Saturday, July 31, 2010

Let's Hear It for the Fig

My little fig tree, Ficus negronne, a self-pollinating dwarf that I got from Wayside Gardens early this spring is happily bearing fruit. We've just sampled our second of its offerings today for lunch. It has a delicate and subtle flavor, but when I bite into it, I'm registering a powerful amount of delicious satisfaction simply because I grew it myself.

Even though I've had to share a lot of my harvest with my intruder friends--the squirrels, deer and raccoons--this year's garden has been delivering all sorts of sweet surprises--the tomatoes, the occasional cuke, the eggplant and the squash, not to mention all of the arugula, mint, sage, basil, oregano, lemon balm, rosemary and lavender.

The garden seems to be offering us a rather interesting trickle down effect. Nothing miraculous, of course, nobody is jumping up to say, "Hey Mom, should I go out and weed for you? Can I mow the lawn? How about I sweep off the sidewalks and the deck and pick up all the sticks from the storm." (Call me a failed parent?)

But instead, the garden has been slyly infusing our lives with an overwhelming desire for delicious, nutritious foods. One example a bunch of bananas grew dark and unwanted in the fruit bowl on the counter top. It looked time to pitch the contents of the bowl, when Patsy decided she would make us a banana bread. Herbal teas and infusions are the drink of choice. And nobody has any desire for fast or frozen foods. When I ask what they'd like for dinner, the girls come back with requests like salad nicoise or brussel sprouts. I even cooked up and served a bowl of dandelion leaves one evening and while we all thought the flavor too harsh and bitter, everyone dug in, eating the greens if only to benefit from its healthful properties.

So let's hear it for the fig! The Putterer

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