Monday, February 18, 2008

Fig orchard

On Sunday, the coldest day of the year so far, I betook myself to the local Daiki DIY store to buy up their complete stock of fig saplings. They only had three, two of the 'Nihon Omi (Big Fruit)' variety, and one of 'Masui-Dauphine'. The former are the big, roundish green ones that tend to split wide open, while the latter are more teardrop shaped and purple.

Braving the cold wind on the very exposed top bit of land, I planted the saplings and made little bamboo fences around them.

I hope to get at least one more variety of fig, and plant some other small fruit bushes in between them, like wolfberries. The idea is to eat what we can, and sun/wind dry the rest for the winter. Although dried figs are available, they all come from Turkey or Iran, they have some sort of bleach on them, and they're expensive. If one may indulge in a bit of fantasy, when the trees begin to fruit, one hopes to run a few chickens in this space to eat the fallen fruit. If the model seems to work, one may even expand it.


damian said...

Figgen 'ell, now I'm getting envious! I like figs more than you do.

Rod said...

Yeah, I remember you shocking Mr Sparkle by serving figs with prostitutes. It all sounded like the most grotesque self indulgence to me. One or the other, but not both at the same time.

If you have any suggestions for cultivars that I absolutely shouldn't miss, do tell. The ones I bought were \998 a piece, but I see some online for nearly \5,000. I wonder how different they can be.

damian said...

If 'you get what you pay for' then $50 odd dollars for a figling may not be that bad. Quality fruit trees are often expensive. having said that, I like to start cheap and learn from there. 998 yen seems like an very reasonable price and if the fruit is ok and at times good but not great then I would rate it as a win.

As for specific cultivars, I am of no help at all.

Pear with prostitute is even better.

Chopped dried figs allowed to soften in the goo go very well in congee/okayu

Rod said...

The more expensive figlings advertise themselves as 'very rich and sweet' which sounds tempting. Having said that, the Dauphine variety when it's at its best is very rich and sweet. Ah, if only one could arrange a little fig tasting, it would make the whole operation less fraught with uncertainty. The same goes for the olives I'm going to plant.

Since the quality of individual fruit from the same tree often differs so widely, it'll be very nice to have some little critter running around that's happy not to waste the ones that happen to taste a little bit ... less than perfect. I don't want to go to the same sort of trouble that I see fruit farmers around here taking, paper bagging each fruit and netting everything.

I'll send you a box of figs when they're ready. You can send me a box of powder snow from Hakuba.