There were a few that died, due to a hot dry season and weed competition, but the survivors have grown and established themselves well without any chemical fertilisers, herbicides, or fungicides. In 2005 and 2006 we took more cuttings from the first block and planted another 120 trees in front of the cottage, on a 5 x 6.5m spacing. The hellishly hot dry summer took a few again, but the survivors established well and began cropping in about 2008. The rain of late 2010 was a boon for the trees and now they are yielding their best crop ever.About 1/3 of our fig varieties are white skinned, white fleshed, and what call cooking varieties, mainly because they dont look as good as the red skinned or red fleshed varieties. They are also the first to ripen.We pick them at sunrise when they are cooler and firmer and thus keep better before sale or cooking.
A video of Richard telling when a fig is ripe to pick.
A locavore. The biggest hinderance to picking is the spiders webs, as the orb weavers take advantage of the rich pickings of their own. Their webs go right across the 7 metre rows!
Whilst the trees may be easy to grow, figs are more challenging to pick in good condition. First there is the danger of pre-harvest rain and splitting, which has happened before. Or heatwaves and sunburn. Or drought and abortion of fruit. Or birds eating them. Luckily, this year we have had none of these problems!