Monday, 20 September 2010

Flowers Fruit and Herbs of the Bible No 1 Figs

Work at the allotment this month is now all about continuing to tidy up, composting all plant waste, and harvesting as necessary. So I thought I would start talking about the flowers, fruit and herbs of the Bible, prompted by a very old and fading tea towel we still have from many years ago.
So let us start, I thought, with that oldest story of all, the reason why the snake crawls on its belly, the reason why women travail in childbirth, and why we all toil in the dust to which we shall all in due course return.
Who hasn't at some stage heard the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? When the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden tree, and in her turn she tempted Adam to eat that same fruit, "the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves covering." (Genesis ch. 3 v. 7) And they incurred God's wrath.
I have a fig tree. I only bought it as a young plant a few years ago but in its favoured position against a South facing wall it has more than flourished - it is nearly taking over the whole area. And the crops each year are amazing. I love them just as they are, straight from the tree, but it is not advisable to eat too many in one day (!) and they do not keep well for long, so last year I ended up making loads of fig jam.
The picture here shows immature fruit. I will be taking all these off the plant soon, so as not to weaken the tree, as they have no hope of ripening and will otherwise rot overwinter anyway.

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