Go Fig-ure

It makes sense that the written word would rekindle my relationship with two librarian sisters who inspired me when they worked at the Crestwood Library during my youth. Nancy and Sheila found my blog about a year ago. Since then, Nancy has emailed me regularly about the topics of mine that interest her. I asked Nancy to tell me about some of her favorite things. She sent several excellent blog posts for me to share with you.


My friend Frank and I tasted a fig for the first time at just about the same time, albeit miles and miles apart. Talk about ambrosia! We were hooked.

Knowing how Frank’s and his son’s minds work, they would say Ficus carica or common fig. And, knowing Frank’s crazed obsession with forensics and death, he’ll love this Wikipedia claim: “The wood of fig trees is often soft, and the latex precludes its use for many purposes. It was used to make mummy caskets in Ancient Egypt.” Do I know Frank or what?

Rumors claim that the fig was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil which Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat and whose leaves they used to cover themselves after they realized they were naked. Obviously Frank and I would have joined Adam and Eve in their fig fest.

Wikipedia goes on to say: “Like all fig trees, ficus carica requires wasp (!) pollination to produce seeds.” Can’t you see Frank bringing in a nest of wasps? There goes Jere! However, Frank lucked out. “The Brown Turkey fig has all female flowers that do not need pollination.”

The Brown Turkey, which I was advised to send to Frank, has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Who knew? “Two crops of figs are potentially produced each year. The first crop develops in the spring on last year’s shoot growth. The main fig crop develops on the current year’s shoot growth and ripens in the late summer or fall.”

One day, between Frank’s cuttings and “my” tree, I just know Frank will set up a stand selling fresh figs; dried figs; and Frank Murphy’s Fig Jam because ripe figs do not travel well. At Christmas, there’ll be figgy pudding. And Frank’s a born salesman; no doubt he’ll corner the market and clean up. Will he give me a percentage… or the unkindest cut of all?

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