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  • 'Fig-fraus' vs the 'holy grails'


    I'm still sorting my thoughts on this, (snip)
    I find myself falling down on the side of tired and true, proved, prolific, sturdy, fast growing, easy to root varieties of figs. I want great taste to be sure, but a 9 will do. For now. The Missions, Negronnes, Adriatics, Paradisos, LSU Purples... I want my fig growing experience to be successful, especially at first.

    I want so many yummy fruits I won't know what to do with them all. I want to be tired of fresh, grilled and dried figs. I want to try fig pizza and sandwiches too. I want my friends to fear answering their phones. I want my neighbors to hide behind their curtains when they see me knocking at their door with another basket of fresh figs. And I don't want to have to wait too many years to get there.

    I started late and had to act fast, but am pleased with ones that are currently rooting. I've moved outside just over 25 to acclimate, with more soon to be exposed to the sun and weak liquid plant hooch.

    And come fall, I'll scour the UCDavis and Jon's list of offerings, ebay and here, and go for more. My list will be a mixture of some holy grails (because I like a plant challenge), and a few more tried and trues that I didn't know about a couple months ago. I'll love trying to root and grow the holy grails, the 10s, but my heart will be with the tried and trues. The dependable work-horses. The sturdy, attractive, tasty fig-fraus.
    I wrote the above in May of '12 on another board. I've very slightly edited it. I had just started my fig adventure. It's interesting to see how my approach has changed. I am still not interested or expecting to have the pricey 'holy grails', but I no longer want ordinary, 'good' figs. I want the moderately common great-tasting figs. When I had written this, I still hadn't tasted an Adriatic JH or RdB or Col-de-anything. But now I have, and there's no going back.

    Many of the figs I was starting then that I treasured growing so much have been given away or really inferior ones dumped. I suppose this is what Pete was referring to in his 'gateway' fig thread.

    I still have not had 'too many' figs. Maybe this year, but then there are still raccoons around.

    I must also add that learning about and propagating figs and growing them up has been one of the most fun plant-related activities I've experienced.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gina View Post
    I want my neighbors to hide behind their curtains when they see me knocking at their door with another basket of fresh figs.
    That made me laugh, Gina. Although, unless those are bad figs, I can't imagine it.
    I would always take bags of fresh peaches to my neighbors when my trees produced in plenty, sometimes I would have 3-4 bushels to deal with.
    Ed
    SW PA zone 6a

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    • #3
      Gina - I agree. I haven't been growing figs for very long, but like wine, I've discovered I can find tasty varieties that won't break the bank. And maybe like NOT watching movies upon release (I don't very often because my wife and I don't go on enough date nights) and seeing them months or years down the road on regular television, the pricey varieties will become less pricey before long
      Arne - Northern NJ - Zone 6A

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      • #4
        Agreed, Gina. And there's no reason that anyone in warm zones like your zone 10 cannot have productive cultivars of superb tasting figs.

        For those of us in significantly colder zones, the situation is a little different, as I see it, not necessarily a lot different. We have to be even more carefully selective when seeking high productivity and great taste. For the most part, our figs need to ripen early, early, early as well - whether breba or main crop.
        Tony WV 6b
        https://mountainfigs.net/

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        • #5
          Gina,
          Thanks.

          Yes, Its partly what I was referring to in the gateway fig topic, http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...tivars#post246

          It's also pointing out that there are similar flavor profiles or flavor groups that can be sampled by growing only a few plants(6) as an initiation into this hobby (addiction)....
          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ako1974 View Post
            Gina - I agree. I haven't been growing figs for very long, but like wine, I've discovered I can find tasty varieties that won't break the bank. And maybe like NOT watching movies upon release (I don't very often because my wife and I don't go on enough date nights) and seeing them months or years down the road on regular television, the pricey varieties will become less pricey before long
            I think it takes awhile for what's really good to shake out. When I was first starting, Sal's Corleone was a very hot fig. It was getting good prices. And the photos were just gorgeous to me. A round, red fig, with attractive centers - fresh Italian bon-bons. I didn't know synonyms at the time and saw a similar one on ebay that was reasonable so I purchased it. (Under $20 - most I've ever paid for a fig.) Then later I was generously given some 'real' Sal's Corleone by a generous person. Turns out they are the same, but I was happy - I had it. And now three years later, after giving several away locally, I'm thinking of getting rid of the last two. The flavor is good, but not great. A 7 or 8, but not a 10. And they are still pretty. Now it's a variety that just isn't mentioned much anymore.

            Two of my top 5 favorite figs can be had free from UCD in their annual give-away. UCD Black Ischia, and Col de Dame (Blanc). I think Black Madeira is also on their list. (I think Harvey has said the BI tree there isn't in good shape and may not be available much longer.)
            SoCal, zone 10.
            www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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            • strudeldog
              strudeldog commented
              Editing a comment
              As far as Black Ischia, and Col de Dame and Black Madeira From UCD yes they do list as available. and a couple years ago I would say you likely may receive a single cutting of each. I have requested those the last 2 years and not received them, so it's not a given that you will receive.
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