Where I grew up in the Midwest, our fruit trees were mostly limited to apples, pears, peaches and cherries – at least those were the ones I remember being in our yard. So, I don’t think I even knew what a fig looked like until I was in college studying nutrition, and even then it seemed like an exotic fruit.
But here in the Pacific Northwest figs are much more common, and over the past few years I’ve had a chance to sample quite a few varieties. In California wine country, figs seemed to be a staple. Everywhere we turned, we saw olives, persimmons, figs and pomegranates clustered together around the borders of the grape vine rows.
Wandering through the beautifully lush gardens of the wineries was such a treat. Most had designated areas where edibles were planted, and because we were guests for the evening at Jordan Winery, we had some time to explore the property. We roamed the gardens, talked with chickens (or, at least I did), and ventured out to the far end of the property to visit the olive trees.
But, oooh the figs…
They were out of this world good. Freshly picked by Jordan’s culinary team earlier in the day, they were a delightful addition to the harvest luncheon we enjoyed. The flavor was much more intense than I remembered (maybe the wine helped).
My mind drifted back home for a moment, to the small fig tree I planted near the chicken coop last year. My hope is that it will eventually provide some forage for the flock, but the lack of sun has proven to be a bigger obstacle than I realized. The delicate little plant is hanging in there, though. Time will tell.
Nevertheless, eating fresh, nourishing food is as simple as it gets when it comes to self-care.