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  • Figs for a profit? Worth looking into? How would you do it? Zone difference?

    So I definitely have the fig bug and have really been looking for some sort of locally grown product to be able to sell at a local farmers market or to local businesses etc. Not as a primary income source but more as a supplemental income stream. Who here is growing and selling figs in this type of scenario, anyone willing to chat with me about insight, pitfalls, and things I may encounter that I havent thought about?

    Im looking at potentially moving to a new location, id likely be renting again but would try to lease / buy some land to have a small "orchard" on. I dont think it would be huge but just something to have 20 - 30 - 50 in ground trees, a couple varieties for sale and then a few growing for scion is what I am imagining in my head. How much land would be needed do you think to make it worthwhile but also not make it a full time job. How much does disease and pests factor in with figs? Also the zone piece, I am currently in zone 8a. My state ranges from 6b to 8a I believe. Realistically I would likely be moving to a 7a-7b location. How much of a difference is that going to make? Would it be exponentially better to stay in 8a even though I dont prefer it here, or would 7a/7b produce similarly? I would likely have a smaller greenhouse setup to keep some fun varieties happy as long as I can.

    I know this is a bunch of random questions but im hoping to get a conversation going and learn as much as I can. If people would rather PM me experiences I would be appreciative of that as well. Thanks for dealing with my late night ramblings and for the help in advance.

    -Lou
    Last edited by LouNeo; 04-08-2016, 11:24 PM.
    2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

  • #2
    I don't have much advice to offer, but a gentleman was selling pint sized containers of Celeste and a honey-flavored figs at our local farmer's market. I think they were $4 per pint. It's been a couple years since I was down there, but he had an orchard. I don't know if the trees died in the polar vortex years. I would say it's worth trying if you have the land. As you said, since you're not depending on the income, youo can start on a small scale.
    Frank ~ zone 7a VA

    Comment


    • #3
      Frank, thank you for that. I did some number crunching last night after speaking with another senior member who gave me some advice as well. The biggest thing is I dont currently have the land, which is why I wanted to figure things out before I did something. Id have to either buy or lease an acre, that would either be locally where I live now or if I were to move.

      I think the biggest two questions I have now are:

      Zone 8a vs 7a -
      How much of a difference would there be in variety, fruit quality, and length of fruiting if I went from 8a to 7a. I live in 8a now but may potentially be moving to 7a, if 8a is that much better for this I would stay.

      What 4-5 varieties would you grow in 8a or 7a -
      Emphasis would likely be on 1-2 crops, variation of colors and flavors, amount of fruit produced with the variety and length of time the fruit would be available.
      2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

      Comment


      • #4
        $4 a point.... that's a deal.

        Last time I was at Pikes Market in Seattle, a vender wanted $4 EACH for his figs. No idea what type they were, I was to dumbfounded over the price to ask.
        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

        Comment


        • jmaler
          jmaler commented
          Editing a comment
          $4 each......it probably took that much just to break even, let alone make a profit.

        • COGardener
          COGardener commented
          Editing a comment
          Quite possibly.

      • #5
        The pikes guy sells Black Mission. My gf lived in Seattle for 5 years and knows him. For valentines day this year she called him and had him overnight 3 packages of figs to the beach in NC. I think she spent like $80 on 3 packages of black mission and shipping to make me a fig dessert for valentines day. The figs were awful, got here smushed and molded in a day LOL. "the thought the counts"
        2021: The year of figs and a new love of Citrus thanks to http://www.madisoncitrusnursery.com

        Comment


        • andreas-patras
          andreas-patras commented
          Editing a comment
          he probably sent frozen figs.

      • #6
        There is a lot to consider. But remember the simplicity of starting small is really only a convenience - you still have to make good decisions in the beginning in order to capitalize on them a few years down the road.
        Here are a few pointers

        1 In ground is the only way to go which would mean your breba crop cannot be relied on and would be a bonus rather than an income
        2 Stock cost is minimal as is your labor - no real cost
        3 Land is the key - a lease for how many years? You run the risk of 50+ established plants in ground that you cannot easily move. Where does water come from?
        4 Self pick is risky as you risk premature picking of fruit and deliver an unripe product.
        5 I don't think there is much issue with 7a over 8a. You will probably grow the same hardy varieties at either site.
        6 Top five plants Hardy Chicago, RDB, Florea, Nero 600m and Olympia.
        7 I would look at a hard prune back in late full so that you could put an up turned Garbage can with a vent over the tree and fill with leaves. The main crop should be reliable.
        8 Hotels are the best outlet for sales. You control the pick timing, your control quality, you control delivery.

        and this brings me back to land!

        Last edited by The Figster; 04-09-2016, 09:34 AM.
        Ian

        Really happy with what I have.

        Comment


        • LouNeo
          LouNeo commented
          Editing a comment
          In ground is definitely the way I would go with this. I have already gotten a verbal from a local farmer to allow me to use half an acre of land to plant on at no cost. However I would prefer to approach him with a lease option so I know I have it for 5 years. As for what to do at the end. I will schedule it so the lease ends in dormancy so I can take as many cuttings as I want at that point to root more. Also before the lease is up I can air layer the heck out of them that spring and start planting a new field elsewhere. 5 years is a long time, I rent where I am and dont know for sure I will remain here for 10-15 years. We have a very high water table, he already has irrigation ditches on property and I could likely dig a very shallow quick well to pump water around from. Water here isnt an issue. I appreciate the info regarding where to sell, I will add that to my list! Great variety options as well, 3 were on my list already. I need to look at Florea and Nero600m I dont have either yet.

        • mountainfigs
          mountainfigs commented
          Editing a comment
          Why hotels (hotel restaurants?) rather than restaurants direct?

        • LouNeo
          LouNeo commented
          Editing a comment
          Hotel restaurants would just be another option to go after. I would do both.

      • #7
        The figs I saw were a large yellow fig, probably the same guy.

        What a shame her good intentions were foiled by the figs not coming in fresh.

        At least she tried!!!
        Last edited by COGardener; 04-09-2016, 12:03 PM.
        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

        Comment


        • #8
          I'm considering a somewhat similar venture, though using tree pots rather than permanent in-ground plantings. 5" x 5" x 12" treepots. (Would try in ground if could come up with land.)

          Considering aiming for a scale of about 1,000 tree pots eventually. In winter, I think those could be sheltered (garage probably) in about 120 square feet double or triple stacked. Maybe I could learn to produce 10-30? figs per "tree" (yearly pruned vertical cordons).

          I'm not familiar with Olympian fruit but can't think of four better cultivars for hardy cropping than good strains of those suggested above: RDB, Florea, Mongibello (Hardy Chicago, etc), and VDB (Nero 600m, etc). These are more or less productive, shapely, comely, early, flavorful, and strong fruits. Two such others I would consider are LSU Improved Celeste and LSU O'Rourke, however these two great cultivars pose some drawbacks.

          Light figs would be high risk, high reward: Marseilles (White), LSU Champagne, Brooklyn White. I would try those three, however light figs can easily discolor unlike the dark figs, appearance being a real problem for sales, I assume.

          I would try the tree pots in long rows of a few tree pots per square foot. The roots would be free to enter the ground (deep mulch) from the semi-open bottoms and bottom edges (no hole drilling necessary, I think). Ground removal root pruning each year would match limb pruning. The work would seem to be most labor intensive in fall - root pruning/pulling and limb pruning - however that labor could be spread out over about 2 months. No rush to return all to storage after mid October leaf drop. (1000 trees / 60 days = ~17 per day).

          A lot of speculation here but it's something I've been kicking around.

          There are weather and wildlife complications here in heavily forested zone 6b that could make for trouble growing in-ground above and beyond the difficulties of tree pot growing, though ideally I would try both ways.
          Last edited by mountainfigs; 04-09-2016, 05:55 PM.
          Tony WV 6b
          https://mountainfigs.net/

          Comment


          • LouNeo
            LouNeo commented
            Editing a comment
            I dont know why I didnt see all the info in this post originally, thank you! I just got back looking to pick out more info for my notes and noticed it all.

          • IrishFigMadness
            IrishFigMadness commented
            Editing a comment
            This is something I would love to do. Would you have some sort of watering system set up as well?

        • #9
          A farmer in the next state over from me says that he makes more money selling baby trees than he does from the fruit itself. He does sell at farmers markets. Says he gets his best production from the Hardy Chicago trees.
          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


          • mountainfigs
            mountainfigs commented
            Editing a comment
            A good point: what's easier to raise, a $15 tree in a small pot or 30 ripe fruits for fifty cents apiece? Depends what your market demand or opportunity is though: 1,000 small trees or 30,000 ripe fruits...

          • LouNeo
            LouNeo commented
            Editing a comment
            I definitely agree, with that said though, I dont see a huge reason why the answer cant be "both". On a lot of these.

        • #10
          I posted this video after our first trip to Pike Park. They sell less than a dozen unripe Black Mission figs for $7.99 (~2min mark).

          https://youtu.be/A9RVTOK-A1o

          If you had ripe figs, I am sure you could sell them for more, once people realized the difference... so maybe $1+ per fig.
          Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
          Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

          Comment


          • LouNeo
            LouNeo commented
            Editing a comment
            I think those are the vendor my gf ordered from. They were Black Mission from Mexico but were late in the season. That market looks like a great one.

        • #11
          Taking the clue from the samples offered at the warehouse clubs, where an unknown product is instantly transformed into an immediate sale, I dug several hundred Triple Crown volunteer plants to have available at the farmer's market alongside the baskets of T/C berry baskets. When customers taste a vine ripened T/C, they are sold. The plants were scooped up within an hour.

          This same procedure will be required even more with figs, as most people identify them solely with Newtons. Let them sample a 1/6 wedge of ripe Genovese Nero, Panache or Adriatic JH, and you'll sell your inventory of fruit and plants readily. The wonderful part of our direct sales of this fruit, is that the product is, for all practical purposes, unseen on market shelves, due to the very short shelf-life and the need for daily harvesting of only fully ripened fruit, as it will not ripen off of the tree, nor withstand the bruising of shipment very well. You can therefore establish a customer base for repeat sales with nicer restaurants, retirement homes, etc. And, through the miracle of the web, a tablet can be made available at your table to leave email addresses to give an automated email alert to those customers that wish to receive the heads-up when your fruit will be available at the farmer's market.

          Just food for thought... Blue
          CA 9b "May you sit under your own fig tree..." This metaphor, in use since Solomon, is a wish for the receiver's spirit to know peace, for their family to be secure, and for their life to be fruitful.

          Comment


          • LouNeo
            LouNeo commented
            Editing a comment
            Exactly my plan Blue, I build and market websites for a living and also work as a photographer on the side. Having samples that lend quickly to newsletter type signups is the best way to go with any of this. That way once you capture a customers attention you can continue pushing alerts out to them. I honestly think the direct sales hinges on samples, high quality images, and scarcity. My thing is with very little experience eating figs, its hard for me to get as much of a handle on the varieties that I would want to have available. My thought is 4-5 different types grown for fruit / sale and then a decent variety being grown almost solely for end of season scion. Multiple revenue streams would keep this alive in case a part of it fails. Thank you for posting up, I was looking at Panache and Adriatic JH as well as maybe RDB, Smith, and Black Mission (I have a bunch of starter trees of Black Mission). Everyone here is in love with Brown turkey so I will likely plant some Brown Turkey for fruit as well and then upsell those people onto new varieties as well.

        • #12
          Most people are going to want a green fig or black fig. They will not care what variety it is. Another problem is if you wait until you have fruit late in the season, many of the trees you want to sell will be huge and not easy to transport.
          Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
          Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

          Comment


          • LouNeo
            LouNeo commented
            Editing a comment
            That does make sense as well. If I do this im going do try and monetize as much of it as I can Thank you!

          • brettjm
            brettjm commented
            Editing a comment
            Johnnyq

            Hah! Your comment brings about my sad reality that I'm terrible at growing my figs. I've had cuttings since last November (uhh...2014), and my tallest one is 4 feet. Alas!

          • PA Figs
            PA Figs commented
            Editing a comment
            No worries, some varieties do not grow as fast as others either.

        • #13
          Set up a solar heated air drying greenhouse for all those discolored figs and/or unsold inventory and you can vacuum seal and sell them in the off season.

          Comment


          • #14
            This thread has gathered a lot of interest and posts. However be mindful of the selective group that post and read this information. We are already hooked on figs and its an easy sell to us. The practicality of harvest, planting, watering and the other house keeping stuff is relatively easy.

            The difficulty is the economics and there are 3 options.

            1 Operate as a no cost hobby. There are few hobbies that cost zero and plenty that cost a fortune (sailboat anyone). Pots, compost fertilizer might cost $500 - $1000 it would be very easy to recoup this cost selling a few trees and some fruit.

            2 Aim to clear a $5,000 per year profit. This requires a clarity of market and a focus on revenue. You don't have to sell a lot just sell it at a good price with a guarantee of quality and availability.

            3 Aim to clear a $50,000 per year profit. This is where the land is vital and a much larger sales area and really effective marketing. This is no longer a hobby and might take the fun out of it.

            Which of the 3 versions would make you happiest ?

            Ian

            Really happy with what I have.

            Comment


            • LouNeo
              LouNeo commented
              Editing a comment
              Figster, I definitely agree with you in regards to the economics of it. My personal goals would be different than others goals. Where this isnt a primary source of income my first goal is to get it breaking even / making slight profit to continue to invest. Knowing what I will likely put into a land lease, planting, fertilizer etc I still think its a no brainer, that just selling cuttings will more than pay for all of the above costs. Nevermind selling trees and then year 2 my costs dont exponentially go up on the trees / land, maybe more fertilizer but that would really be the only big increase. Then I just need my numbers to work out on the fruit. Sales Price > than cost of picking, packing, marketing, transport, selling. If those numbers work then that revenue stream will be solid even though I think the tree sales piece will be the same in regards to how strong of a market it would be. So to answer your question. Year 1 my goal is to make $3-4k year 2 (first with fruit) my goal without looking at numbers would be $10-25k and then year 3 it should be able to be built upon closer to the no longer a hobby route. My day job is building websites, doing online marketing, and business consulting. The marketing and sales part will not be a problem. I expect the biggest problem to be needing more land, more trees, and more help picking. We do have a very large labor force available here because of the farms around. I am sure I can find affordable help when that time comes.

              You do bring up a lot of great points though. Ive always started anything I do with your (1) it breaks even at least. Gold mining, metal detecting, planting, and so far figging.

          • #15
            For me I'm starting small, with just a few varieties, then building up to more, if the 1st few are profitable. First three are going to be.

            200 (Figo Preto) in 20 gal pots
            100 (Ronde De Bordeaux) in 20 gal pots
            100 (Panachee) in 20 gal pots

            If those sell well, I will expand out with.

            50 (Violet De Bordeaux) in 20 gal pots
            50 (JH Adriatic) in 20 gal pots
            50 ( LSU Scott's yellow) in 20 gal pots
            30 (Hollier) in 25 gal pots
            25 (Sultane) in 25 gal pots
            30 (LSU Gold) in 25 gal pots
            25(English brown turkey) in 25 gal pots
            30 (Peter's Honey) in 20 gal pots
            30 (Alma) in 25 gal pots

            Eventually the least popular will be grafted onto with the most popular.

            They will be grown in greenhouses, to prevent bird, bugs and rain from ruining the crops.

            Comment


            • mountainfigs
              mountainfigs commented
              Editing a comment
              That's similar to how I'm approaching this kind of venture, greenhouses and grafting aside, while beginning primarily with RDB and other short season cultivars. Smaller pots too, with roots free to roam outside a bit.

          • #16
            An easy way to get started on a small scale is to sell rooted cuttings on Craigslist. They do that in this area, and I've also seen them in 1-gallon size at farmers' markets for $10-$20. You might be able to get someone who sells at market to sell your trees on consignment when they do spring seedlings, etc.
            Zone 7a in Virginia

            Comment


            • #17
              Being in Z8A in NC too and having seen weather hre for two decades I warn against planning any commercial fig orchard in ground in zone 7 here.I lost trees to cold here enough to be wary,and wrapping all the trees on half acre woud be areal challenge as trees will grow big and tall in Wilmington.So,Id only plant varieties thatbear ok on new growth first season after being frozen to the grround.Theres many.

              also despite members talking about one dollar figs , most NC residents are going to want figs from maybe couple bucks a pint, one man near me sells u pick for 2 bucks a pound,makes couple thousand a year off 4 big trees.NC does not have the large number of high end hotels maybe present in the yankee lands to the north.We are in motel 6 country here!so don't count on making big bucks selling figs to" hotel Intercontinentals".Even if some Raleigh hotel wanted some you have to get them there,and the guests there are not fig addicts .To sell volume need roadside sales, u pick,or contracts with companies to take your production that handle other produce too, NC . Growers near greenville,Mt.Olive etc. might advise you on accessing commercial produce buyers who take their vegetable production and move it to markets around the country. growers here of sweet potatoes, cucumber,squash,cabbage etc do not depend on personal sales to expensive hotels or also u pickers. I note NCgroceries nowdays expound how they sell"local produce" so talk to HQ for harris teeter,Lowes foods,and even out of state grocers like Kroger, Publix, Albertsons and see who packs and ships specialty produce to them.Most may not want to contract directly with a small local grower but who knows?
              Also, I once spoke to a large produce broker in NYC at the huge Hunt Point produce market.He said he would contract to take highly desirable fruit in good condition if packed in appropriate ways,and delivered to him there and can handle ANY quantity.At the time I was just curious how he does business not planning to sell anything there.But to get your stuff into NYC markets almost eveyone big sells through Hunt Point brokers.Getting it there is out of my realm.
              Be persistent,I suggest getting soil analysis of your proposed land by NC state agency to see what needs to be productive, maybe nothing,maybe a lot. I also would never plant trees with productive life of over 20 years in land with only a 5 year lease with no guaranteed renewal clause.Some old farmers are wise crafty dudes happy to take city guys for a ride! Best of luck with your dream, It can come true.Has for others, Like kiwi farmers.
              Z8A NC SANDHILLS

              WISH LIST ZAFFIRO, THERMOLITO

              Comment


              • #18
                Lots of advice here, some better than some. I started growing fig trees in 2011, my goal was to sell trees in 1 gal and 3 gal sizes. I have stayed the course and have only expanded to add larger trees in 30-150 gal sizes, which are really leftover inventory. The most popular are the 1 gal and 3 gal size trees. I sell mostly at Farmers Markets and have a few commercial nurseries that buy truckloads of 3 gal "whips" every Spring. I do not mess with trying to sell fresh figs too much because of the time involved and the "softness" of the product. You can pick and pack one day and then you have at best 2 days to sell the figs as "Fresh" then you have maybe 2 days to sell "preservers" those that will be made into preserves, jams, etc. After that you can freeze the remainder, and there will be remainder. You can not do dried figs in any large quantity and the losses are significant. There is some good reading on the commercial aspect of drying figs in some of the California Fig Growers Association literature.

                You will better off to put your Fresh Fig trees in large pots since you may be moving. The trees in containers will never produce the quantity that an in ground tree will produce but it is do able. If you want to plant in ground trees then you need to lay out a grid using 15 ft spacing in rows and 20 ft between rows, you will be amazed at how many trees you can put on 1 acre.

                The cutting market is good but it is extremely time consuming and is best left to selling your prunings in bulk if possible. I start the season with 1000-1200 cuttings in my rooting area which is a portion of the lean to on the side of my shop/barn. I start everything in red 16oz Solo cups and when well rooted I move them into 1 gal and 3 gal trade pots. The 1 gal leftovers at end of season are moved up to 3 gal pots. I have a "Layout" area where I have 20 ft ground cloth as weed barrier and I put the pots as close as possible to help in watering and it also provides some protection from the sun on the pots. You can figure 4 one gal pots per sq ft of Layout area, its actually a little more than a sq ft but it is close.

                I would strongly recommend that you stay away from u-pick for figs, the trees are too delicate and the customers will break them down, and pick unripe figs which will reflect badly on YOU. Blueberries and Blackberries are far better choices for u-pick operations. Herbs are really a good seller and I am expanding that.

                Now, to the financial side.......YOU CANNOT MAKE A LIVING ON FIGS ALONE. I am sure that there will be a few that will dispute this statement and I have debated this on several occasions with several people. The initial investment in land, watering system, materials, truck, trailer, and buildings/greenhouse is significant even on a small scale and the return on investment is not huge, maybe even non existent. DO NOT PUT A LANDLORD IN THE FIG BUSINESS THAT YOU HAVE BUILT, stay portable so you can move everything when you have to. (notice I said when, not if).

                I do make a little money, if I count the hours at the Farmers Market I am probably clearing a lot less than $10 per hour, and that is after 6 or 7 yrs effort. If I count the market time as recreation then I am making a little more money. I cheat on my materials, I have a good free source for 3 gal size pots and I mix all my potting mix from composted leaves, chicken/horse manure and river sand which I go and shovel into my trailer. Instead of perlite I use ground styrofoam. That makes all my soils free.

                I am retired and the monies realized from the fig deal is supplemental income. I am 70 yr old so I am not sure how much longer I want to mess with it. One mistake I made was that I used the property around my house and I cannot sell the business without selling my home, bad move on my part. This hobby/game/business takes a lot of time and effort and some days I want to walk away from it and some days I work on something until the wee hours of the morning and never think of it as work, it is up and down at best. When calculating your costs, figure your time that you think will be required and double it.

                Last but not least, make a strategic plan, plan on deviations, plan at least one exit point, stick to your plan. This is a great place to start but be careful, everything is different in every different case. A lot of input you get will be speculation based on a lot of research,maybe, but if someone hasn't done it they really don't know what they are talking about, well intended but unfounded in practical experience. Look around at the membership of our forum, how many are doing it on any scale above "Hobbyist"? I know of 4 or 5, not many. Everything I have said here is based on the cold hard facts of reality, and is based on MY experiences, in my location, yours will be different.

                BTW.....I don't know what I'm talking about either.
                Wish List - Any LSU fig

                Comment


                • CliffH
                  CliffH commented
                  Editing a comment
                  "I would strongly recommend that you stay away from u-pick for figs" - Definitely agree. There is a large u-pick-it place near me that has fig trees. I went once. I was amazing at the barely ripe figs that these people were picking. I did not find a single actual ripe fig in the whole place. And everyone was complaining about the quality, and price, of what they were getting.

                  "figure your time that you think will be required and double it"  -  A++  agree. I give this advice all the time to my employees at work.

                • YATAMA
                  YATAMA commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Am glad to seeing you share your experiences here.Basically you are saying to forget selling fresh figs in any quantity and go for selling containerized trees.Makes sense. Here am planning orchard primarily for family food but will have some upick for surplus as do jnot really care about getting rich selling figs.I find it interesting that you make a profit at all selling fig trees.Here walmart big box stores retail gallon figs for ten bucks and 3 gallon ones for 22 to 19 bucks apiece and average lowes here will only have maybe 1dozen 3 gallons to sell the entire season and maybe 10 gallons.
                  a couple small retail nurseries will have for entire season maybe 10 of the 3 gallon trees, so in our county of maybe 100k people about 75 fig trees get acquired by retailers from their sources which are probably large multi species wholesale growers who service most of the retail sellers in the state,I suspect.Maybe some independent retail nursery does buy from some small scale local tree grower but not enough I think to justify getting into the small scale wholesale fig tree business.
                  Perhaps things are different in Texas with more jam packed population densities,more farmers markets,and possibly even mail order nurseries interested in sources of competitively priced wholesale stock to fill their catalog.I find it wonderful someone who's a small scale fig tree grower can find markets for over a thousand container fig trees a year. Here in NC I doubt the entire retail sales of container fig trees amounts to one thousand a year.

                  I once considered attempting to grow and sell various plants here but the above considerations and far greater opportunity to achieve magnitudes greater profit from investing in certain securities, made me decide to stick to growing food for my family and having fun at it rather than making a primary commercial venture tha tbasiclly enslaves one to the task if it is to be done correctly.But anyone in the right place with right motivation and capital enough clearly can make a go of it as out fellow forum member in Texas has clearly explained.

                  But for anyone considering a commercial fig venture,remember it;s a lot easier sitting in the shade thinking up stuff than getting out in the sun, investing real
                  money, being tied to a piece of land with vulnerable trees,needing a constant existence of adequate customers for your product.

                  The Kiwi farmers in California ,some made a success, some start up wineries did too.It can be done

                  BUT FOR ME IT'S FIGS 4 FUN AND FAMILY FOOD. Theres many more reliable ways to make money in America even us aging old guys can succeed with! For you tough prospective and current fig entrepreneurs ,sure wish you success.

              • #19
                My sales area includes North Louisiana, Southern Arkansas, and East Texas. If you read my post you will see that I said " I start the season with 1000-1200 cuttings" I do not start the season with that many trees, some are lost, some never root, some get eaten by the bushy tailed tree rats. In addition to that attrition, I gift trees to any youngster that shows an interest and I also donate trees and other plants to any worthwhile charity for plant sales. I will do a plant sale for the local Education Foundation this Spring and I will sell a minimum of 800 plants and trees on a 50-50 split. Many of these are cup size flowering plants but I always have a bunch of well rooted 2 or 3 leaf fig trees as well. We will sell all of the cup size plants and trees for $2-3 and generally will sell out of these at any sale that I go to with those products. NOTE: I am being deliberately vague about how many trees I actually sell. I do sell some fresh figs but they are a by product and not a main crop. The going price was $5 - 7 lb last year. One tip....you will be amazed at how many calls you will get from local "Thrifty Nickel" type ads and Craig's List ads for both trees and fresh figs.
                Wish List - Any LSU fig

                Comment


                • YATAMA
                  YATAMA commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sounds like extensive operations and glad it's productive,Here want to supply large amount of our food and will dry lots of figs,etc.Excess I want to get a little cash for so thought of u pick as another man near by does it successfully but gets 2 bucks a pound.For me that would beat letting them rot on trees.I have to figure the expected yield per tree knowing it will rise and then plateau as they age so I do not over plant.But want enough to get reasonable crops after second year and can also grow other crops in the middles until trees get big that do not require deep plowing,.rather than allowing grass to grow

              • #20
                Plant peppers around the trees, good yield, stops some critters
                Wish List - Any LSU fig

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                • drewk
                  drewk commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hot peppers or just any peppers?

              • #21
                Jalapenos will do the trick, they produce well and you can sell all you can grow, at least around here.
                Wish List - Any LSU fig

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