The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Celeste fig tree

Celeste fig in front of new porch

I found a healthy looking fig tree at the store on Friday.

It's a Celeste, which has been known to do well in our zone.

When it matures we should have a nice side by side comparison with the Chicago hardy fig next to it.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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In the past two years I have bought two fig trees. One did not grow at all this year while the other took right off.

So i will dig the poor one up and pot it. Then I will be able to baby it next summer.

I would love to raise my own sweet figs.

Comment by mona Sun Sep 23 18:07:53 2012
Mona --- Do you know what varieties you tried? I'm collecting information about how different varieties do in various parts of the country.
Comment by anna Sun Sep 23 19:48:53 2012
I live in Knoxville, which can be quite a bit warmer than where you are, but the garden center I work at sells Celeste and Brown Turkey figs. They both seem to do really well down here.
Comment by Jillian Sun Sep 23 21:51:14 2012

Anna: I am sorry I do not know what kind it is. On of the reasons I bought them was they were propigated from a very old fig tree that the new land owners were going to cut down. The woman who propigated them loved the figs from that tree and desided to see if she could get some cuttings to grow.

I loved the story. Next time I see her I will ask her for more infomation about the figs that grow on the tree.

Comment by Mona Sun Sep 23 22:17:08 2012

Celeste is one that I grow. The fruit is as good as any other fig. Sweeter in some years. Not as productive as some of the others. It only fruits once a year, if it fruits at all, but normally heavy. I have had root, stem rot problems with it, just have to keep the base clear and dry.

Comment by T Mon Sep 24 00:14:33 2012

Jillian --- My father grows Brown Turkey figs in northwestern South Carolina, but I don't think they'd last here. I think they're only rated to zone 7. But if they can grow in Knoxville, maybe we could push the boundaries....

Mona --- That's the best way to get new perennials!

T --- Good to hear feedback on Celeste! Sounds like it might not work as hard as the Chicago Hardy, but might be worth it for the tasty figs. :-)

Comment by anna Mon Sep 24 09:04:44 2012

Nice looking fig tree.

Here's a discussion of the more cold hardy varieties (what zone are you in?):

Comment by BeninMA Mon Sep 24 10:18:39 2012
Most of the figs I have are celeste figs.They are delicious and sometimes I will get double crops when we have an especially warm fall and late frost. Right now my two larger trees have a bad case of the rust. I didn't notice it until after the hurricane (it rained nonstop for days), but it has been so wet this year in general that I'm not really surprised.
Comment by Sara Mon Sep 24 12:16:52 2012

BeninMA --- I think I read that when I was first researching hardy figs, but since we now know we love them, it sounds like I should reread and look into other varieties!

Sara --- I'm hoping we don't end up with any diseases. That's one of the things we've loved about our fig tree --- it doesn't seem to get any of the problems our other fruit trees get! But that could just be because they haven't found it yet....

Comment by anna Mon Sep 24 12:47:30 2012

Anna, on the plus side, I have read and witnessed for myself (this year at least) that the rust doesn't really impact fruit production too badly. I have plenty of good fruit still ripening, even though the plants look scraggly and are losing their leaves.

Also wanted to clarify on the double cropping: my trees are so unpredictable when it comes to fruit. Last year we had two distinct crops-- one in midsummer and the other in early/mid fall, but this year has been one long crop with just a few fruits developing at a time. At this point, there are enough that I can go outside and get a handful to supplement breakfast, but there are still plenty of green figs that might not be ready until November. I've been harvesting this way for about 2 months now.

Comment by Tue Sep 25 11:54:30 2012
Sara --- That's quite a nice haul! We're lucky to get a fig every day, but our tree is still quite young. I'm jealous!
Comment by anna Tue Sep 25 17:19:07 2012

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