Dear Fig Enthusiasts,
I just wanted to introduce myself as a new member of the forum. I'm a conservation biologist and ecological restoration consultant here in Albuquerque, NM. This year I was badly bitten by the fig bug (as differentiated from fig wasps, of which we unfortunately have none) and have been doing my best to collect local varieties and to source others that might be suited to our rather trying conditions. We're 6b. I'd like to hear from other people in the region who have some experience in working with figs. I would also very much like to receive cuttings of any varieties that people think would do well here, and I'd be happy to send cuttings of interesting local types as they come available. I've got a couple that are promising, but whether or not they are actually local varieties as their names suggest (after a single family or location) or actually old plantings of known types is difficult for a neophyte like me to discern. However, like many parts of the country, figs were brought a long time ago by the original settlers, in our case from Spain and Greece - and certainly the people and plants arrived here from S. Europe in distant enough times to make things interesting, fig-wise.
In addition to my own garden, another of my interests is in encouraging the planting of perennial and tree crops locally in order to increase food security for low-income people, and figs fit in nicely to such schemes. However, this means that I have a lot of work to do in evaluating varieties for the requisite traits necessary to survive a certain amount of neophyte mishandling.
This is one of the reasons that I'm so interested in really tough varieties such as Negrette - which of course I can't find anywhere. Figs of Joy had some but they're sold out.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I'll look forward to future discussions of all things fig.