Mediterranean Figgery Greenhouse update

Back in June…


First week October…


Video and blog post from June:

This is my first video review of the new project, the Mediterranean “Figgery” Greenhouse. Throughout the last two months (April, May 2018) we’ve been cleaning out the old sheep “barn” of manure and bedding to establish a growing area for eight hardy fig varieties, mixed in with other edible crops including: perennial kale, seedless Concord grapes, strawberries, artichokes, and planting this fall, garlic bulbs. My plan is to post video updates throughout the season as the system progresses. Excuse my newbie video editing skills, I’m just getting the hang of it 🙂

If you have any questions about what I’m up to with this greenhouse, like why I picked these particular plants, soil questions, why figs, etc… leave a note in the comments section.


Update for December:

Last night it was 10 degrees F outside the greenhouse and 43 degrees F inside the “figloo”. As the winter proceeds I will continue to check on the temperatures and observing the condition of the figs, as well as the perennial kale and artichokes that are also under the insulation of the figloo.

figloo full

3 thoughts on “Mediterranean Figgery Greenhouse update

  1. Jonathan, nice to see that you’re doing the Japanese pruning style – it seems to yield very well. Could you post a link or two to your fav sites for the technique? When the figs are kept so low, I would think they’d soon fill the “barn” space. Spacing? Do you hope to have multiple fig harvests? Do you know if your Negra fig is the same as Violette de Bordeaux (I’ve seen discussion about the confusion over fig naming)? In zone 8 in California, mine is semi dwarf, bears a breba crop as well as a main crop, is very dark-skinned with small,amber fleshed fruit, and the sweetest fig I’ve ever tasted. Are the figs your trees are setting now your breba crop? Do all the varieties set two crops? Could you publish a list, please? Thanks for good work!


    • Hello Barbara,
      Here are some of the varieties I’m growing:
      -St. Rita
      -Ronde de Bordeaux
      -White Triana
      -Adriatic JH
      -Valle Negra
      -Hardy Chicago
      -Improved Celeste
      -Malta Black
      There aren’t great explanations out there about the Japanese stepover method, that’s one reason I’d like to post more about it. I sure hope I fill the greenhouse space with fig trees, that’s my goal 🙂 In terms of fig harvests, there will be early, middle and late ripening types. Some of them will ripen all at once, and some will ripen over many months. I haven’t had enough growth yet to know how this will play out. The Negra fig is very similar to RbB, BUT your description of Negra is exactly the same as my observations. Although I would add that RdB is early, where as Negra is middle ripening. My expectation is to only ever get a main crop for all figs. I’m not expecting breba as I’ll be pruning off the one year fruiting wood from the main trunk every fall, and discouraging fruit from the main trunk.

  2. Thanks for the reply, Jonathan! I’d lost track of your blog and not seen your response. It’s been two years, and I rediscovered you through a link on Pam Dawling’s Sustainable Market Farming. Your RdB does sound like our Violette de Bordeaux and Negra. We also have two heritage figs, probably 120 years old, that I could send you cuttings of, if you are interested. The trees originated at the Felix Gillet Nursery here in Nevada City, but that was the biggest mail order nursery in the country in the early 1900’s. Our trees have been identified by the Felix Gillet Institute. Might not fit with your plans, though! How is the figgy nursery looking two years on?

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