Cathy Isom continues her series on figs by giving you her easy steps in how to harvest, and store, your homegrown figs. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Figs are easy-going until harvest time. They can become a finicky crop when it comes to proper harvesting times, techniques, and storage. Make sure to follow these steps to ensure you have a harvest to enjoy:
Step 1. Harvest at the Proper Time. Figs won’t ripen once they’ve been removed from the tree. Therefore, it’s vital to harvest them at the right time. If they aren’t ripe, they don’t have a good taste. If you allow them to become too ripe, they turn mushy. You’ll know they’re ready for harvest when the neck of the fruit begins to wilt, and the fruit is sagging from the tree.
Step 2. Remove the Fruit Properly. Figs are easy to bruise and damage during the harvesting process. You can gently pull them from the tree but be sure you leave a small part of the stem attached. This will help the fig remain fresh during storage. This can be difficult to do when harvesting the figs using only your hands. Therefore, it’s best to use scissors when harvesting figs.
Step 3. Protect Yourself. When harvesting figs be sure to wear gloves and something protective over your arms, like a jacket or long-sleeved shirt. Figs are filled with sap. This can irritate your skin if it’s exposed for longer periods of time. Plan ahead with your wardrobe before you harvest your figs.
Step 4. Store Properly. Figs aren’t a forgiving fruit once they’ve been harvested. They should be stored in the coolest part of your fridge and away from other fresh produce because they’ll cause them to rot. You can freeze them, dehydrate them, or can them for later use.
I’m Cathy Isom…