So I’m crazy according to some, and all will be well according to others. Early this summer I planted a fig tree in my zone 6 garden. For years I dragged trees around in pots, and while they produced, it was never the crazy abundance I dreamed of. So one delusional day while leafing through my stack of garden catalogs, I picked a tree called a ‘Chicago Hardy’, and as you all know (maybe?) Chicago can get very ugly during the winter. I did do my research, apparently if it dies back, it will regrow from the root stock – that’s not really what I’m looking for but I’ll take it if I have to. My real hope is for something that looks like this…
Lush, full and happy…
My reality is this…
I’ve mulched and wrapped and I’m hoping for the best come spring. It had almost doubled in size in one season, so clearly it’s happy in its location, and the deer had zero interest in it which is good news. I know when/if I get any fruit I’ll be battling the squirrels and raccoons, so not having to battle the other garden visitors is an unexpected bonus.
I’ve planted this tree on top of a very sandy area so it’s super happy with it’s drainage, which seems to be one of their main issue with siting, the other being great sun. I am certainly no expert in this area so if you are interested in purchasing a fig, read here on how to care for them. If you’re north like me, be sure to find super cold hardy varieties – there are several, and there are some great small scale growers to check out like italianfigtrees.com or figtrees.net. I haven’t ordered from them yet, but I’m going to!
And what will I do with my fig bounty when and if it arrives? Check out the recipe below:
Bacon Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese
- 10 figs
- 10 Slices bacon (lightly broiled or nuked)
- 1 Chunk goat cheese
- handful toothpicks
|Light your grill. Rinse and dry your figs, then slice them 1/3rd of the way through.|
|Take a small piece of goat cheese and stuff it into the fig. Wrap a slice of bacon around the fig and secure the entire morsel with a toothpick or two as needed.|
|Set over indirect heat on the grill to let the cheese melt a bit and the bacon finish cooking. Around 5 minutes.|
I like this hors d’oeuvre over a charcoal or wood grill because the smoke adds an additional nuance, and if you’re feeling crazy brush them with a little balsamic, it couldn’t hurt…
Oh, and if you want to dispense with the grill you could also manage them under the broiler.