Harvest Monday, August 26, 2013 – First Figs + First Asian Pears

My fig tree sits in a huge container on my driveway. Making it very convenient for me to check for ripe figs on my way to get the morning newspaper (this has been my routine for the past few weeks).

Picked my first fig of the season on 8/19/13. It was perfectly ripe, soft to the touch and no blemish. Popped it into my mouth on the spot, sweet as honey, oh, sooooo delicious.

Oops, this is (was) the first fig, must take a photo. Too late.

Figs (5617)

Not the first one but they made it into the photo

Had lunch with friends and brought figs to share. One of my friends was thrilled to see the figs as they brought back memories of picking figs from her grandmother tree. Also shared the bounty with neighbors and other friends.

Having company next week, not knowing how long the harvest will last, decided to save some in the freezer. The variety of fig I have freezes well.

Figs (5621)

Figs on Tree
The fig on the lower left should be ready in a day or two

Notice how the fig on the lower left is drooping while all the others are standing straight and tall? The drooping tells me that the fig should be ready in a day or two but I usually wait longer before picking to allow the fig to ripen a bit more and get sweeter. Of course, by doing so I am taking chances since I am not the only one eyeing the ripe figs. So far I am winning, the critters have not yet realized that the figs are ripening.

◊ ◊ ◊

Picked my first Asian pear of the season. Noticed some critters are enjoying my pears. (there are a few partially eaten fruits on the ground). Am determined to not have a repeat of last year’s loss (click here for last year’s episode), so am checking my pears daily. As soon as one is ready, it gets picked.

Asian pear (5636)

Asian Pears

Asian pears (5647)

Asian Pears
The pears in this section of the tree was not thinned at the proper time resulting in smaller fruits

Pears will self-thin. Not knowing how many baby pears will fall off the tree on their own, I wait a little while before thinning the clusters, was a bit late. Will try to do better next year.

◊ ◊ ◊

Not much to do in the garden right now except to water, some weeding but mostly harvest and keep an eye out for critters.

Summer harvest (5630)

Ping Tung Eggplant, Okra, Cucumber & Asian Pears

The above photo is showing part of my harvest for the week. Not photoed are more red noodle beans, yard long beans, broccoli, mustard, Swiss chard, callaloo (amaranth), kale tomatoes …

Speaking of tomatoes, I took great care while harvesting the biggest ripe yellow tomato in the garden, it was the size of 2 fists. Brought it up to the shed for weighing. Would you believe I dropped it. Yes, I did. Was not happy with me.

But am happy that my garden is producing well and I am able to share my bounty with friends.

◊ ◊ ◊

Bloomerang lilacs

Bloomerang-reblooming Lilacs

Yes, my bloomerang-reblooming lilac is blooming in August, not as profusely as in the spring but still gorgeous and fragrant.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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66 Responses to Harvest Monday, August 26, 2013 – First Figs + First Asian Pears

  1. Eha says:

    Well Norma: the harvest time surely is the most satisfying time . . .and your basket looks lovely. But, about the figtree: roughly how wide across the top is your big pot and about how high has your tree grown? I know various figtree types do grow here and I do not have one: in my smallish garden a potted one would be absolutely perfect!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      My fig container measures 19 inches x 19 inches in width (it is a square container) and 16 inches in height. The tree is about 6 feet tall. I have to wheel my fig tree into the garage for winter storage and wheel out in the spring.

      • Eha says:

        Bingo: have one roughly that size free!!! And since we do not go below 0 C, methinks it will love me even if I do leave it outdoors 🙂 ! Thanks a lot!!!!!!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eha,
        No problem with leaving it outdoors year round where you live. You are welcome, do keep me updated.

  2. Karen says:

    Your harvest sounds very bountiful this past week…that is wonderful.

  3. You dropped a two fisted yellow tomato? I’d be upset too. I had a huge fig tree in New Zealand and it was a fight every day to see who got the ripe figs. Usually I lost and the parrots won.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maureen,
      Yes, I dropped it so it did not make it to the scale. We do not have parrots in this part of the world but there are plenty of other critters lurking near the tree.

  4. tokyohamster says:

    Figs! I’ve never seen a fig tree in person, but I would love love love to have one in my yard if I had a yard! They’re so expensive to buy. Actually, I read about a goose farm in Spain that let their geese run free and eat all of the natural plants around the farm including figs, peppers, etc. All of that flavor would go into their bodies and make for some tasty goose 🙂

  5. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love the look of your figs. How wonderful to look up and see such abundance of a highly prized fruit. I love the look of your pears too and I do hope you’re able to harvest all of your fruit before it’s stolen by little critters xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      I will be losing some of my fruits to critters, there are already partially eaten fruits littering the ground. Previous years I harvested as needed as the pears remaining on the tree do get a bit sweeter, but this year I will harvested as they are ready and store in the fridge or share with family and friends.

  6. Daphne says:

    Lovely figs. I’m hoping I’ll get some this year. Once they start turning brown, how long do they take to ripen fully? I wish I could have a fig in a pot, but without a garage I have no where to put it in the winter. So I struggle to grow my figs in the ground. Figs really aren’t meant to be grown in zone 6 in the ground. This year I’m going to try to protect them even better. We will see if I ever get a ripe fig for all my effort.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      I don’t know how many days as I never paid attention. Figs started appearing on my tree around early/mid June and I had my first ripe fig 8/19.
      My son-in-law overwinters his fig trees in his basement. I was thinking the bottom of the bulkhead would work also.

  7. Sophie33 says:

    Your fig tree is earlier ready by giving you fresh ripe figs then mine,..They are still too unripe! 😦 I hope it will be soon! 😉 Your Asian pears look really lovely too!

  8. Too bad about the tomato 😦 but your other harvests look awesome, especially the figs! What variety is it, and do you bring it indoors in the winter?

  9. That’s too bad about the tomato, Norma! 😦 But your other harvests look awesome, especially the figs. What variety is it, and do you bring it indoors in the winter?

  10. Stoney Acres says:

    Beautiful harvest this week! I sure wish we could grow figs, but our winters are just too cold and our summers to short :(.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Rick,
      What zone are you in? I am in zone 5 (but I think it is now considered zone 6) must grow my fig tree in container and bring into the garage to overwinter.

  11. Norma – the figs and the pears look fantastic. I surely will have a go again with terrace gardening once I can not travel so much any more. Years ago I literially spend a small fortune of buying plants for the terraces and due to NO water when we were away, everything has died. Its heartbraking and makes me long for my UK garden – but we are here now, so no crying over spilled milk etc. Carina 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Carina,
      Yes, one cannot travel and garden unless there is help. I hired my neighbor’s kid to water my fig tree while I was away for 10 days and that made all the differences in whether I get a harvest or not.

  12. wow Norma…lucky you having your own fig and pear trees!

  13. Kim says:

    Those pears look perfect, I remember how delicious there were last year when you shared some with me :0). How do you keep the fig tree fertilized and alive year round? Oh my the figs look great, no wonder the critters can’t leave them alone……do the deer ignore them?
    Nice harvest Norma, love and miss those eggplant, can’t find them down here, might have to grow them next year.

    Happy Gardening

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      The pears look perfect but would be sweeter if left on the tree a bit longer but if I do the critters will get to them before I do.
      I have to fertilize the fig frequently, using 1/4 strength fish emulsion fertilizer at least once a week and also side dress with granular fertilizer at the beginning of the season and mid-season. The deer, so far, have left them alone.
      The Ping Tung grows well in container. Only 1 plant in a large container, please. It should grow very well for you as you do have a warmer and longer growing season.

  14. My neighbor has a GIGANTIC fig tree planted in their front yard that spills over to the street and sidewalk. I keep walking by and stalking it to see if the figs are ripe. It must have hundreds of figs, I figure they won’t miss 1 or 2 😉

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Alyssa,
      How I wish I could plant my fig tree in the ground but it would not survive our winter. I am sure your neighbor is happy to share with you, what variety is it, do you know?

  15. I had dreams about figs last night…what a crazy and wonderful coincidence! They’re all so plump! You’re a magician, for sure, Norma =)

  16. Patsy says:

    Your fruits are lovely! I have never had either fresh figs or Asian pears, but they look delicious. Sorry about your dropping that large tomato, hope it wasn’t too damaged.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Patsy,
      You would love them both especially picked tree ripened. The figs were sweet as honey, the pears would be sweeter if left on the tree for a few more days, but then the critters would get to them before I do.

  17. Your Asian pears look so beautiful, I have never seen them before 😀
    Sorry about your tomato though, that was unfortunate!

    Choc Chip Uru

  18. ChgoJohn says:

    Such good news this week, Norma. Your figs are ripening and the pear tree is laden with fruit. I wish I had planted a twice-blooming lilac. I enjoy mine in the Spring and wish I could see it bloom again now, when Summer is nearing its end. Too bad about the tomato. I guess the garden gods needed feeding. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Definitely goods news. Oh, the figs were sooooo sweet. I wish I could leave most of the Asian pears on the tree until late September early October, they would be so much sweeter and crisper, but I would be asking for a repeat of last year’s heart break.
      Do you have room for a late-blooming lilac? Mine is a dwarf shrub and bloomed the first year I planted it.

  19. Yay! Love the look of those Asian pears.

  20. mac says:

    The Asian pear tree is gorgeous, wish I can grow one here.

  21. Sorry to hear about that tomato! I’m so impressed by your Asian pears. The tree looks beautiful – how old is it? I wonder if they would grow here… We have been enjoying figs too; we have one tree that just grew really fast and we spent weeks gobbling figs. Ours are petering out now though.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Siobhan,
      I think my Asian pear tree is over 20 years old, not sure. How large is your fig tree? You are fortunate that you can plant and keep it in the ground year round but where I am it is not possible.

  22. I don’t blame you for not capturing the first fig, I’d be gobbling it down too! I love figs, wish I could grow them here, but the native birds would swoop, net or no net

  23. Juliana says:

    I miss the fresh figs that we used to have in Brazil…and the tree loaded of Asian pear is just awesome…
    Thanks for sharing your harvest Norma…have a wonderful week 😀

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      Would fig not grow in your area? Wish I could leave the Asian pears on the tree until late September early October but the critters would not allow me to.

  24. Pingback: My 1st 9 ripe fresh figs & Vegan + Gluten-free fig cheesecake mini bars! | Sophies Foodie Files

  25. Norma, I think you live in the Garden of Eden!

  26. Hello Norma, I did not know that you had fruit trees as well. How delightfully delicious. Figs and Asian pears are my favourite. I can’t wait to see your recipes using your fresh picked harvest. Have a super weekend. BAM

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      I don’t do much with my fruits, pick and eat as is from the trees. Birds or some other critters ate all my blackberries, very disappointed. A super weekend to you too.

  27. A fig tree is high up there on my list of “I wish I had one!”. So jealous of your figs… enjoy Norma!

  28. You even had a korean pear in your garden…
    what a good saving my friend,’
    i love it all the way!

  29. Purely.. Kay says:

    My aunt has a fig tree on her property and they are absolutely delicious. I haven’t had any this year but they are amazing. Your fig tree, like your other veggies you grow, look amazing.

  30. cquek says:

    i love figs especially the dried one.. but is expensive here.

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