Jumbo, the mighty fig tree

How's this for a healthy fig tree? It's loaded with green figs that will keep their bright color as they ripen. Me, I prefer the look of the brown varieties, but a fig is a fig when it comes to taste. My friend Lois cuts this one back hard in early spring and it sits by the pool. Looks like Italy, no? It gets harder and harder every year to lug this big guy back inside when the season changes. 

I've solved that problem by planting a fig that's hardy in these parts. My neighbor's fig tree, which came from mine, has produced several rounds of ripe fruit already, whereas mine and Lois' are just ripening up now.  My neighbors asked if I would harvest their figs while they're gone. Are you kidding me? Those figs never make it back to the house.

It's been a crummy summer for so many things in the garden. I'm hearing horror stories about tomatoes, for example. But for figs, the summer of 2012 is shaping up to be a bonanza. I can't wait to grill fig kebabs that have been marinating in honey or bake figs filled with goat cheese. If I can save a few on that trip back to the house, that is.