Spring cleaning at Figgi Riggi

Spring Cleanup: A good time to tidy things up a bit

This late Spring, you may have noticed a bit of silence from my posts lately. That’s because I’ve been working away in the invisible background cleaning up affiliate site links and improving some of the old pages with more interesting content. I was making improvements to the site title image at the top of the page. After I created it, I noticed that the 4 dots look like little figs.

I created a Facebook page and made graphics for that too. Here’s one of those images.

An image made for the Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

At some point, I intend to edit all of the images on the site with interesting title watermarks like this Ants photo seen here.

Garden Ants
Garden Ants with interesting watermark.

Education and our curiosity to learn

Meanwhile, I am focusing on what my next major topic will become. One that will be educational to my curious readers. I was once a college instructor, so I do like to educate. With that in mind, I’d like to create an introductory tutorial on using a free open-source application called InkScape. It’s available for Linux, Windows and Apple OS’s. This will take time to create, so bare with me on this plan. This will be a side project while I write other interesting topics.

Money that makes the world go ’round

I’d also like to share some tidbits about income that I plan to receive from internet-related side jobs. It’s an interesting topic and one that my readers can utilize if they too want to gain some extra cash. So, this week I’ll create a budget and share my gains. Besides, every blog is rooted in money at some point.

Things that might get in the way of some progress this week is: a friend who’s struggling with cancer who I intend to visit sometime soon. I’ve also decided to get back in shape at the gym. The gym helps to keep my eyes healthy by being a healthy distraction from the computer screens.

Peeper

I will make short term goals and while using a sense of transparency, I’ll post them in here. Why would I do such a thing? Well, isn’t everyone a bit of a “peeping Tom” by instinct? If not, then I guess you’ll become one while following my blog posts. 🙂

Pests are Eating My Figs

Figs are a popular sweet treat in nature for both humans and the sneakiest pestspests

 

Figs are attacked by all sorts of pests and they do it ferociously as if the end of the world has come. They can drain the juices from the figs within a day or two. Although there is one thing that I noticed when hurricanes come to the region. The day afterward, the flies come. I don’t understand it, but the fruit begins to rot very quickly and this attracts the flies. Here are examples of the most common creatures that I’ve personally come across through observation. Read more

21 Easy Steps to Making Fig Preserves

When I was a little kid visiting my grandparents in the South Alabama town called Loxely, I recall moments in the laundry room looking up at all the canned foods my grandmother prepared. They lined the shelves with a range of colors from each of the different fruits and vegetables that my grandfather picked from the gardens. One of my favorite activities was to go out in the yard and pick fresh figs. I enjoyed that natural sweet snack and along with that there was a time for breakfast where I would spread my favorite preserves onto my toast. I would like to share with you this memory with a step-by-step instruction on how to make Fig Preserves. It’s not very difficult and I’m sure you will enjoy this delicious snack. You will need to allow yourself up to 2 hours to make it and a chair or a little helper if you can’t stand for long periods at the stove for stirring.

Preparations

Tools/Materials

  • Jar lifter
  • Canning funnel
  • 12, 8-oz canning jelly jars

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs figs, unpeeled
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced thin

Let’s begin

Directions:

  1. Run your glass jars through the dishwasher to help sterilize them.
  2. Rinse figs in cold water.
  3. Soak figs for about 20 minutes in a large bowl.
  4. Make a sugary syrup by boiling water and stirring in sugar together in a large saucepan. Keep stirring to prevent the sugar from burning for about 15 minutes.
  5. When the syrup is clear and thick, add figs and lemon slices.
  6. Bring to boil over high heat and boil for 1 minute.
  7. Lower heat and then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Continue to stir.
    Cooking the figs in the sugary syrup
    Cooking the figs in the sugary syrup
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Carefully scoop up the clumpy fig pieces and lemon slices and place into a food processor or blender and pulse chop the pieces into a pulp.
    Chopping the figs in the Cuisinart food processor
    Chopping the figs in the Cuisinart food processor
  10. Return the pulp back into the saucepan that contains the redish syrupy mixture.
  11. Bring to a boil and then turn to a low heat.
  12. Stir for 40 minutes or until you’ve reached a desired thick consistency.
    Simmering the fig preserves until desired thickness
    Simmering the fig preserves until desired thickness
  13. Place glass jars into a large saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil for a few minutes.
    Sterilizing the jars in boiling water
    Sterilizing the jars in boiling water
  14. Place canning lids in a small saucepan filled with water and heat to a low boil.
    Sterilizing the jar lids in boiling water
    Sterilizing the jar lids in boiling water
  15. Remove a few jars and place on a towel.
  16. Place funnel over a jar and then carefully ladle the pulp to fill the jar.
    Filling the fresh fig preserves pulp into the jars
    Filling the fresh fig preserves pulp into the jars
  17. Clean the top edge of the jar with a towel.
  18. Cover jars with the canning lids and loosely screw the retainer ring onto the jar. Do not tighten.
  19. Carefully place the jars into a saucepan covered completely with boiling water for 10 minutes. (you may use the saucepan that you boiled the jars in earlier).
  20. Repeat steps 15-19 until all the jars have been filled. (you might be able to do this with 9 jars at a time depending on how large the saucepan is in step 18).
    Boiling the air out of the pulp filled jars
    Boiling the air out of the pulp filled jars
  21. Remove the jars from the water and place on a towel. After about a minute, you will hear a pop sound of the lids sucking into place as the jars cool.
    Lifting the jars from the water
    Lifting the jars from the water
    Jars cooling after hearing the popping sound in the lids
    Jars cooling after hearing the popping sound in the lids


  • Don’t tighten the retainer rings, otherwise you could break the seal.

*A special thanks to my mom for finding this recipe and for the necessary recipe modifications to make the perfect fig preserves. She did all the work in the above photos. All I did was stir when she couldn’t stand for long periods of time.

Training Your Fig Tree

How To Train Your Dragon

movie poster
movie poster

Training your tree, not a dragon

Training your fig tree, not training your dragons. Here are some basic examples on fig tree shapes. There are two common forms that a fig tree can be trained into: Single trunk [D], open vase type and the multi-trunk system [C]. Northeastern fig trees can be trained to grow from a single trunk when planted in a 200-hour chilling zone. You can control the trees through pruning. A winter frost that kills most of the branches, shows when a single trunk system should be used. To maintain the single trunk, be sure to cut away new growth that may appear at the base of the tree. Use a wooden stake, if necessary, to keep the trunk growing straight. Read more

Rust spots or dead brown areas on leaves

Rust spots on your leaves

Rust beginning to form on leaf
Rust beginning to form on leaf

There are fungi that can attack your fig tree leaves. If you find large brown areas, or with a mold growing – immediately cut off the affected leaves and discard them so that the fungus will not spread throughout. Take note that there is a very dangerous common leaf mold pathogen called Rust. It mainly affects potted plants and can spread to your house plants. It will begin with small brown spots and gradually spread through the leaf. When you discover this type of infection, cut the leaf off and burn it. Read more

Solutions to protecting leaves

Solutions are available for injured fig leaves. Fig trees in this area of the Northeast don’t have many pests. Once in a while, you’ll come across leaves being eaten or discolored. Sometimes you’ll find that nothing is eating the leaves or branches most probably because the sap (latex) is sticky and can be irritating (even to human skin). Other times, the problem might not be a pest, but a rust fungi infection. Read more

Official Fig Facts

Here is an official list of fig facts from Purdue University. These facts show everything from home remedies to nutritional information.

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/fig.html

Here is a more human version of the nutritional information:

http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-figs-dried-uncooked-i9094?size=2

Here’s another good resource on Fig Facts. It’s an Australian site with info about how figs are grown in California. I found it to be particularly informative.

http://www.foodforest.com.au/fact-sheets/fruit-and-nut-trees/figs/

Lost Figs: Where are they?

Lost Figs, where are they?

Changes are that your figs are not in the lost and found at the police station. Knowing when the figs will grow and whether or not they’re being stolen or eaten by natures bugs and other critters is essential to being a backyard gardener.

  • Lost? Maybe the neighborhood kids or your landscapers are sneaking through your yard and eating your figs.
  • There’s no guarantee that you’ll see figs growing on your transplanted tree for the first 2-3 years.
    Lost figs transplanted tree
    Soil Filled Into Hole

    Read more

9 Essential Tips For Outside Living

Growing outside is low maintenance

  • This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small payment from the sale to help support the cost of running this site at no additional cost to you.

Outside living

When you grow your fig tree outside, all you have to do is plant it and let it grow. Here are some suggestions to consider. Read more

Potted Fig Trees

Potted Fig Tree
Potted Fig Tree

General Care For Potted Fig Trees

Potted fig trees need certain requirements in order to grow successfully. Consider the following tips.

  • This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small payment from the sale to help support the cost of running this site at no additional cost to you.

Pot Type

Choose a pot with a manageable size with holes on the bottom. The one I provide is a nursery pot, which means it’s the black flimsy kind that has large holes on the bottom (the kind that comes with a new bush from the plant store) and it doesn’t allow much root growth. Include a tray to fit under your pot to collect excess water. Buy my favorite nursery pots. I’ve had the best success with these. Read more