The nice dried figs and fig wine above are results of the 2013 fig harvest. In addition to the wine and dried figs, I made fig chutney and fig jam that year. The fig chutney with pork tenderloin is a fond memory that will be possible again one of these years. But this year area fig trees look like this:
or if lucky they may look like this:
Most area figs are regrowing from roots like the first photo. Some like my Celeste fig close to a brick wall have grown some shoots from old wood. In good years, there are no dead sticks on figs this time of year. The fruits should be forming and some would be ready to harvest by late June.
But for the second consecutive year, cold winter temperatures killed most above ground growth on figs. Two years ago, some Chattanooga area fig trees were over thirty feet tall. Growing a Mediterranean fruit in a continental climate is hazardous. There are no area fig orchards. It would be a very risky venture. In my garden, I’ll keep trying. In good years they are prolific, easy to grow, and enjoyable in a variety of ways.
The wine I made from them would not win awards in a competition. Before I took the photo, I had poured it through my filter. My wine making equipment includes only the basics. A filter isn’t an investment I’ve made. I used a coffee filter with a rubber band around a glass to clear the wine of flor. Flor is a white film that can form on the surface of wine if it is exposed to air. If your wine isn’t sherry, it isn’t supposed to be there. It gives the wine a slightly nutty flavor which fig wine tends to have anyway. I make wine for family and friends, not competitions so I’m ok with sherry style fig.