homegrown figs

Figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in jamon serrano

Figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in jamon serrano

At a gathering earlier this fall some people were astonished to hear that I had a good fig harvest this year. A good harvest for my fig tree is around twenty to thirty figs. I now live in Pennsylvania–not the best climate for figs–but like many of my fellow “diegos” I have found a way to have our home grown figs. The fig tree makes a great addition to our patio in the summer. It’s about four feet high and confined to a large pot. Then, during the winter months, the fig tree hibernates in the garage.

Some people have their fig trees planted outside in an area protected from the weather and they wrap them when winter comes. I have also heard of people digging trenches and burying them during the winter (but that’s Paolo, the world’s only Italian redneck, so I’m not sure how common a practice this is). But for the most part, fig trees are easy to take care of and are fairly pest free. The only thing you’ll notice from time to time is a little damage from birds eating holes in the fruit, which is common with most fruit trees.

This year we had also had a chipmunk problem. A chipmunk discovered the figs and couldn’t get enough. One morning we saw this chipmunk carrying a fig in its mouth. The fig was almost as big as the rodent and loaded it down to where it was walking on its front legs only: the back legs were not touching the ground. I let the chipmunk get away since we had enjoyed so many figs this year, but I don’t know if I’ll let it happen again next year. Watch out, rodent.