Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ficus carica

Fig facts:
  • native of Southwest Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean
  • one of the first plants cultivated by man, pre-dating the cultivation of legumes, wheat and barley
  • one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber
  • a natural laxative
  • what is referred to as the fruit is actually the flower of the tree
  • the hole in the middle of the fruit is a narrow passage which allows the fig wasp to enter and pollinate the flower
  • figs do not keep well and can be stored in the refrigerator for only 2 to 3 days
We had a fig tree in our backyard when I was growing up. My parents didn't plant it. Rather, it came up voluntarily right over the spot where coal, for our ancient coal furnace, had been dumped for years before we bought the home.

We lived in our old house for one winter before modern forced air heating was installed. This was due to the fact that a coal furnace must be taken care of continually or the fire will go out. It has to be stoked at night and started up again in the morning before the house gets warm...so you get the picture. After one winter of that....modern heating was installed. Shortly thereafter the fig tree sprung up.

It was a favorite of both my parents and the envy of most of our neighbors. And it faithfully produced plump, juicy figs summer after summer. But if the truth must be told, I never liked figs very much. They are too sweet for me. (see the big blob of green behind teenage me? It's our famous fig tree in its fruity glory)

My son TJ has a couple of small fig trees growing in the yard of his little rented home. He enjoys the fruit and shares it with my parents. I asked him to bring a few over so that I could photograph them. We placed them on my frosted glass cutting board and snapped away. When I uploaded the pictures to my computer I noticed the strange floating fig phenomenon.

taken in TJ's yard last spring

If I had known how good figs are for your health, I would have eaten a few more this year.


  1. Loved this post! What a great picture of you!
    Sadly, here in Scandinavia, all we get to enjoy are dried figs around Christmas. Forget seeing figs growing in nature! I have seen them though in the south of Europe; now that is an exotic sight for me.;))

  2. It must be fig season. I have seen figs on several blogs. I have never eaten figs except as a fig newton cookie. It has been a revelation to see them in this state. I love the old picture of you.

  3. Its never too late .. look for Fage Greek Yogart .. comes fat free or with 2%, 5% or full fat ... the fat free is excellent .. have a sliced or diced fig with some .. yummmmmy

  4. I love figs in very small doses but I adore dried figs. Weird

    beautiful shots

  5. I don't think I've ever tasted a fresh fig.. but your photos sure do look great. As for the floating one.. it was a fig-ment of your imagination.

  6. I have always LOVED Fig Newtons which the rest of my family SHUNS...I would think I would love a fresh fig!
    Great photo of teen Stevie!

  7. Figs are yummy. This was a neat post. Look at you being all skinny. I'm loving all these old pictures. I'm debating whether to put a picture I took today on my blog. I probably will say, why not? Your baby is growing so fast. What a doll!

  8. I agree, they are way to sweet. I take on bite and they turn my stomach. Too bad


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