Friday, July 31, 2015

7/31/15 More ripe figs harvested

Another week of unusually hot weather in Seattle has created the perfect ripening conditions for figs here in the PNW. 90 degrees for most of the week.

I've been told that Peter's Honey will not ripen here but so far I've picked 4 super sweet little guys from the tree in the last couple of days.

I also have a newly discovery fig. Initially I thought it was Brunswick because of the elongated fruit, but after cutting into it and comparing the leaves, fruit shape and color, I'm pretty sure it is a Violetta.

The taste has the perfect amount of sweetness, quite figgy and a nice crunch to the seeds. It's not overly watery like a ripe desert king.

It's definitely not as large as the brunswick. the breba and the main crop appear to both have the elongated fruit. 

Fig of the week. #3 Desert King

Desert King AKA King | Charlie | White King | King

Hardiness: Hardy I grow these outside in Seattle without protection
Type: San Pedro
Fruit Ripens: July and Late September on warm seasons
Fruit Color: Green and light red interior
Taste: Perfectly sweet and juicy
Fruit Weight: 50grams
Leaf Structure: 3 large lobes
Note: One of the easiest cuttings to root. In the right conditions roots should appear in 2 weeks

King of the northwest figs.  It is prized for it's flavorful green skinned fruit and moderate cold resistance.

The Desert King variety can be traced back to the 1920’s in Madera, California. Large, skin is deep  green, minutely spotted white, pulp strawberry red. A San Pedro type fig, it normaly requires pollination for the second crop. It is vigorous and requires pruning to maximize a good production of figs. This tree is well adapted to cool areas.

* San Pedro Type
* Only the breba crops ripens, but last year it was extra warm and 2nd crop was not as tasty but edible in it's own right
* The main crop requires the fig wasp to ripen
* Fruits ripen in July. ripe fruits turn from green to a light green/yellow color
* The skin gets super soft and pulp intensely syrupy. You can drink the super ripe figs with a straw
* Large figs the size of a small fist
* Brebas grow on 2nd year wood so do not prune the fruiting branches

My personal opinion is that if you live in Seattle you have to own this variety. It's breba crop is just so productive. The proof is in the scores of trees found all over Seattle that reach higher than 25ft. Every July these trees are just loaded with fruit, more than any one family can eat.

The flavor is a mild strawberry taste without the acidity. The skin is very soft when ripe and can explode in your hands when picked overly ripe. You can probably drink a Super ripe Desert King with one of those bubble tea straws.

How to prune it.

Semi Ripe Main crop DK

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Backyard Tour of my FIG trees

Hi everyone this is a not so quick tour of my fig collection in Seattle, WA

Alma / Italian White
Black Madeira / breba preta
Black mission
Brown Turkey / Violetta x2
Brunswick/Magnolia/Vashon Violette
Celeste / Malta / Tennessee/ Violette
Chicago Hardy
Chicago Hardy
Col De Dame Noir
Conadria/Adriatic Hyrbid
Cordi Stella /Ventura/Dalmatie/Vas. Sika
Dans Favorite, Brown Turkey? Verns?
Dark Portuguese / Sals EL 
Desert King Burien
Desert King
DK Seattle Figs  Viet's x3
Granthams Royal / Dauphine / Gris de Tarrascon
Green Jolly Tiger
JH Adriatic (Conadria / Flanders)
Karachi Green
Kadota / Pingo de Mell/Dottato
King DK?
Latarulla/italian honey/ marseilles /dannys delight
Longue D'Aout/Melanzana Merdoscola
LSU Gold
LSU Purple
Marseilles Black VS, maryland bt
Maltese Falcon
Mission Small
Niagara Black / LDA
Negronne suckers
Negronne VBD
Oregon Prolific/Marseilles /Latarulla
Peters honey SKY
Petite Negra/Black Jack/Black Spanish/Aubique
Petite Negra/Black Jack/Black Spanish
Red Lebanese
Ronde Bordeaux Cuttings
Ronde Bordeaux 
Smith / TX BA-1
Tena / 
Tina, Teem, Col Di Signora Blanca
Ventura Strawberry / Verte
Verns Brown Turkey / Florea? Dauphine?
Verte (green ischia) / Calvert
Violet De Bordeaux/negronne/nero 600 / Vista
Violette Sollies/Barnisotte

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Picked a ripe Peter's Honey today!


Today I picked my 1st Peter's Honey Breba from my plant purchased at Sky Nursery. It was only 22.6 Grams. Small but it packed a ton of sugar! There were notes of honey dew and a thick honey like mouth feel but overall the flavor wasn't super strong. The skin was a bit tough. My wife and brother said it was too sweet!

UPDATE: 9/2/15
Peter's Honey update. I've been eating these for the last month or so. Picking one every week. It doesn't look like they get much bigger than this.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tropical Fruit Update 7/27/15

Tropical Fruit Update:



June Plum


Papaya Update 7/27/15

Papaya Update:

Fig of the week. #2 Gillette Fig

Fig of the week. Gillette Fig. AKA Croisic, Cordelia, St. John

Hardiness: Hardy to the Seattle Area Zone 7B. Grown Outdoors

Type: Bifere
Fruit Ripens: July and September

Fruit Color: Greenish Yellow with Yellowish Interior
Taste: When perfectly ripe it's like a mild almond joy candie bar
Fruit Weight: 50grams

Leaf Structure: 5 squat lobes
Note: super easy to root. Takes about 1 to 2 weeks to see roots

The Croisic or Gillette fig is a Caprifig having male flowers and may have some pollen. It produces a heavy crop of  medium to large green figs which ripen to greenish yellow or yellow with a good quality, sweet, clear flesh. A vigorous, productive and moderately cold hardy tree that is a good choice for the Northwestern US. Late season ripening.

It is interesting to note that the majority of the literature we have on this fig denote the quality of the figs as being very good and very sweet, whereas Dr. Ira Condit mentions in his "Figs - A Monograph" that the pulp is "insipid, lacking in sugar". Croisic was apparently sold as Gillette after the Gillett Nursery in Nevada City, California and has been grown in Oregon and Washington since the 1930's.

The Croisic or Gillette fig is also known by the names Cordelia , Pingo de Mel, and St. John according to Dr. Ira Condit.

My Personal Opinion:
After tasting these right off the tree at various stage of ripens, I find that it goes through a couple of flavor profiles. To achieve maximum sweetness you have to let this wilt on the branch. The taste is mild just not too sweet. It has a fluffy thick skin which gives it a bland but marshmallow texture. If you pick anytime before prime ripeness do not expect any sweetness from it, but when ripe it has a coconut and nutty taste to it. It's almost insipid if you do not let it ripen completely.

Photos taken By Ben B.

Air Pruning Pot Update 7/26/15

It's undeniable that air pruning pots are the way to go with growing bigger healthier plants. These are Kadota Figs rooted at the same time in the same medium.

*The only one thing to note is that the air pruning pot does have a higher volume of soil. Which may account for some.

New Fig Air Layers


It maybe a little late but I air layered a bunch of my figs today. I cut one end of a sandwich bag and slipped the entire thing over the branch that I want the air layering on. Next I scraped the area of the branch instead of girdling it. Then I use rooting hormone powder before filling the bag with dirt.

My visit with Slavi. The Fig Artist


Slavi is an artist when it comes to figs.

I got up at 5am to meet Slavi early in the morning because of his busy work schedule. Upon my arrival, he was dressed all in white. I immediately thought that he must be a painter (which coincidentally is his profession). Originally from Bulgaria, he reminds me of a 18th century artist with his graying curly hair and Rembrandt features. Instead of paint, his passion for figs is his canvas.

He welcomed me in and gave me, a total stranger, the grand tour of his figs. His front yard was lined with large planters which he had converted to custom self watering pots. I can tell that he took pride on his yard, it was nicely manicured and cared for.

There were figs sprinkled all over his property. As we passed by each fig, it felt more like we were walking in an art gallery. We studied each potted plant like a fine piece of art. Unlike Kiwibob, Slavi prefers to grow his figs with low branches that cascade over the brim of the pots. They are bonsai like in form.

To me this makes it more practical to pick the fruit from. Giant tall trees only feed the birds.

Slavi and I met on the figs4fun forum. He took notice of my frenzied fig buying state and advise me that I should concentrate on the varieties that are tasty and do well here on the Pacific Northwest. Since I was already headed down this path, I was very eager to meet and chat with him.

I've been compiling a new wish list of cool maritime figs. Luckily for me, Slavi had a handful from my wishlist and I was very excited to know that he would "hook me up".

 On my list were Grantham's Royal, Florea, Dan's Favorite, all do very well here in Seattle. Fortunately for me Slavi was very generous about giving me some from his collection. I did not go home with the Florea which was still relatively small but I have taken him up on a rain check for these.

 Slavi's baby. Black Iscia
Dans Favorite

Marlow. This is an amazing looking fig. It's called Marlow. Look at the beautiful color and goose neck on this breba.

What an absolutely gorgeous fig. I would love to grow one of these in my own collection.
Niagara Black

I'm so glad to have met Slavi. I went home with such a new inspiration for figs. I was also fortunate enough to go home with a few more figs off of the wish list!

Grantham's Royal, Dan's favorite, Longue D'Aout, Niagara Black.