The Sticky Fig

Garden

My dream of having a small plot to grow fruit and veggies in came true when we moved into our home a few years ago.  In the summer, especially, the garden really is an extension of the kitchen and, although we’re not experts by any stretch of the imagination, it hasn’t stopped us from just getting on and having a go – in much the same way that I do in my kitchen.  We’ve grown all sorts; from the experimental salsify and samphire (which you have to water with salt water…what a pain) to the perennial sweetcorn and spring onions…(we like to stick to veggies that begin with ‘s’…it’s a silly thing ;)) and it’s actually very easy – nature does all the hard work!  There is enormous satisfaction (or in my more ‘gushy’ moments, incredulity) in witnessing the daily progress of a tiny seed becoming what it was destined to become…a plant and its fruit. *ahh sigh*

Of course there are inevitable failures, but then that’s true with even the experts.  The variables of what determines a successful crop are too numerous to mention and many of them are out of our control. UK weather is, at the best of times, unpredictable, but the change in our climate witnessed over recent years has fuelled this petulant fire. So we accept that some things do amazingly well sometimes, and some things don’t. We just keep trying…it’s fun – really it is!

One plant – nay tree – that I’m not so laissez-faire about is our fig tree.  Each year I hang my hopes upon its knobbly branches – fig-shaped hopes – but never has such strong desire and dedication yielded so little result. The stubborn refusal of those little green figs to ripen and become the soft purple lusciousness that they promised to be is almost unbearable! I’ve read about the conditions they like; it has an ideal position against a warm brick wall with constrained roots and it’s well sheltered blah blah blah…but it still holds out on us.

I can’t be placated by shop bought figs – sorry guys, they’re just not the same – and instead am forced (against my will, mister fig tree) to resort to theft.  I can’t say any more than that…but please know that I don’t feel good about it.

I named this blog after the object of my horticultural and culinary desire; the elusive and utterly perfect sticky fig. It represents my ambition and ultimate reward – there is simply nothing more perfect than a soft warm fig straight off the tree. It’s a fact. Don’t argue.

Perfect droopy sweet fig

3 thoughts on “Garden

  1. Jess

    I have three fig trees and last year we finally got lovely plump figs……..but they were all green!! Pants! So I picked about two kilos of them and made green fig preserve (a serious labour of love!)… It’s a South African thing but when paired with cheese, biscuits and a wee tipple it is DELICIOUS! Here’s to gorgeous plump purple figs this year! I shall think of you! My trees already have itty bitty figs-a-coming!!!! 🙂 xx

  2. Mandy Post author

    Three fig trees? Well, that’s just greedy! 😀 We had the same thing – the figs came quite early and grew fairly fast, so we were quietly confident that we’d be feasting on a few. But then they just came to a halt and refused to ripen, as you say – just hard and green 🙁 So you can make a preserve with un-ripe figs then? I’m sure anything’s good with cheese, biscuits and booze! 🙂 Let’s hope 2014 is the Year of The Fig! xx

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