Monday, October 16, 2017

Fig Ripening Chart for the PNW

In my mind there's 4 types of figs to categorize in terms of when they ripen here in the Pacific Northwest Zone 8B

1. Breba Figs (June-August)
2. Early Main Figs (July-August)
3. Mid Season Fig (September)
4. Late Figs (October and Later)

This list will evolve:

Breba Figs (June-August)  Early Main Figs (July-August) Mid Season Fig (September-Mid Oct) Late Figs (Mid-October and Later)
Black Spanish Brandon Unk Atreano Abebereira Preta
Brandon Unk Celeste Black Madeira Abicou
Brunswick Florea Brown Turkey Adriatic
Cordi Stella LSU Tiger Celeste Blava 
Dalmatie Marseilles Chicago Hardy Brunswick
Desert King Mt Etna Conadria Col De Dame (All)
Fiorone Di Ruvo Long Yellow Cordi Stella Dalmatie 
Gene's Vashon De La Gloria Dans Favorite
Genovese Nero Wuhan Excel Dauphine
Gillette Fiorone Di Ruvo Deanna
Grantham's Royal Flanders Emalyns Purple
Green Goliath Golden Riverside Fracazano Bianco Fig 
King Fig Green Greek Fragola Nero
Lattarula Hmari Galicia Negra Figrific
Lebanese Red Lattarula Galicia Negra Willis
Marseilles Longue Daout GE Neri
Mavara Sika LSU Champagne Genoa
Olympian LSU Tiger Ginos Black
Oregon Prolific Malta Black Greek Papa 
O'rourke Marseilles VS Black Green Goliath
Peter's Honey Mavara Sika Green Jolly Tiger
Petite Negra Natalina Grise De St Jean
Princessa Osborne Prolific Gros Monstreuse Di Liapri
Vasilika Sika Palermo Sicily Hardy Hartford
Vincenzo Pellegrino Hollier 
Violet De Bordeaux Preto Igo
Atreano Princessa Italian 258
Bayernfeige Violletta Qusaaya Italian Black 
Conadria Red Sicilian Jurupa
English Brown Turkey Ronde De Bordeaux Kadota 
Madeleine d Deux Seasons Salem Dark Karachi Green 
Negronne Sals Corleone Kathleen's Black
Nero 600 Smith Lake Spur
Orphan Sugar 12 Lampeira Preta - Harvey
Jin Ao Phan Takoma Violet Lampeira Preta - Slavi
De Tres Esplets Texas Everbearing Laradek EBT
Italian 376 Valle Negra Loura Black
GT-1 Vern's Brown Turkey LSU Gold
San Miro Verte Madeleine des Deux Saisons
GM20 Violet De Bordeaux Malta Purple
Improved Celeste Maltese Beauty
Colderwood Unk Marlow
Hardy Chicago Mary Lane
Native Black Becnel
Niagara Black 
Noire De Barbentane
Noire De Bellone
Noire De Caromb 
Ohra Tabahanosika
Pananas Purple
Pappa John
Paradiso Gene Gr
Paratjal Rimada
Ponte Tresa
Mary Lane

Fig Tasting: Kathleen's Black, LSU Champagne & Wuhan + A Critter problem

Fig Tasting: Kathleen's Black, Wuhan & LSU Champagne + A Critter problem

All of these figs are new to me this year. I would've had a handful of others to taste this year but there's a critter in my yard that has developed a taste for my figs. And it's done a significant amount of damage.

Here's a list of the figs that it has eaten:
1. Black Madeira
2. Pellegrino
3. LSU Gold
4. Hmari
5. Florea
6. Black Spanish
7. Dan's Favorite
8. Flanders
9. Preto
10. Brandon Unk
11. Vista
12. King

All this time I've been thinking some of these trees just do not do well and are not fruiting. When in reality this critter has been making a meal out of my expensive figs.

Kathleen's Black (10/15/17) 3yr Old Plant
1 Crop
Taste: 8.5
Sweetness: 7
Size: 3 (22.8G)
Productivity: 1
Total = 19.5

I purchased this fig because my friend David Eden said it made the Chicago Hardy taste like pig fodder. I happen to like Chicago Hardy. So this fig must be amazing. Well it took a few yrs to finally get a ripe fruit. It's on the cusp of being a late fig. In my book anything that ripens in mid October and later can be considered late in Seattle. Our heat units are lower (between 38-60F), days are shorter, and the figs are closing in on dormancy.

It was worth the wait.  I was expecting a black strawberry jammy fig. Which kinda describes hundreds of varieties figs out there. However this guy had a hint of caramel. I think it could've been sweeter too but it hasn't been hot enough to get it to optimal sweetness.

However the distinct caramel taste of this fig makes it a keeper. It's not the most productive fig but the flavor is unique which makes me like it even more.

LSU Champagne (10/15/17) 3yr Old Plant
1 Crop
Taste: 6.5
Sweetness: 5.5
Size: 2 (19.9G)
Productivity: 1
Total = 14

I'm on the fence about the LSU Champagne. It ranks very averagely for me. The flavor has a slight winey fermented taste to it, which is probably how it derived it's name. I'll keep it for another year but doubt if it's a variety I'll keep in the long run unless it changes it flavor profile drastically next year.

Wuhan (10/15/17) 3yr Old Plant
1 Crop
Taste: 2
Sweetness: 2
Size: 3 (22.2G)
Productivity: 1
Total = 8

I'm only 70% sure that this is identified as a Wuhan. Daniel Mitre from amazon sold it as a Black Madeira. I would avoid him as seller anywhere.

1 word about this fig. "AACCKK!" Avoid it.

Watch the Video

Monday, October 9, 2017

Princessa Main Crop Fig - Not a winner

Princesa Main Crop (10/01/17) 2yr old plant
Taste: 6.5
Sweetness: 5
Size: 4 (39.5G)
Productivity: 2 
Total = 17.5

Based on the Breba and Main crop of the Princesa fig. I cannot recommend this fig for the PNW. It's just not that flavorful or sweet. The one positive is that it is a reliable producer of 2 crops.

Fig Tasting: Black Madeira, Valle Negra, Pellegrino, Ronde De Bordeaux, Fiorone Di Ruvo, & Fake Black Madeira

October Fig Fest 2017

The beginning of October marks a great time for ripe Main Crop figs! One the plat today  Black Madeira, Valle Negra, Pellegrino, Ronde De Bordeaux, Fiorone Di Ruvo, & Fake Black Madeira.

I wish I could share it with you. Perhaps next year I can invite some fig folks to do a tasting.

Black Madeira Main Crop (10/04/17) 3yr old plant
Taste:  11/10
Sweetness: 8.5
Size: 4 (4.6 grams)
Productivity: 5
Total =  28.5

The Black Madeira fig should be known as the "King of Figs". It may not be the largest, most expensive, or rare" but it certainly is the Best all around fig in terms of taste, productivity and ripening schedule. It's in a league of it's own in terms of taste and sugar content. Perfectly sweet with such a rich lingering flavor.  I still fantasize about every bite.

Valle Negra Main Crop (10/04/17) 3yr old plant
Taste:  8
Sweetness: 8.5
Size: 3(25.6 grams)
Productivity:  2
Total = 21.5

This fig has a lot of qualities similar to the MVSB, The leave are somewhat different but the fruit has very similar qualities to the MVSB. Both, are very good figs. Another strawberry jam tasting fig with good sweetness and flavor. The skin has a nice texture to it giving it a nice bite.  Great tasting fig that's a keeper. 

Pellegrino Main Crop (10/04/17) 3yr old plant
Taste:  6.5
Sweetness: 6
Size:  5 (45.5 grams)
Productivity:  3
Total = 20.5

I was first attracted to this fig because of the size of it when it was first posted. I do have an affinity for large figs. The novelty of it is fun for me. Plus I keep coming up with various categories of figs to add to the collection. Like size, taste, color, region, rarity, etc...

This particular fig kinda reminds me of a Longue D'Aout. A long french fig. The taste is quite average but it doesn't help that I'm eating it along side so many great figs like the Black Madeira, Hmari, and RDB. I'm sure if I had eaten it by itself I'd score it higher. 

Still this is a great fig. I love the shape and beauty of it.

Ronde De Bordeaux Main Crop (10/04/17) 3yr old plant
Taste:  8
Sweetness: 7 
Size:  3 (24.4 grams)
Productivity:  2
Total = 20

This fig belongs in the top 10 of any Fig collection. It is cold hardy, tasty and reliable. I may have picked this guy a tad too early, so this particular one was at it's prime ripening stage. That's my fault. The RDB is a great fig to have!

Fiorone Di Ruvo Main Crop (10/04/17) 3yr old plant
Taste:  6.5
Sweetness: 5.5
Size:  7 (63 grams)
Productivity:  2
Total = 21

I'm very happy with the Fiorone Di Ruvo! It put's out huge brebas (mine dropped this year) and the main crop aint bad either. As with most large figs that taste is usually a bit more water down but this young tree is quite promising. I think it will only get better with age. Mine is grafted onto a Desert King. The fact that it ripens 2 crops and is so huge makes me fall in love with it. Like fine wine it will get better with age. 

Hmari Main Crop (10/04/17) 3yr old plant
Taste:  7
Sweetness: 8
Size:  3 (20.5 grams)
Productivity:  2
Total = 20

This Hmari is different from Bass's. His is green this is more of a purple black. I have been patiently waiting for these figs now for about 3yrs. And it doesn't fail to impress me. There so many qualities that this fig possesses that makes it a winner. 

It was green housed until August to give it more heat units then brought outdoors to ripen. I love the taste, the crackling skin, sweetness and flavor. So gorgeous.

Fake Black madeira Main Crop (10/04/17) 3yr old plant (Might be a Wuhan)
Taste:  1.5
Sweetness: 1
Size:  5 (47.4 grams)
Productivity:  1
Total = 8.5

So I was scammed on Amazon from Daniel Mitre who was selling Black Madeira Fig Cuttings. Apparently he got quite a few of us with his listings. Another grafted tree on a DK root stock. Clearly this fig is a not a Black Madeira. From the leaves to the brown yellow fruit. It reminds me of wuhan.

Everything about this fig was disppointing.