Thursday, September 8th
by Barbara Ozimec

Summer Highlights: In Search of Figs II


A leisurely summer bike ride through Toronto's laneways can be a rewarding experience. One can catch glimpses of highly productive backyards, overhear gardeners discussing the harvest and all the season's successes and failures.

Some yards warrant a complete stop. When I notice four large fig trees in blue plastic barrels, I get off my bike. The back door is open and I am spotted. "You should have come this morning, I picked up a full plate, maybe 30-35." Originally from Greece, Phyllis gets lots of passersby requesting a fig and sometimes a cutting. "When it starts getting bigger, I cut a branch and make another one and another. I give away so many." She tells me how she's outfitted some of the Danforth's business owners with large fig trees. "I gave a big tree to a tailor, one to the guy who fixed my kitchen cabinets and another to the mechanic."

Offering me a few black figs she warns, "It is very hard work to keep them in the winter." Phyllis places the trees in an enclosed unheated porch and when temperatures dip threateningly a space heather is set up. But all her hard work seems worth it. "I eat my figs in the morning with the coffee, every morning."



Source: Soiled And Seeded


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