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  • How did you start your collection?

    With all of the mind-boggling offers and ways to get your collection started, I'm getting a bit overwhelmed. I started out with one tree that we received as a wedding gift 3 years ago, albeit a very special one, and am now successfully rooting about 20 more. I tend to get a bit crazy when I start new projects, so I want to take a step back and try to get organized.

    I've read the posts about different flavor profiles, so I know I want to pull from each of those. Other than that, can you share your own particular story of how you got started and built your collection? The only thing I can think of is to go by country, and even then, I'm starting with France because of family ties and personal experiences.

    Thank you in advance, it will be fun to learn how everyone got into this!
    Last edited by SarinaP; 12-23-2015, 01:14 PM. Reason: forgot to include my own story!
    Zone 7a in Virginia

  • #2
    Hello Sarina from a few miles up the Potomac! I started with an unknown and then was fortunate to make an acquaintance with Gene Hosey who agreed to let me take cuttings from his orchard in southern MD not far from where you live. Unfortunately for all practical purposes the orchard no longer exists. So I started about 15 new varieties in Feb. of 2012 or so trying to focus on varieties that have a good track record in our area. I then met some really generous fig friends and traded for pretty much everything else and purchased a handful of others. I also have tried to cover the various flavor profiles and to avoid too many redundancies since I have limited space. One thing I look at a lot more now, than when I first started, is to emphasize varieties that fruit early or mid-season and limit the number of late season figs I have. However, I still have a few late season figs because the primo-tasting figs are often late season ones. The problem is that a primo fig that ripens in mid-October is often no better than a very good fig that ripens in early September. At least that has been my experience so far. Note that I don't have a greenhouse. Cold hardiness is important, of course, if you plan on planting in-ground. Having at least one rimada type is cool just because of the novelty. I haven't focused on country because, from what I have read, if you go way back figs are only really indigenous to a relatively small area of the middle east and were later spread around the mediterranean countries and beyond many centuries ago. One final comment - because of space limitations I've been at the point for the last couple years where I am spending more time thinking about what to get rid of than I am thinking about what new fig to acquire. I'm sure many of us who have been growing figs for a few years have reached that point.
    Steve
    D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
    WL: Nantes Maroc

    Comment


    • SarinaP
      SarinaP commented
      Editing a comment
      Her mom lives in Alsace and grows a few CDD varieties, just Noir and Rimada, along with a Ronde de Bordeaux. My cousin lives in in Montpellier and has those, as well as a few Bourjasottes, a Madeleine de Deux Saisons, and a BUNCH of cherry trees. She's got a much milder climate than my aunt though, so her figs really thrive. So far, I've acquired Violette de Bordeaux (rooted, just had to pinch off my first teeny fig), my own Marseilles from Monticello (soooo good), Ronde de Bordeaux, CDD Rimada cuttings coming in January, and Pied de Boeuf. All the other varieties I have are extras from trades or ones that sounded interesting for 7a.

    • Rewton
      Rewton commented
      Editing a comment
      Out of the figs I've trialled in-ground I have been most impressed with Ronde de Bordeaux and Adriatic JH BUT I'm sure I would be more impressed with other in-ground figs if it wasn't for the two extremely cold winters we had which made the figs ripen really late for many varieties. Out of the container figs here are a few stand-outs: Figo Preto, Bisirri Large, Red Lebanese (Bekaa), Atreano, Sucrette (MP) and Violette de Bordeaux (EL). CdDB-N also impressed me for a first year fig.

    • Rafaelissimmo
      Rafaelissimmo commented
      Editing a comment
      Your last comment about thinking more about reduction Steve-totally where I'm at!

  • #3
    I like to grow all kinds of fruit. Figs sounded like fun. A friend was offering cuttings. My main concern is varieties that are cold tolerant and fruit early for our shorter growing season. So I base my collection on cold hardiness. Different types and tastes too, but the hardiness comes first. Growing plants not well suited for your area is not worth the trouble, small yields etc. I also like to cook, so using them in cooking is appealing to me too. I think I have plenty to try now and will not be picking up many more cultivars if any. I think about 10 trees would be fine, and I have about 20, so I'm done! Time to see what works!

    Comment


    • Rewton
      Rewton commented
      Editing a comment
      Andrew - Pons' figs come from Mallorca actually.

    • Harborseal
      Harborseal commented
      Editing a comment
      Andrew you might be thinking of Axier who sometimes visits us here.

    • drew51
      drew51 commented
      Editing a comment
      I didn't word that well, looking at all those groups, thanks for the clarification. Looking at French, Spanish and Italian figs. Out of those groups ones that fit well for my zone. In France I'm at the same parallel as Bordeaux, France. That would be a good area for me to look at. See what grows there.
      Last edited by drew51; 12-23-2015, 01:27 PM.

  • #4
    I started growing figs after reading an article about Bass growing figs in PA. The thought of growing figs here hadn't crossed my mind until then. Since an edible landscape has always appealed to me (doubly so after having kids), I thought I'd dabble with growing a couple of fig trees. I started with a Hardy Chicago and Italian Honey and would probably have stuck with those if not for finding the wealth of information on the fig forums and Kelby's spreadsheet of hardy varieties. I went from 2 to 6 trees the first summer, then after a mad winter of rooting I ended up with 40+ trees the next season. I'm actually pushing the limits of my growing and storage space, so I'll be actively trying to cull the poor performers and redundant trees in the next year or two.
    Johnny
    Stuff I grow: Google Doc

    Comment


    • #5
      While I was growing up my Dad always had figs and it seemed like a ton of work to keep them alive in the winter. Wrap it up, unwrap it, hope it survived the cold. I really had no interest in dealing with that headache. It wasn't until last year that I read an article about growing figs in pots. It was all over from there. I then did a little research and I found Bass' site Trees of Joy. I only live about a half hour away from him so in April I made an appointment to stop by and purchase two plants. When I got there my mind was blown with how awesome his set up was. I ended up buying a Makedonia Dark and an Italian Bronze. I haven't been able to stop since.

      Comment


      • SarinaP
        SarinaP commented
        Editing a comment
        Looking at the site now--these videos are fantastic!

    • #6
      I'm near the beginning, too. Started with a rooted sucker from a family heirloom tree then bought a couple while on vacation in the outer banks (Ocracoke). Generous forum members gifted me some cuttings and I was hooked. Bought and trade for more cutting this fall and will soon be setting up 120-130 cutting to root. If I get at least one of each variety to make it, I'll have 40-45 varieties represented. Luckily, I have plenty of room for them outside...but indoor storage over the winter might be a challenge.
      Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

      Comment


      • SarinaP
        SarinaP commented
        Editing a comment
        We're in almost the same boat!

    • #7
      My collection started only a few years ago. When I was a young boy, my grandfather had a huge fig tree at the barn. I grew up not even trying them until I was a teenager. I finally tried the figs from his tree and was amazed at the flavor of fresh figs and was hooked forever. His tree he thinks is a brown turkey puts off tons of fruit that you have to get a tall ladder to pick from (Like 20 feet tall). If my grandfather hadn't had that tree on his farm I probably wouldn't even know what a fig is. (you would be surprised at how many people don't know what a fig is). My collection is up to 13 varieties all planted in the ground and some in ground inside a heated greenhouse.

      Comment


      • SarinaP
        SarinaP commented
        Editing a comment
        I love the family connection! My college roommate's parents had a fig tree and she said all 6 kids just pretty much ignored them or threw them at eachother when they were growing up in Pensacola.

    • #8
      My adventure started when someone told me that I could plant a fig tree here in Ohio and gave me my first cuttings to grow over the winter. When spring rolled around and I was looking for somewhere to plant some trees, that same person told me that I couldn't plant a fig in Ohio. Well, they back tracked and said I could but that I wouldn't get figs. Haha, why am I growing a fig tree if I can't get figs? So I figured it was time to start looking around to see what figs are all about where I found the forums.

      As some of the above, I've been looking for cold hardy, reportedly excellent tasting, early fruiters, mix of the flavor groups, etc. Growing in containers solely at the moment. I'm thinking about planting a couple in ground and protecting them maybe this summer or next.

      Kelby's spreadsheet (in his sig) and the search features were very helpful narrowing down the enormous number of varieties out there.
      Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

      Comment


      • SarinaP
        SarinaP commented
        Editing a comment
        Did you ever follow up with that person to show off?

    • #9
      A guy on a streetcorner gave me a cuttings. He said it would be fun and harmless. NOW I CAN'T QUIT!
      https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
      SE PA
      Zone 6

      Comment


      • COGardener
        COGardener commented
        Editing a comment
        Those free samples will get you every time, that is how I lure people in to buying my Pepper Sauce. Just wait, there may be some tagging along with CdDG cuttings.

        And don't listen to a word that Wills says about it!!!!!!!

      • SarinaP
        SarinaP commented
        Editing a comment
        All the cool kids are doing it...

      • zone5figger
        zone5figger commented
        Editing a comment
        Peer pressure?

    • #10
      I posted some of my intro story on the forum a while ago. As someone who grew up in a family without a fig heritage, I never really had exposure to fresh figs until recently. In the 1980s I lived in E. North Carolina for 3 yrs and I my landlord had a fig bush that froze to the ground every year. I think I had one fig off it but it was not memorable.

      In my wife's family it was a custom to give dried string figs in Christmas stockings, and that was the main exposure to figs that I had for decades - they were very dry, hard and chewy.

      However, in the fall of 2013 I saw a bulk package of dried Pajarera figs at a Kroger supermarket - these were imported from Spain, small, light brown, soft, sweet, and looked different from what I had in the past. I really enjoyed them, and my wife said 'why couldn't you dry your own'? We had just dried a bunch of home grown pears and apples that were outstanding. I did some internet searching and found the F4F forum, found that people were actually growing figs in the north (news to me), and so the hobby started. That fall I bought a Chicago Hardy that a local vineyard/orchard had in their greenhouse, a few local fig growers responded to my posts on the forums and gave me a few plants, and I accumulated a number of cuttings of common varieties or unknowns mainly(thru the forums only). By the end of the 2014 season I tasted only a few figs but they made it worth forging ahead. I think I had about 30 little trees of about 25 varieties at the end of one year. The next season, 2015, I got to taste almost 200 figs from my ~30 2 or 3 year old trees. I started a lot of cuttings last year from cuttings offered on the forums or traded for, did a fair amount of trading of extra plants, and now have 70 trees of 66 varieties, more than half not tasted yet.

      This winter I had planned to only root 10 more but my new variety count is now up to 32 (when Wills offerings are delivered). I will have to slam on the brakes because I will not be able to store more than 100 5 gallon SIPs in my cold cellar storage area (but making plans to add to the one inground fig I planted last year).

      I have focused my collection on what was available at times, on what was listed as early ripening for my relatively short season or what was hardy, on what others have advised, and on what sounded or looked good. No true pattern. I have tried to limit my number of late season figs. That might change if (when) I put in a greenhouse or high tunnel.

      Man, I can't wait till next August when they start ripening again!!!!
      Ed
      SW PA zone 6a

      Comment


      • SarinaP
        SarinaP commented
        Editing a comment
        What a great progression, I hope 2016 is a good year for you!

    • #11
      For me it was the novelty of growing fig plants here in Maine- amazingly there are a few others as optomistic as I am! Fig fever is a reality that I discovered over the past couple years as my collection went from 2 to 62 varieties....at this point I am attempting a cold turkey approach to acquiring new varieties until the ones I have can either prove themselves or get culled.
      Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
      Wishlist- earliest maincrop varieties

      Comment


      • GregMartin
        GregMartin commented
        Editing a comment
        Jesse, good luck on the cold turkey. We fig pushers will find ways to weaken you! (Stay strong)

    • #12
      I love all the different stories.

      It was because of CRFG that I started collecting. Someone in the group convinced me not all figs taste like brown turkey and to try Strawberry Verte. SV converted me.

      And then when I realized how much fun figs were to propagate, I was hooked. The hard part is finding figs I like that don't need a lot of heat or sun to ripen properly. All my figs, except Violette de Bordeaux, have since came from CRFG.
      Coastal SoCal/ USDA Zone 10b / Sunset 22 / AHS Heat zone 2

      Comment


      • #13
        As a kid in the early 1950's we had a fig tree growing next to our garage. The figs were small and dark and good enough for me to eat all I could get my hands on. Later on after I got married we had a fig tree my father-in-law planted in our back yard. The figs were small, dark and sweet. I made fig preserves, the whole fig kind.

        Fast forward to about 10 years ago when I purchased a White Texas Everbearing from a local nursery. About 5 yesrs ago in January I took one 12 inch pencil size cutting to try and root based on an article I had read about rooting cuttings upside down in a 5 gal bucket filled with potting soil. That worked and I ended up with a second WTE fig tree in ground 3 years ago.

        This past spring I had thoughts of repaying a neighbor with fig trees for some blackberry plants he had gifted to me. I googled the internet for the 5 gal bucked method of rooting fig cuttings and came across f4f website. I ended on the fig varieties page and was blown away by the number of varieties. Being the kind of person who absorbs knowledge like a spunge, I was an instant fig addict.

        Today I have 60+ varieties and have begun to think about ways to upgrade my collection and reduce the number of varieties to about 25 varieties.

        And that's my story.
        Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

        Comment


        • #14
          In 2011 my first baby tree was given to me as a father's day gift. My second tree I inherited, and had a tough time keeping it going. So then I joined a couple of forums to find out what I was doing wrong, and the addiction began. I began trying to find the ones that do better in my zone, and also keeping an eye out for the "must haves". So far, I still have space, so I keep looking....
          Hi my name is Art. I buy fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs-so I can sell more figs-so I can buy more fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs....

          Comment


          • #15
            Hi Sarina, interesting post. About five years ago I picked up a brown turkey fig tree to grow in a pot on our back deck. It was more of novelty thing at first. During the second year it started to produce little figs and my wife thought watching the figs grow and mature was the best. We would loved watching and waiting for the treats. After a while I purchased another, a Peters Honey and we were off and running. I soon retired and had ample time to research, grow and expand my hoppy. First year after retirement , I grabbed every cutting I could find. Now it is time to back off a bit, ween out some and just concentrate on specific varieties. Both my wife and myself are of Portugese decent, so I believe I'll be gravitating in that direction.
            Dave- Waterford, Ct. Zone 6a

            Comment


            • SarinaP
              SarinaP commented
              Editing a comment
              I hope the Marseilles does well for you, buddy!

          • #16
            I ask damn question to Ebay and Cugino WillsC ask me to see the site..... Best thing to my fico world tis site.
            Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
            1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
            2) This weeks ebay auctions.

            Comment


            • SarinaP
              SarinaP commented
              Editing a comment
              Me too! This site is great!

          • #17
            I was investigating a reported cult and they convinced me to sip some koolaid and I really don't remember much after that.
            Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,

            Comment


            • COGardener
              COGardener commented
              Editing a comment
              LMAO....

              So that's what happened... thanks for filling me in Phil, I thought I hit my head and caused sever trauma.

            • arachyd
              arachyd commented
              Editing a comment
              'ware the fig Kool-Aid.

          • #18
            I was into herbal teas of all kinds and stumbled onto an online article about fig leaf tea, early in 2014. Figured I would grow my own after some weeks of procrastination, so ordered a Brown Turkey from Fast Growing Trees and set it out in the back yard when it arrived. Thought one tree may not be enough so also ordered an LSU Purple and LSU Tiger from Almost Eden. About the time they arrived I noticed the BT was looking sick. Leaves browning, wilting, all that, so I searched for a fig forum to ask what might be wrong. That was the F4F forum.

            Posted a few pics and described the conditions. They promptly told me my tree was drowning and to elevate it out of the mud. We live at the base of a hill and have a very high water table most of the year except hot summer. So I did that and got to looking around a lot at that forum, seeing all the figs and such.

            Up to that point, I had never had any fig except for Fig Newtons. Wanted to try a fig so bad I couldn't stand it and found some at the local healthy food store, dried Black Mission. It was a horrible, vile tasting thing. Wondered if I had possibly gotten a bad one after searching around some more and comments, ended up ordering some dried Turkish figs online and that was a much better experience.

            So I started ordering more and different fig varieties from various nurseries because of fig photo's posted by forum members. One fella asked for my address to send me some cuttings. That was Hershell. It's all his fault! Also started buying cuttings from various forum members.

            One of the trees ordered from Edible Landscaping had some small figs when it arrived, a Hardy Chicago. Had built a long, elevated shelf out in the yard where all the potted trees were being placed. I thought all the baby figs from that HC had fallen off. One day about Fall while kneeling down to inspect an ant trail coming up the leg of my shelf, something caught the corner of my eye. A perfectly ripe HC, hiding under a leaf. I took a quick pic of it to share and ate it. Hooked for life!

            Some, well most of the cuttings I had purchased or been given died from newbness. Mold mostly. Just could not wrap my head around how little water it takes for fig cuttings and so I pretty much killed all of them except for just a few Sal's, a Celeste or two, some LSU I had taken from my own trees and a BT from my first tree.

            Used to cultivate edible mushrooms indoors and had also started some mushroom logs outdoors. Very familiar with battling molds and success with growing mushrooms in an open pot indoors with no sterile technique, something I was told was impossible, had an idea to try after reading about somebody laying their cuttings in a horizontal trough and covering them. One forum member had sent an Armenian Smaller Eye cutting. Put some potting mix with some worm castings in a terra cotta pot on the kitchen table and buried the cutting in a little horizontal trough about 1/2 inch deep and just sprayed a little bit of water around it every couple of days, so any excess could be wicked away. It sprouted in about a week and my fig cutting life changed forever. Still alive it is!

            So are many more, but also have killed my fair share in trying other experiments and refining techniques.

            Our son who just got married was looking for a home and we went with him to look at this one in particular, in the Lake Spur community about four miles from our home. Exploring the yard, I walked into the back and stood there with my mouth open. A huge fig bush! Well at that time it was the first actual fig I had ever seen up close and personal and seemed to be huge. It had many figs, all hard and green but it looked like some had been removed so I figured somebody was harvesting them, or a squirrel or some other critter.

            Posted photo's on the forum and they gave me heck for not getting cuttings. Said I was un-worthy lol. To me, that's stealing, even if the house was vacant. A bit of local research and I discovered the owner who was trying to sell the home was an old friend from church many years ago. The house sold to somebody else and he told me to go get what I wanted before they closed, so I did. Filled up the back of the car! That fig is Unk Lake Spur and is still yet to be identified. Sent many packages out to forum members in trades and was then stocked up with more fig cuttings I had ever hoped to get. Winter of 2014 was upon us...

            Some years ago I read an article about blackberry propagation in sand in a sort of SIP type of tote. Made and tried it but lacked a good way to keep them alive all winter, some were single nodes. Found a couple forum posts about single nodes, "one node wonders" on the forum and figured to give that a try, coupled with horizontal planting of them in cups and styro bowls. A local fella who said he got some grow lights from an old dude in California who was growing weed to put his son through college said I could have them if I wanted, two ballasts, five 1000W metal halide and one 1000W HPS bulbs. Got it all set up with one bulb in my room, set a bunch of single node cuttings in bowls and set out to also kill most of them but not all. About 75 survived the winter out of over 300. I had fungus gnats, spider mites, a mouse and a lot of other factors that were first time experiences and a LOT of advice, help and encouragement from forum members. Some sent me cuttings just to be added to the single node experiment.

            Buried some Unk Lake Spur cuttings outdoors under 4-6 inches of composted wood chips to set till spring and see if they would sprout. Spring of 2015 on April 10, they showed green, coming up all the way through that compost. Piled a bunch of composted rabbit and sheep manure on them and figured it was safe to set the other figs out since these were sprouting. Had built a raised bed for my blackberries, filled it with the wood chips and so I set all my potted figs around the blackberries on that raised bed. Good thing. We had floods for weeks, cool weather and then one day the sun came out and it was hot.

            All my figs in the black, gallon pots suddenly all dropped their leaves. I was sick, but the ones in white pots didn't. Figured the sun was cooking the roots and set them all down into the wood chips but still on top of the ground. They all put on new leaves and survived. Whew!

            One forum member who lives in my state asked if I had heard of a fig trial being done locally by the U of A Extension. I had not, so I went and found them. Introduced myself to the lady and said "I grow Figs!" Her eyes lit up and she proceeded to tell me about how they just couldn't get the cuttings to grow. Took and showed me their greenhouse, all set up with an automatic sprayer system and several drowning LSU varieties they had been given to start the trial. There was another shelf in there with cactus and succulents. I told her they needed to be there instead of under the sprayer. They did move them and the fig trial was born.

            Many forum members donated cuttings to the fig trial. Thinned out my duplicates to give them and also received a shipment of cuttings I had requested from UC Davis back in 2014. 86 of 98 requested and all of them went to the trial. All of them survived and 40 were put into the ground on July 11, 2015. The rest reside in the hoop house and greenhouse there so we can replace ones that might not over winter, but so far we haven't had any winter to speak of. We'll see.

            Our local newspaper did a story on the fig trial being done and got added to the photo along with the lady in charge of the trial. I started a blog at www.figsfortsmith.com that was also mentioned. Was hoping to find more local varieties than Unk lake Spur that had survived winters here, so we could recommend them to local people who might want a fig tree and not waste their money on shipped in, big outlet varieties, that just don't do well here. Many people called for me to come see their figs and I was blown away by really large fig trees that had been in ground here, unprotected for many years. Some were identified with forum members help and some remain unknown.

            That's about it. I actually don't know how many trees I have and/or have full access to.

            Thanks for asking.

            Comment


            • SarinaP
              SarinaP commented
              Editing a comment
              Amazing! From newbie to researcher in such a short time, this is incredible! I look far ward to reading more on your blog!

            • Rewton
              Rewton commented
              Editing a comment
              Your one-node wonders post inspired me to cut a cutting into a 2-node and 1-node cutting and bury them in cups. They both are doing great now so I set up a few more today. These will be ones that I send through the mail to people so the size plant you end up with is a good size for that.

          • #19
            Started with blueberries, actually. Enjoyed them, and thought "eh, figs are alright, why not?" so I bought an LSU purple. Never looked back. At the one year mark, I had just the LSU purple and a Chicago hardy. At the 2 year mark, I had a bunch of rooted cuttings. Now? Well...lets just say I've hit a point where I think tasting the varieties I DO have is more important than getting more, although I never turn down cuttings :-P
            Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

            Comment


            • #20
              Here in south east Louisiana there is a fig tree in every other yard. I grew up eating figs from my grandmother's trees, my uncle trees and my aunt's trees which was most likely celeste figs.
              I had a small back yard because the back 3/4's of it was overgrown from the forest. So about 4 years ago I cleared the back yard all the way to the property line so I can plant a few fruit trees when my wife asked me to add a fig tree with my peaches, satsumas, persimmons, plums, and pears. Needless to say th figs took over. I asked my uncle what kind and said just plant a celeste and not to worry about the rest because they aren't good here. That's when I started researching and found figs4fun. I did get the celeste and about 85 or 90 other varieties, lol. My uncle only knew of celeste, brown turkey, green (white) figs. As much as I learned from him about planting and cooking I finally got to teach him a thing or two. My dad also loves figs but he only knew of a couple varieties as well so now when I have extras I send them to him to plant at his place since he has about 10 acres or so.
              Ryan- CenLa, zone 8a/b

              Comment


              • #21
                I was only aware of figs in the fig newton (blech!!) context until I spent a month in Israel for an international workshop/competition in August 2013. We had the weekends free to explore, so one weekend we all went to stay in Jerusalem for a couple days. They have a huge open-air market there filled with goods and delicacies like halva in huge cakes of every color and flavor. There was a stand selling big baskets of figs, and we bought a couple to share with the others after dinner. They were a complete surprise after only seeing the dried paste in insipid cookie format -- big, Adriatic-type figs with pink centers and lots of syrup. When I got back, I made a point of getting the only figs available at our local farmers' markets, which happened to be Panache. These tasted great too and I was convinced I'd been wrong about figs, just hadn't been exposed to good fresh ones before. I would start buying them wherever I saw them at the markets, and made special trips to Sigona's or Whole Foods just to buy a basket or two.

                Figs aren't cheap here, maybe $5-8 per basket (which is maybe a $1 per fig), so when I moved into a house I started thinking I should buy a fig tree and just grow my own. Bought a Panache from Raintree, which then grew figs that weren't striped. I went online to try to see what I might have instead, and came across the F4F which was full of photos and descriptions of gorgeous varieties that could magically grow if you put a cutting in a cup of soil under the right conditions. And now here we are, 80+ fig varieties later. I'll narrow it down to the top 20 or 30 later, but for now, still having fun growing them all and seeing what's what!

                Incidentally, that Israel trip was where I met my fiance, who was there for the same course. We go to the same university for grad school, but hadn't met until that trip.
                Sarah
                Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

                Comment


                • Harborseal
                  Harborseal commented
                  Editing a comment
                  What was the workshop about?

                • Sarahkt
                  Sarahkt commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It was a workshop on bioentrepreneurship. Stanford, UTS (Sydney) and Israel's Technion had their first year of an international course, and we worked in interdisciplinary groups. We brainstormed a biotech concept, wrote the patent application as an exercise, and even got to pitch to Israeli investors at the end for actual funding. It was a pretty cool opportunity! I was the CEO of a start-up for a few whole days before it all fell apart over one team member's insistence that the IP was only merited by one person instead of the team. It was a sad end.

                  But, got a fiance, met some great people, saw lots of Israel, and now have a ton of fig trees. Overall a good experience.

                • SarinaP
                  SarinaP commented
                  Editing a comment
                  What an amazing story! I'd spend all my pocket money if we ever got figs at our farmers' markets here!

              • #22
                I was at a local nursery with an buddy from work during lunch hour. They happened to have a bunch of figs from Dave Wilson nursery. My buddy wanted some, so in a show of solidarity I bought three. I bought a Panache, a Violet de Bordeaux and a White Genoa. Then they fruited. Just like Sarah's tree, the Panache was not striped. I went online to figure out what the heck I had and discovered there was a whole new world out there.

                I had never had a ripe fig until mine fruited. The non striped Panache and the Violet de Bordeaux were just amazing. It turns out my White Genoa is a Osborne Prolific, and it was OK.

                I have three new varieties rooting right now and thanks to Wills sale soon will have three more! I can hardly wait to taste the new ones! I know nine varieties is chump change to some of you and hardly even qualifies for membership in the club, but I am having fun!

                Dan

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                • #23
                  Figs and a fiancé in one trip...that was a really good one Sarah!

                  I live in zone 5 Maine and I have strong tendencies to try and zone push everything I can grow to eat. I started thinking about figs and ran across a post on a permaculture board where someone was driving to a guys' house in NH to pick up some figs and wanted to know if anyone wanted them to pick any up for them. Ultimately that's how I met Kerry. Since then my collection has jumped way outside the limits I initially set...and I'm now a happy fig shuffler with over a 100 varieties. I'm still intent on in-ground planting and breeding the hardiest with each other to see what may come. But after eating multiple fresh picked varieties there's more to it for me now then what I started this for.

                  Blame goes to many of you on this board!!! !!!
                  Greg, Maine, zone 5. Wish List: Green Michurinska

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                  • #24
                    Sarah and Dan, did you guys ever find out what your "Panache" plants were?
                    Greg, Maine, zone 5. Wish List: Green Michurinska

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                    • Sarahkt
                      Sarahkt commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Greg, I still don't know what it is. It's pretty tasty, almost as good as the Reverse figs on my for-real Panaches, but the leaves look different. I posted a thread on the other forum a while back (one of my first posts) asking for people's input as to what it could be, but got crickets.

                      I told Raintree about it, in case they sold any more of them as Panaches, and they were great about it and offered to send me another tree or a refund. By then I already had two real Panaches. Kept the Panache-not and it is my oldest (a whopping 2 years old!) tree, and produced a good crop of tasty figs last season. Next year I'll ask the forum again, and maybe bribe for responses with cuttings of some sort.

                  • #25
                    Like Sarah I had only ever Fig newtons but I liked them. I grew a lot of fruit but no figs and one day the neighbor was given a pot of fig trees, probably 5 of them were in the pot. He asked if I wanted a brown turkey fig and said sure why not. Planted it and it grew great but the first winter it froze back to the ground and I figured it was dead. To my surprise come spring it came back and fruited. That was the first fig I had and was hooked. Come to find out the brown turkey was a celeste. So I went looking and found two figs at a local nursery and both turned out not to be what was on the label. Then I found a forum and things went from there and here I am Was going to stop at 25, then 50 then 100 varieties.....then I stopped saying I was going to stop. A lot of fruit trees, vines and bushes have went to the fire pit as the figs marched across the property.
                    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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