Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ponte Tresa - The Manute Bol of Figs

Oh Ponte Tresa Fig you were virtually an unknown fig tree living a modest life on the border of Switzerland and Italy until some traveler discovered you, plucked you out of obscurity and thrust you into the lime light of the fig world.

Much like Minute Bol the Sudanese basketball player from the 1980s, nobody knew who he was until some recruiter brought him to play basketball in the US. He wasn't much offensively but he was one hell of a blocker. He was the only player to block more shots than score points. At 7ft 7 inches. It was probably like me blocking shots against 5 yrs olds.

Now that you've been discovered, everyone wants a piece of you.  I guess I can't blame them you do look like an impressive fig! The flavor is described as berrylike dripping with honey and a hint of citrus in the skin. Sounds delicious.

However the prices for such a rare fig has been esoteric. Almost $1000 for a small plant and $200+ for 2 cuttings. And it's cause a bit of a shit storm with certain members of the fig community. But I won't get into that. I generally pull out the popcorn and watch the fireworks as an observer.

Fortunately for me, I was able attain a single 10 inch cutting from a generous friend and I'm very grateful for it. 3/9/16.

To maximize my chances of success I made 2 node cuts for grafting onto hardy PNW rootstocks and bagged up the rest for rooting. I hear they are aggressive growers which is great news and probably be the thing that helps drives prices down for this fig.

Here's the graft cut.

And this is the final product using buddy tape.

And of course the bagged up cutting. Labelled with love and ready to go.

Update: 4/26/16
6 weeks later

1 comment:

  1. Nice ode to Ponte Tresa. The moment I saw the figs on the mother tree on that fateful day, even before picking one, splitting it into two and savoring it, I knew it was a very special fig.