If you know us, you know we have a mini orchard here on the West Coast in Southern California. It came with the shop which is why Steve purchased this property. Being non orange juice drinkers and eaters, we share the bounty as much as possible except for one tree. One tree that we knew nothing about and are amazed it continues to produce a bounty of fruit for us. It goes from a skeleton of naked branches to lush green within 2 months and produces fruit for us 2 times a year
Say Hello to our Fig Tree
Our fig tree goes bare and looks like a woody skeleton for several months, then the leaves bud.
Next the fruit starts appearing. This is one fruit that doesn’t flower first; in fact, it’s technically a flower.
This particular varietal is a black fig (I believe it’s a Black Mission Fig) and the next stage is to change color from green, to purple then black.
Then it becomes a race to see who gets the ripened fruit first, Steve or the Raccons! Harvesting can begin just as it’s ready to fall down. Steve does most of the picking and will keep at it over 2 weeks. Gently picking the fruit and washing it. Be careful not to bruise it as it’ll spoil. Yesterday was the first time, this happened…
A clear sign that the picking season is fast approaching.
Fun Fig Facts
- Fig trees produce fruit 1 or 2 times per year; ours is 2x per year
- You can eat the skin
- You can freeze them whole; we specifically bought a chest freezer for figs and are a smoothie staple
- It originated from Northern Asia
- It’s one of the oldest cultivated fruits
- The fruit is technically an inverted flower
- Cultivation spread throughout Greece and today grows in Mediterranean climates
- Figs are a good source of Vitamin K and Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Manganese
The Fig Party
If we’re not diligent about picking the figs before the skin starts splitting, these beatles will feast on figs. We haven’t seen them in a couple of years although that’s most likely due to use usually being on the road after the first crop matures. I believe these are the Japanese Green Beatles. Very iridescent, large, yet harmless to us.
The blooming cycle for citrus happens 2-3 times a year and we usually have at least 2 seasons of fruit still on the trees when the new cycle starts. There’s nothing quite as lovely as orange blossom scent when the trees are all flowering. If you’ve been to Disneyland’s California Adventure in Anaheim, CA, there’s a ride where your senses are overwhelmed with the area’s historic smell, blossoming orange trees. It’s quite the experience.
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