“I am the OTHER girl and the fig.”
I proudly declared this nearly four years ago when I bought my little ranch-style home on Sonoma’s west-side. I like my house, although it really isn’t anything particularly special. But my fig tree – now it’s amazing.
This tree typically evokes superlative responses from newcomers to my home. “Wow!” or “That is the most beautiful fig tree I’ve ever seen.” Or, “It’s so lush!” I don’t know if my fig is the most beautiful fig out there, but I adore it.
It was raining down plump, gorgeous, delicious figs when I first met my tree at a sparsely attended For Sale open house. If I’m honest with myself about what motivated me to buy this house, I would have to say that I bought a fig tree that came with a house rather than the other way around. Here are six reasons why I love my fig tree:
- My fig tree provides two outstanding crops of fruit each year. All told it produces a couple thousand figs each year. Honestly. We eat the figs fresh, dry them for winter consumption, make fig vinegar for salad dressings and brew fig Armagnac for our souls. Yum.
- Fig trees provide excellent shade in the summer. The other day I beat the heat and set up a portable desk under its canopy.
- I don’t have to irrigate my fig tree. It is old and wily enough to have found its own source of water somewhere deep in my soil.
- In summer it is a pleasure to look at my fig tree’s dense, lush, shiny, lobed leaves.
- In winter I enjoy my fig tree’s crazy and wild branches. Every year I consider and reject thoughts of pruning those weird branches to make my fig look tamer. But it is those wild branches that offer up the best low hanging fruit.
- Fig trees are terrific habitat plants. Plant a fig, feed a feathered friend. Raccoons seem to enjoy figs too.
Stay posted and I’ll tell you more about figs and fig trees in the days and weeks to come.