Find your favorite fig in Tucson’s most productive orchard, perhaps have a taste, and if you crave to grow one of your own edible tree, visit TODAY and TOMORROW, July 17 and 18, at Mission Garden for the Monsoon Plant Sale! It’s right at the base of A-Mountain on Mission Road from 8am-noon. (Come masked, social-distanced, and honoring each other’s safety.)
Tia Marta here inviting you to also join me by Zoom next Tuesday July 21, 2020, for an online Fig Workshop. Take a deep dive into the gifts that figs have provided for people here in the Sonoran Desert for centuries, and in the Old World for millennia. Fig traditions are so rich. A diversity of recipes abound for the domestic fig (Ficus carica), not only for the sweet fruits but also for leaves. And do you know how many ailments can be alleviated with the versatile fig? We will learn to identify the 7 heirloom varieties of figs growing productively at Mission Garden, discuss their heritage and share amazing recipes.
It’s like the legendary zucchini drops in Vermont at the height of zucchini season. When your neighbor drops a bushel of figs on your doorstep, preserving them any way you can is in order. Try sun-drying them under insect protection such as this picnic net “umbrella” or in a solar oven with the lid propped open 1/2 inch to let moisture escape.
When Padre Kino introduced the fig, higo, and higuera (fig tree in Spanish), to the O’odham of the Pimeria Alta, it was adopted right away and given the name su:na. Su:na je’e (fig tree) was planted in many Native gardens.
At our Zoom Fig Workshop we will present Hispanic, Anglo and nouvelle recipes for making delicious entrees, preserves, compotes, cookies, and even your own fig “mead elixir”! We’ll discuss fig anatomy, insect relationships, cultivation, culture….
This is a tantalizing taste of things to come in our Fig Workshop– Agave-Caramelized Figs with Yogurt!
“Poach” halved figs in 2-3 Tbsp agave nectar with sprigs of rosemary for ca 5 minutes each side.
On a serving of plain yogurt, sprinkle chia seed, then spoon caramelized figs and sauce over yogurt. Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy the fig bounty!
Full, illustrated recipe instructions for many of our Mission Garden heirloom figs will be shared at the Zoom Workshop July 21, 2020. Tia Marta hopes to see you at the Zoom Workshop or at the Mission Garden Monsoon Plant Sale SOON!
[For complete instructions on the planting and care of your new fig tree, or other edible trees in your landscape, check out the instructional video at the SWAAN website Southwest Agroforestry Action Network, a good resource.]
Note: There are many amazing fig (Ficus) species in warm parts of our Sonoran Desert in Sonora and Baja California, and in other parts of the New World, which were used and appreciated by Indigenous People–but that is another story in itself for later….!