What the Fig?

I have a big ass fig tree in my yard. I don’t know much about fig trees (I don’t even like figs), but people who do know about fig trees have seen mine and have told me it’s the biggest figging one they’ve seen in New York. They want to know my secret. How did my tree get so big and healthy in this climate? How does it produce so many figs? Here’s what I do…

November Fig Close

Nothing! I’ve heard that little old Italian men grow fig trees in the northeast and they’re small and fragile (the trees are – and maybe the little old men too) and they lovingly wrap them to protect them from the wind and cold of winter and then hope that they survive and then actually bear fruit in the spring. My tree gets no blanket. No warm milk. No bedtime story. My tree is on its own. My tree is a bad ass. It scoffs at winter. It looks the cold square in the eye and gives it the middle branch. It thrives amidst adversity. In the winter, it looks like this:

Twigs

Dead. But it’s just playing dead. That’s not just a bundle of twigs. When the spring rolls around and my fig tree wakes from its winter sleep, it becomes beautiful. It becomes this:

Fig Tree in the Spring

If you think the tree looks bigger in the spring picture, you’re right. The winter picture is from 2011 while the spring picture is from this year. This is two years of growth with me doing absolutely nothing to help. I get hundreds of figs every season. Hundreds. I decided that this past season was the last that I will harvest for anyone. I’m adopting a “u pick” policy. You want ’em? Come get ’em. I’m not your bitch, people.

Spring Figs

I get tons of weeds around the base of my tree. I pull them out, but they instantly reappear. (Weeds are the cancer of my crappy yard. I rip them out. They come back. I poison them. They come back. I have considered setting them on fire, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. And they would come back. It’s like Friday the 13th and all of my weeds are named Jason.) This past weekend, I tried out a method for preventing weeds that I read about somewhere. Basically, it’s just putting down newspaper and then mulch on top. Sounds simple enough. And it was. I cleaned out the leaves and weeds and then started just laying down newspaper, about 10 sheets per stack and overlapping the edges. It wasn’t a windy day, but if it was I would have wet the newspaper to keep it in place.

Fig Before

Fig Step 1

Fig Step 2

Fig Step 3

I used 4 bags of mulch, but I definitely could have used more. A bag of mulch doesn’t go as far as you think it will. Maybe I’ll add to this in the spring, but not now. It’s very cold outside and the cold makes me cry. I’ll be sure to update you in the spring to let you know if my newspaper trick worked.

Final Fig

Thanks for reading this post to the end. As a reward, I’m sharing a fig appetizer recipe with you. Aren’t you glad you stuck it out?

Figs with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Bacon

Makes 12 stuffed fig halves

Ingredients:

  • 6 figs, halved
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • 3 slices bacon, cut in half

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Stuff fig halves with goat cheese. Press pecans into the cheese. Split a strip of bacon down the middle and wrap each stuffed fig half with half a slice of bacon, securing with toothpicks.
  3. Arrange on a medium baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes, or until bacon is evenly brown and crisp and goat cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

I have no idea if this recipe is any good. (I don’t like figs, remember?) It sounds like it might be. Bacon makes everything better. Maybe I will try it. If I do, I will update you with a review and a picture. You don’t want to miss that, right? That’s why you have to subscribe in the box below!

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17 Responses to What the Fig?

  1. what’s really good is fig vodka!

  2. I think you should have been a writer…you crack me up! If my grandma lived near us she would be at your house everyday to pick those figs!

  3. Le says:

    You’re figging funny. This post cracked me up.

  4. Minnesota Red says:

    Damn right I’m cool. I just discovered your blog whilst sitting on my ass in my own crappy house! I LOVE it. So I’m feeding it to my new homepage. You do rock~

  5. I am totally impressed at your several attends to get the weeds out. I would have ignored them for as long as possible and then, when I couldn’t take it any longer, I would pull them, only to watch them all grow back. I wish I had the time and patience to actually make a plan to get rid of weeds forever.

    P.S. I just recently got a letter from my HOA about the height of our weeds. I suppose that was my way of giving my HOA the middle branch.

    • My Crappy House says:

      I have done the ignore/grow/pull method for over 2 years. Lots of hours to pull them out and then they grow back in 4.7 seconds. I just got really sick of pulling weeds! I put it off for so long only to find that it was a ridiculously easy method to implement. I really hope it works!

      P.S. If I had an HOA, I would be in HOA jail by now…

  6. daniel says:

    would you like to trade some fig tree branch cuttings? if so please email me at ediblelandscaping.sc@gmail.com I have several varieties and would be happy to trade a few 6-8 inch cuttings with you

    • My Crappy House says:

      Thank you, but I actually don’t like figs at all. My beautiful tree is wasted on me. I do, however have a friend who also has trees and loves figs. I will pass along your info to him to see if he’s interested in trading with you.

  7. aimee says:

    omg…that appetizers sounds mouthwatering…now mail me some figs! {LOL}aimee

  8. D says:

    Any chance you would send me a branch cutting; I’d like to try to grow a tree here in Minnesota. Don’t know anyone around here with a fig tree that I can lop off a branch or I’d do that.

    • D says:

      Oops, guess I’m too late, just saw your fig tree died and cut down. RIP.

    • My Crappy House says:

      I can pretty much guarantee that a fig tree would not survive your brutal Minnesota winters. They’re not even well suited for NY and our winters aren’t nearly as bad as yours. Sorry