On the edge of the once-was vineyard that borders our land, sits a very large fig tree. While my fig tree sprawls and leans out over the orto and valuable growing space, this one is more tree-shaped and produces green figs as opposed to my purple ones. It seems this could be a bumper year for figs and both trees are weighed down by them. I have to wait until August/September for mine, but the figs on this neighbouring tree are ripe right now!
I wouldn’t normally pay so much attention to someone else’s imminent harvest but I happen to know the owner of this tree doesn’t like figs. Every year, he tells me to help myself but even though I’ve been eyeing them up for a few days now, I still can’t bring myself to pick them without his go-ahead.
There’s a shout from outside the dining room door: ‘Ragazzi, the figs are ready. Help yourselves’. My cue! I grab a bowl and M and we start to fill it. He’s not excited about the figs but I need him to reach the higher branches. I can’t resist eating one straight off the tree, still warm from the sun. Remembering the dehydrator, we pick a few more. The tree is bursting with them and our bowlful has hardly made a dent. I don’t want to seem greedy but I hate to see anything go to waste and it won’t be long before the birds and insects become aware of their ripeness. With many yet to ripen though, there are still plenty for others.
I set about halving my harvest and then the dehydrator does the rest.
48 hours later, the first dried figs of the season.