Monday, October 29, 2012

Wear them, Eat them as a laxative, Grow them...

People have sewn them together and worn them, eaten them as a laxative, and grown them for thousands of years. It’s named in the Tanakh, New Testament and Quran. King Solomon mentioned them around 940 B.C. and Charles Dicken’s in 1848 rewrote a proverb using it.

"Train up a fig tree in the way it should go, and when you are old sit under the shade of it." — Charles Dickens 

Anyone else growing Figs?

I’m a fig farmer — we’ll technically I’m currently only growing three fig trees. Since I live in the Hoosier Heartland, I am growing the hardy variety: Ficus carica “Hardy Chicago.”

My ‘Hardy Chicago’ Figs that grow in my “gotta’ be tough to survive Janet’s Hoosier Heartland Garden’ are doing well.  High-yielding and easy to grow, it produces delicious medium-size figs. They are drought-tolerant once established — and I unashamedly admit that I planted three in the late fall of 2011 and this summer only lost one. All three died back, as expected, during the winter and resumed fervent growth late in spring. But I noticed after a record-breaking severe drought where many Indiana counties were declared natural disasters and I couldn’t possibly water everything [my way of alleviating the guilt] that one of my little figs had succumbed by August. After all I did buy her (and her two brothers) at Lowes  on clearance for only $2.98 each.  I was so enthralled with my Fig Tree triplets (before the drought) that I bought a beautiful three-foot Chicago Fig from the Indianapolis Museum of Art Perenniel Premiere on April 21st. She is lovely and has produced nine gorgeous antioxidant-filled figs on her first summer at our home. She will be overwintering inside this winter — the other two will tough it out.

If I didn’t tell you already — the ‘Hardy Chicago’ Fig variety will die back in colder climates and resume growth in spring. They are heat-tolerant — well, 3 out of 4 are.  The figs ripens mid summer to late fall and are self-pollinating.

And in case you didn't make the connection, Eve sewed fig leaves together to make loin coverings (Genesis 3:7)
My potted Ficus carica 'Hardy Chicago' May 2012

Interesting article about the recent discovery and ongoing research of an elaborate ancient garden near Jerusalem which was home to a wide variety of exotic imported plants. — including the indigenous fig tree:

more on figs later...