Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fig Jamming

Posted using Iphone app version of Blogger......primarily for test purposes.

Here's a batch of Fig jam (not fig preserves) made using Gino's Black, Dark Portuguese, Hardy Chicago, and LSU Champagne figs.  Jam had a very intense berry flavor........very delicious!

I highly recommend all of these fig cultivars for growing here in South Louisiana. These varieties will ripen after Celeste figs are almost finished and will extend your fig season each year by another 4 weeks.

Semper- Ficus

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yes indeed Smith and Texas BA-1 are the same fig...


Today I picked a few more ripe Texas BA-1 figs from my tree. These had that violet/purple striping EXACTLY like Smith figs often have during cooler periods......especially 2nd crop Smith figs in the fall.   Accordingly, I am now 90% sure that the Louisiana heirloom "Croatian" fig known locally as Smith, is the exact same fig as the Texas BA-1 fig which was found growing in the test orchard at Texas A&M university in plot number BA-1. 

My guess is that Dr. O'Rourke shared the great tasting Smith fig that was in his collection at LSU with a Texas A&M professor who studied figs many years ago.  Dr. O'Rourke was known to share his figs (both heirloom and his hybrids) with other public and private researchers in the South.  

FYI, Dr. Ira Condit from California was the one who supplied Dr. O'Rourke with the caprifigs that were used in his fig breeding program at LSU. O'Rourke produced thousands of hybrid figs from breeding his Celeste and Hunt mother figs. Several hundred of these hybrids were selected for further evaluation and study. Only a few were officially released to the public. Fig researchers like me are doggedly tracking down other hybrids that remain growing in private collections.  If you read my Cajun Fig Blog you already know that I have found a few that were previously unkown. The current people at LSU have absolutely no idea how many O'Rourke special hybrid figs made it into the hands of outside fig lovers and live on only in isolated private collections. When those trees die they will likely be lost forever.


My Smith fig "tree" came directly from the original Louisiana source. My Texas BA-1 fig "tree" came directly from another  fig researcher who lives in the South East.  He is not a member of any fig forum.......neither am I.  It is IMPOSSIBLE for there to have been a mixup in the propagation of cuttings of my two study "trees".

Semper Fi-cus

Monday, July 14, 2014

Smith and Texas BA-1 are the exact same fig??

Breaking News from Dan's fig research facility way down here in Cajun Country. (That's South Louisiana for those of you who do not know the location of Cajun Country).  Here's a bit of information that can only come from a true fig researcher like me and not from any fig collector who is only into figs to make money.

DRUM BEAT PLEASE..............

It is now my opinion that the Smith fig and the Texas BA-1 (aka Red Gold) fig are the exact same cultivar.  Right now I am only 60% sure of this.  I still need to make a few more comparisons between the two named varieties to be 100% sure. My larger Smith tree was nearly destroyed this past winter by a grass fire in my yard.  For that reason, I am not yet 100% sure of that statement.

Take a look at this white fig.

That is a picture of a fully ripe Texas BA-1 fig in the above link. FYI,  it looks and tastes exactly the same as a Smith fig. Too, its growing characteristics are the same as a Smith fig. Which leads me to believe with 60% certainty that Smith and Texas BA-1 are the same cultivar.

I've already reported the following information on my Cajun Fig Blog and am now repeating it for those of you who do not know or have missed my previous reports. This was breaking news when I first reported it. No one knew this information until I reported it.

The Smith fig originated in Croatia and DID NOT come over with early Italian immigrants as some believed. The Smith fig cultivar actually came over many years ago into the New Orleans area via Croatian immigrants. Those are the Croatians who established the oyster industry in Louisiana. I personally have verified this migration information during an interview with the Grandson of the man who first brought the Smith fig into the New Orleans area.  He told me that his grandfather also brought some other delicious tasting Croatian figs with him when they first settled in that area.  He talked well about another larger yellow fig (my guess might be Dalmatie?) that he really enjoyed eating as a young boy.  Accordingly, I am on the hunt to find those other Croatian figs which came over in the New Oreleans area many years ago. Unfortunately, recent hurricanes have flooded much of that land area for weeks and most of those old figs trees in that area have been destroyed. Quite a few LARGE  fruit orchards were destroyed including one of LSU's leading research study orchards which contained many fig and citrus trees. Thank goodness LSU did not grow all of its research trees in that one area. Don't put your eggs all on one basket.......

I have also previously reported that the St. Jerome fig is the exact same cultivar as Joe Morle's Black Triana fig cultivar.  Too, both of those cultivars are the exact same cultivar as Gene Hosey's Quantico fig which was discovered by Lou Elder (a Garden Web fig forum member) growing in Quantico, Virginia.  Black Triana, St. Jerome, and Quantico are the EXACT same fig cultivar. You do not need all I've stated they are exactly the same.

And I have previously reported in other posts on this Cajun Fig Blog that the Maltese Falcon fig cultivar is the exact same fig as my 2Fat Lady Black fig cultivar.  You can see pictures of both of these figs in other posts on this Fig Blog.

Semper Fi-cus

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Perfect 10 White Fig........

Many figs are ripening in my yard right now. Here are a few pictures of  one really good tasting variety that I have not written much about.  This particular fig rates a perfect 10 for its overall sweetness, its complex taste, and its richness.  Its productivity is improving as this tree matures. That is "solid" honey that is visible around its tiny eye.  Can you guess the variety?

Hint this is a White fig from the South.  Its flavor is often AWESOME and puts the taste of many other Black and White Figs to shame. Those who choose not to try this variety do not know what they are missing!! This variety does well in the South.......and is on my list of recommended figs for my area.

mmmmmhhhhhhh that was one good tasting fig folks!!

Semper Fi-cus