Main-crop figs in the Pacific Northwest

Bob Duncan with a fig tree.JPG

Bob Duncan grows figs near Victoria, BC, CanadaLast month I had the pleasure of visiting Fruit Trees and More, a nursery near Victoria, BC, Canada run by Bob and Verna Duncan. (I went out with an empty suitcase so that I could come home with a medlar, kaffir lime, and a new variety of olive!)

Bob explained that while they have mild winters, summers are not hot. That means that ripening main-crop figs (figs that form on wood from the current season) can be challenging. Most fig growers in the Pacific Northwest, he explains, focus on varieties the form breba figs (the early crop that forms on wood from the previous season.)

So how does one ripen main-crop figs in the Pacific Northwest? Bob has built greenhouse-like structures with open sides. The higher temperature within these structures, he believes, will give better results ripening main-crop figs.

Bob Duncan's open-sided fig house.JPG

Bob Duncan's open-sided fig house in the Pacific Northwest