You Mean the Stuff Inside Fig Newtons?

Growing figs is a tradition in my family. My parents have close to a dozen edit: half-dozen re-edit: dozen(!) trees of various varieties, originally obtained from “the fig man” on Long Island. All of their trees are planted in large pots so they can be brought into a protected, but cool, place (aka the garage) to go dormant for the winter. So, when Tim and I got our first fig tree (as a honeymoon souvenir from Jefferson’s Monticello), we continued in the same tradition of bringing it in every winter. I probably shouldn’t mention that it died in our apartment kitchen one winter when we were living in our apartment.

a few tiny figs we were able to pick last summer before the squirrels got them…

However, over the years, we’ve seen several examples of figs thriving outdoors year-round — especially in more urban areas. So we decided to try it with the two trees we now have (both splits from my parents’ trees). We were fairly confident that our trees would survive the winter, but took several steps to make that success even more certain.

First, we planted them in the sunniest spot in the yard, which because of the fence, is also fairly sheltered from winds…

Then we rigged up a big cage out of two tomato cages, inside which we hung burlap. Said burlap was attached with twist ties and held down at the bottom by bricks…

Next, we filled the cavity with oh… about a kajillion leaves…

and lastly, we covered the top with more burlap. Fancy, right?

Then this guy came by to wish us good luck with his last dying breath.
Well, not really, but it makes for a more dramatic story, doesn’t it?

And then winter happened.

And happened some more.

And happened even more,

until we could hardly stand it anymore!!!

Finally spring arrived (sigh), and we decided it was safe to open up the cage and let the little figgies out…

aaaand we have buds, people!

We may have to prune a bit off the top of one of the trees, but overall, it seems to have been a successful over-wintering!
Now, if we could just keep the squirrels away…


Kitchen Runner (on the Cheap)!


9 thoughts on “You Mean the Stuff Inside Fig Newtons?

  1. AHEM. We have around HALF a dozen fig trees. Get your facts right, sis. And if it makes you feel better, one of our little trees (a clipping from last year) looks like it didn’t make it through the winter…so loosing a little off the top of yours isn’t so bad. As for the NEXT post- sounds interesting! Did you have any help? ;)

  2. Hi Vick, We have two little trees I started in the house and Dad started three outside (one didn’t make it) so I would say with the small ones we have about 9 fig trees. :)

  3. Hey, do you have any fig recipes you are willing to share? I usually make preserves with ours or can them whole in a lemon rind and sugar syrup. Kim made a fig tart that was excellent also.

    • We haven’t gotten enough from our trees (yet) to warrant recipes. We eat anything we get fresh. Even my parents mainly eat theirs fresh. Last year, though, we did make a small batch of preserves, which went really great with goat cheese.

      Have you tried making homemade fig newtons??? :)

      I’m curious, do you guys protect your tree in the winter? From the size of it, it seems to be thriving where you have it planted!

  4. Awwwwwwww look at that little bud! Very impressive. Fresh figs taste delish with goat cheese as well as fig preserves — you can omit a step if you like!

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