Growing and Sharing Farmette Figs

Author: Meera, September 12, 2015

It’s that time of year when our fig trees reward us with a second crop of sweet, juicy fruit, best eaten right from the tree.



We aren’t the only ones who love to eat figs. The birds and raccoons are leaving telltale marks that they’re helping us devour this sweet fruit. And it’s no wonder.



Figs are a nutrient-rich food with antioxidant properties. They contain magnesium, vitamin B6, fiber, and beneficial amounts of calcium and iron.




The White Genoa fig produces sweet dessert figs, twice a year

The White Genoa fig produces sweet dessert figs, twice a year




We grow a couple of varieties of figs on the farmette–a White Genoa and Brown Turkey. Our neighbors also have towering fig tree with a canopy that reaches over the neighbor’s house. The tree is loaded now with baseball-size, dark purple fruit. I believe it’s a Black Mission fig, introduced into California by Father Junipero Serra who planted them in 1769 at the San Diego mission.



Our Brown Turkey fig produces a crop twice each year. The first crop, known as the breba grows on last season’s wood. The second, and more abundant crop, grows on new wood.The fig has rose-colored flesh inside a brownish-purple skin that tends to crack open with the fig is overripe.



The White Genoa is self-fruitful and has yellow-green skin with strawberry-colored pulp. The taste is mild and sweet and can be enjoyed as fresh fruit or paired with tangy goat cheese. The tree bears two crops each year and benefits from a vigorous pruning in the autumn after the figs are harvested.



Both figs will lose their leaves, leaving only their bark color and scaffolding as winter interest in the garden. The White Genoa’s bark is light gray whereas the Brown Turkey has a darker shade of grayish-brown bark.



These trees can be grown in containers and kept to about six feet tall for people who don’t have a lot of space for a tree that can otherwise reach 15 to 20 feet.




Figs aren’t fussy about soil, but won’t tolerate excessive water. They like the sun and are pretty hardy here in Northern California. Many figs are self-fruitful, but keeping bees means I have pollinators to help the fig crops along.




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