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In which the long-nurtured fig cuttings bear fruit…

March 28, 2012 | Forest Gardening | 17 comments | Author:

So a little while ago (ok quite some time ago – like 4 years) I took a bunch of fig cuttings from an old abandoned orchard across the creek, and potted them up. And they grew. So we planted them. And guess what? This week, we ate our first figs, and they were delish. Hooray!

When I took the cuttings from this magnificent old fig i knew the plant stock was hardy for our area. What I didn’t know at the time was whether the figs were any good or not. But, biomass is biomass, and we needed lots of it, so back in 2008 we hedged our bets and potted and then planted up about 40 fig cuttings.

4 year old fig cutting planted on our main swale, now over 2m high...

Some of the figs are going great guns, some are a little slower to start flourishing. None of them are heavily loaded with ripening figs this year, but there are some. And importantly, they taste great.

And so I am happy. May we get figs in such drastic quantities someday soon that they can only be managed by gorging ourselves on figs with Warré honey and fresh ricotta, and by preserving them en-mass.

Please stand by for the original video of how to grow figs from cuttings featuring a much younger and not yet beset by the glories of parenthood, nor the full implications of trying to establish a permaculture farm, version of me.

[wpvideo MgPgeN7N]

And the article also if you’re super keen. Rest assured we’ll be taking more cuttings this winter…

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  • Terra Permaculture March 28, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply

    that version of you is what got me started !!! I watched those videos and thought jeez, cool, that’s what I want to do!!! great folks, must meet them!
    having said that, I like the new you – parenthood suits you well (and in the meantime I got one munchkin of my own…).
    enjoy those figs! [mouth-watering now, great!]

  • Urban GreenSpace March 28, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply

    Great video!

  • Kat Szuminska March 28, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply

    Wow, I was only wondering about what happened to those cuttings yesterday. ….. About two years after this video was posted I found myself helping out pruning awesome fig trees and knew exactly what to do with all those cuttings. Yay for posting your super helpful instructables!

  • Dobba March 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply

    I love figs. Salads, pizza, jam, bottling – they rock.

  • Little Sis March 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply

    I am drooling and am preparing to do more research of the hardiness of fig trees.

  • Erin March 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply

    Awesome, thank you. I am putting in a Peters honey and a Negronne fig this year. I also have a willow tree, how lucky. Can’t wait to take cuttings some day.

  • narf77 March 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply

    My little baby is cheering because now it knows that it will probably make it to old age. I took it from a tree that was just about to be removed from Launceston central and it was the only cutting that grew. I adore figs and had to watch a local numpty cutting down a magnificent Black Turkey fig tree on a property while we were walking the dogs the other day. I had to turn away because that tree had been there for many years and bore the best figs that I have ever tasted in my whole life (and I have tasted quite a few). Kudos on your figs and when I get time I will watch the video. Nothing like getting something for free to make you smile when you are reaping the benefits :)

  • Sandy March 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply

    That post got me started too! We’ve got a range of little trees giving it there best shot as we speak. I can’t wait until they are old enough to have us gorging on fruit!

  • LightFoot Education March 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Reply

    Isn’t it wonderful when you finally get some fruit off a tree! I nurtured my first one and only pear this year, the other half of the tree is grafted with a Nashi and that’s yielded for a few years already. So after 6 year my first pear was the yummiest pear I’ve ever had. :D

    May your figs be abundant in future years!

  • compostcorner March 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply

    Cool! I have fig trees in pots from Mum waiting to go out on the railway verge (to keep their roots clear of our foundations and pipes), but this makes me want to go out and make more baby fig trees… ;) Thanks!

  • riabaeck2 March 29, 2012 at 5:39 am | Reply

    This makes me realise I’m following your blog already 4 years! And I’m still looking forward to every post! If you were not on the other side of the globe I would come and visit you.
    From Belgium,

  • Jason Black March 29, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply

    There’s nothing like fresh figs off the tree, is there?

    Looks to me like yours need another few days on the tree, though. That garnet/red color on the inside should extend much further through the flesh, towards the rind, than I’m seeing in the photo at the top of this post.

    They’re still yummy at the stage you’re showing, but I’m telling you, wait until they’re truly ripe for an out-of-this-world experience.

    1. milkwoodkirsten March 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply

      Oh Jason IT”S OUR FIRST FIG and we wanted to eat it NOW… also the birds found the ones we tried to ripen further on the tree… must look for best off-tree ripening techniques (if there are any). But yes you’re quite right. Darn nature eating our figs…

  • Gardening Edgbaston March 30, 2012 at 4:37 am | Reply

    Many thanks for posting this article. I am a professional gardener and couldnt find any information in my books about propagating figs. Then i came accross this article and now have all ther information i need.

  • rachel rose March 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply

    oh my gosh that version of you is so fun and inspiring and … well, adorable. I’m already harbouring a great wish to jump the ditch and come and woof for a bit at milkwood, so here’s hoping I’ll get to meet the present day/future version of you also. love the blog, thanks for sharing; am learning heaps already.

  • Peter April 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply

    Congratulations on you figs.

    I was inspired by your video to propagate my own fig trees too. Marvelous how many fig trees there are on public land when you’re looking for cuttings. Our new trees are health and sprouting leaves thanks to your instruction/encouragement.

    Only have 3 years to figs ….I can wait that long, I know I can.



  • daniel February 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply

    would you like to trade some fig tree cuttings? please feel free to contact me at [email protected]


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