I recently read David Mas Masumoto's book Epitaph for a Peach. In that book Masumoto (a peach farmer in California) talks about his life as a peach farmer and also about his effort to save an old variety of peach known as Sun Crest. He talks about how delicious his Sun Crest peaches are. He also struggles to find buyers for his peaches. It seems that these days suppliers for grocery stores are only interested in buying fruit that is appealing to the eye and that has a long shelf life. No one wants his Sun Crest peaches, which are sweet and juicy and delicious, but not as pretty or easy to ship and store as the newer varieties.
A stroll through most grocery stores these days confirms what Masumoto is writing about. Much of the fruit for sale today is hard and flavorless. Fruit is picked before it reaches full ripeness so that it can be shipped more efficiently (soft, ripe fruit is more easily damaged in shipping than firm, under-ripe fruit). The newer varieties of fruit have bright colors and last longer on the shelves but often lack the flavor and texture of the heirloom varieties. And so, in our fast paced world many people no longer know what truly ripe and delicious fruit tastes like. They buy the fruit that looks the nicest. But perfectly ripe, soft, sweet, juicy, flavorful fruit is hard to come by.
That is why growing fruit at home is becoming more and more important. Growing fig trees at home is one of the best ways to have a good supply of ripe, delicious fruit. And the vast majority of fig cultivars are old heirloom varieties that were selected a long time ago because of their flavor and other positive characteristics. This forum is important because it spreads free information for people all across the world to access. That information gives people the knowledge to develop their own supply of fresh figs. Let’s keep putting that information out there!