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
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.