment


                          • #22
                            I have bought a couple of fig trees from Herman lately and I really appreciate the quality of the plants. Buying 1.5 year old trees is quite nice. I will see how they do in 2019.
                            Zone 8B - Cottage Grove, Or
                            Wish List - Raspberry Tart to be common!

                            Comment


                            • #23
                              The nice thing about Herman2's lists (whether it is 12, 16, or whatever) is he trials them all in-ground. There's a major difference in a list of what does well in-ground in the mid-atlantic and what does well growing in containers. I have essentially all on his list except Negretta, St. Anthony, Gino's and Col de Dame Gris. I feel I have Gino's and CdDG covered by others in those same two families. By the way, I'm skeptical that authentic CdDG does better in-ground than other CdD types that are healthy. Has anyone actually done a good comparison of authentic CdDG to other CdD types in terms of cold hardiness and ripening time?
                              Steve
                              D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
                              WL: Zaffiro, Izmir, St. Martin

                              Comment


                              • #24
                                Older thread, but a good one!

                                When first deciding to expand my collection, I started farming lists off the forum and saving them. This, I decided, would stop me from impulsively adding figs that aren't proven winners in this part of the country.

                                I started, of course, with Herman's list (and there are definitely more than 12 on it...).

                                Then I came across the varieties grown by Kerry (drivewayfarmer), and saved his list.

                                Next came a list that was shared with me from a tree vendor in RI.

                                Joe's (jrdewhirst's) list was saved next.

                                And finally fitzki's was added.

                                So thank you all for doing all the hard work of trialing them for my benefit 😁

                                While I spot-check for overlapping (and there is a lot), one of these days I need to put on my fig nerd hat and calculate the number of lists each variety appears on.
                                “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
                                – Chinese Proverb
                                MA 5b/6a

                                Comment


                                • #25
                                  I think one still needs to try themselves. All gardening is local. On Herman's list RdB doesn't work well for me as it tends to split too easily. Thus I have to pick early and have a lot of mediocre figs. It could be my plant, it certainly looks like RdB. maybe it does better in the ground, I'm not growing it there. I have too many peach, cherry, and plum trees I would rather plant in ground.
                                  Although of the 10 on his list i have I like the other 9.
                                  I also have others I like so far, but reserve the right to change my mind. Always wanting to try others that are not well known here and others that certain users really like.
                                  It's tough to evaluate as conditions change each year, new challenges pop up etc.

                                  Comment


                                  • Rewton
                                    Rewton commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    I agree that you need to try them for yourself but this is especially true if you live several states away from NJ.

                                  • drew51
                                    drew51 commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Yeah here in Michigan the Great Lakes are like giant buffers. The water is warmer than air some days. Some are in zone 5, I'm in 6, south of me in Ohio. Even though Canada is south of me, well at least Windsor. So yeah this is a very unique climate.
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