Friday, August 18, 2017

Peruvian Apple Cactus

I love the taste of Dragon fruit but I doubt I will ever get them to fruit here in Seattle. So I've been growing the  Peruvian Apple Cactus as an American substitute.

You can see where the winter growth starts and ends and all the new growth from this summer. The are fast growers in the summer. 

August 2017

September 2016

March 2016

My Back yard Spartan apples

I have a handful of apples in my backyard.

Beni shogun
Column sentinel

The Spartan is the earliest to ripen. It's also quit productive. Which I think is great but it's taste is not so great unfortunately. It does not have the sweetness or tart flavor to make it Great. 

It also doesn't store very long before getting a bit mealy. I am not a fan of mealy apples. I give this apple a 5/10 for taste. I'll probably just use them for juicing.

Florea is the earliest fig in the collection

The Florea fig is a winner here in Seattle. So fa, the Brandon Unk fig is the earliest breba but the Florea has got to be earliest main crop fig. It's only mid August and all of the figs are near ripening.

This is a great fig for collectors in areas with short seasons. It's got my endorsement!

It is currently in a 2 gallon pot but I think I'll get this guy in ground. The taste of this fig is quite spectacular as well. I have a link to the tasting scores below.

Tasting Video:


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pastillere Figs are Beautiful

Can't help but share how beautiful these Pastillere figs are. The only problem is whether or not these are smyrna figs? Well so far I've been seeing about half of them drop off of the tree. So we shall see.

Tasting Violette de Bordeaux, Florea, & Olympian Figs

Tasting Violette de Bordeaux, Florea, & Olympian Figs

The Brebas are winding down and these are about the last ones I'm picking off of my fig trees.

Violette de Bordeaux

The Violet de Bordeaux 3rd yr in ground has finally hit it's maturity level. The figs are top notch this year in terms of taste.  The color, texture, flavor and did I mention color of my VDBs this year were spectacular! The breba productivity kinda stunk though because I only pulled about 5 figs from this tree.

VDB for any Seattle grower should go in ground, you will be rewarded nicely with some of the best figs to eat.

Taste: 8
Sweetness: 7
Size: 4 (40 grams)
Productivity: .33
Total = 19.33 


This is a great fig! My 2yr old tree grown in a 2 gallon pot has proven to be incredibly productive. It had 10 figs on basically a single branch! I think it maybe a good candidate to go in ground here. It's definitely a keeper.

There's a real strong punch of sweetness and strawberry from the Florea. It's small but carries a big flavor stick.

Florea: Breba (8/14/17) - 2yr old plant
Taste: 8
Sweetness: 8
Size: 3 (22.6 grams)
Productivity: 6.6
Total = 25.6


The Olympian has gotten better and better over the last couple of years. It definitely has adapted very well to the climate that we have here in the PNW. The brebas are large and very attractive with it's bright yellow necks.

The taste on these were less figgy than the Gene's Vashon, it was sweet and melony. My kind of fig. Very little seed crunch compared to the Gene's Vashon. I'm glad to have this guy in ground it will only get more productive with time.

Taste: 7.5
Sweetness: 7
Size: 7 (68.7 grams)
Productivity: .6
Total = 22.10

Monday, August 14, 2017

Castanhal Fig Brebas have all been a bust!

I've been anticipating my Castanhal figs since I attained them last year. However every single breba has been a bust. There was one that hung on but instead of ripening it appears to have dried on the tree and has the appearance of a fig that needs caprification.

This variety may only be good for folks in California who have the figs wasp.

Here's hope that the main crop will ripen.

Previous Post

The largest Fig Tree in Seattle

Here's my tiny self next to the largest fig tree in Seattle! I'm hanging on the smallest branch.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tasting Review of the Peter's Honey, Shiro Plum, Spartan Apple, Desert King, and Gene's Vashon

Tasting Review of the Peter's Honey, Shiro Plum, Spartan Apple, Desert King, and Gene's Vashon

Peter's Honey Breba:

I think the Peter's honey grown in ground here in the PNW is a great compliment to other mild weather figs such as the Desert King, Vern's Brown Turkey, Olympian and VDB. What they have in common is that they all do well here in ground. But that's about it. The flavor profiles are so different and they all encompass the various flavors of figs. Berry tone (VDB), Melon Tone (Vern's BT), Honey tones (Peter's Honey), and the classic figgy taste (Olympian). 

The Peter's Honey fig is such a sweet fig. It's like pure honey! Even on the breba the figs are super duper sweet. The breba I ate recently was so syrupy and thick with honey. I felt like I was going to get diabetes with each bite. All kidding aside Peter's honey is a great honey fig. The main crop may not ripen here but the breba's certainly make a great snack.

If you live in Seattle add this to your in ground collection.

Taste: 7
Sweetness: 9
Size: 6 (54.4grams)
Productivity: .66
Total =  22.66

Shiro Plum:
I purchased this plum tree from a local seller. Her sells them out of his backyard. He's got great trees and for a fair price. It's been a superb grower in my yard. Very disease resistant and low maintenance. 

The plums are very delicious and usually more plump when we have more rain. But Seattle has had 55 days without rain and I only water these guys about twice a week, so they are not as juicy but the sugars have definitely concentrated and the flavor is quite good. 

Dont forget that these trees need a pollinator so if you buy one, also considering getting the following Japanese plums. 

Redheart, Early Golden, Ozark Premier, stasuma and Methley

Spartan Apple:

I have about half dozen apple varieties in my yard. Spartan by far has been the most vigorous and productive tree. It's also an early apple. Ripening in early August. 

The apple is quite pretty. It shines up nice. However based off of the the one I tried it was already quite mealy. I will have to try another from the tree to see if it's any different. I'll reserve the review until then.

Desert King:
I love the Desert King Fig. It's always so reliable and very tasty. And also very productive. I've already eaten my fill of these. A must have in ground for all cool weather climates. 

Taste: 8
Sweetness: 7
Size: 7 (61 grams)
Productivity: 2
Total =  24

Gene's Vashon:
This little guy was rooted last year. I didn't expect this little tree to bear fruit yet but it did and it wasn't too bad. 

It had a strong figgy taste with some hints of acid. Because I just had eaten the Peter's honey, this one was relatively bland compared to it. But pure sugar would've bland compared to a Peter's Honey.

My thoughts on this fig after a few yrs is that it's probably in the same family as the Olympian. So if you have one or the other you don't need both.

Taste: 5.5
Sweetness: 5
Size: 5 (42 grams)
Productivity: 1
Total =  16.

My little one also wants to get into the watering fun.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tasting Review of the Genovese Nero, Princesa, and Mislabeled Magnolia Brebas

I love walking around in the garden in the summer and discovering ripe fruit! It's why we do this whole gardening thing right? The saying "fruits of our labor" comes to mind.

It's the beginning of August and today the Shiro plums are ready to eat. There's about a dozen fruit on this medium size tree. I expect a lot more from it next year now that I have a planted a Satsuma Pollinator for it.

I also have 3 figs that are ripe.

Genovese Nero, 
and Mislabeled Magnolia Brebas.

Let's review them.

Marseilles, Princesa, Genovese Nero

Starting with the Mislabeled Magnolia Breba. (Marseilles?)

It's a pet peeve of mine to get a mislabeled fig. I always give the person the benefit of the doubt but there are scammers out there that just want to make a quick buck.  I bought this plant back in 2015 as a "magnolia". The problem is it's far from being anything that resembles a magnolia or brunswick.

My best guess is that this is a Marseilles fig which is also good. I've review this fig before so I won't go too in depth with this one.

I personally like the taste of Marseilles very sweet when dried on the tree. This little guy ripened out of the greenhouse. Lots of seed crunch back lacks and recognizable flavor beside simple syrup.

Only 22.5 grams kinda on the small side

Taste: 6.5
Sweetness: 6
Size: 3  (22.5 grams)
Productivity:  .17
Total = 15.67

And then the Princesa Fig Breba

I got this fig after seeing some reports that it was one of the better tasting figs on a taste test at one of the meetups. Purchased from Harvey in May 2016, it's still a young tree.

The fruit ripened in the greenhouse. It certainly is a good looking yellow fig. Nice shape and beautiful yellow color.

45.3 grams

Overall I wasn't too impressed with this fig. It was lacking in flavor and sweetness and borderline bland. I think I may have to create a new process for greenhouse ripened figs. I've noticed that the ones that ripen outside have much more sweetness and flavor than the figs ripened in the greenhouse.

So for now, I think I will start giving my figs that are ripening a bit more time outside to finish off the ripening process to see if it makes a difference.

Taste: 5
Sweetness: 4
Size:  5 (45.3 grams)
Productivity:  .5
Total = 14.5

Genovese Nero Breba

There is so much chatter about the genovese nero. Lot's of arguments over this one that I won't get into. This one is from Rafed. There's also the Rob's Genovese Nero which puts out huge brebas. I have that one too but it has not fruited yet.

You can see how soft this one was getting, it was also rubbing against the stake which may have affected its growth.

Luckily I have another breba on here. I'm going to put this other guy outside to ripen to see if it makes a difference in taste.

Take note of the bell shape which is quite similar to the i258 and Black Madeira. The great thing about this fig over the black madeira is that it puts out brebas. Which is great for us norther growers. 

52.1 Grams

The pulp and amount of nectar in these figs just looks delectable.

The taste of the Genovese Nero Breba was good but not on the side of amazing. It definitely had the most acid of all the brebas I've had this year. It did have some berry tones and pulp that has great texture. However the sweetness level was not nearly where I would've liked it. Again I think I need to give them more direct sun outside of the greenhouse.

*I have to add that judging 1 year old trees is not the ideal assessment, I think the tree really comes into it's peak when grown in ground on the 3rd year and beyond.

Taste:  7
Sweetness: 6
Size:  6 (52.1 grams)
Productivity:  1
Total =  20