What’s in Season – figs

There are hundreds of varieties of figs across the globe, and although they’re mainly known to come from the Middle East and western Asia, here in Australia we have 45 native fig species, all producing edible fruit.

One of our newest stallholders, Glenn from Yenda Figs, has been growing fruit and vegetables for the last 10 years. He is joined on the farm by his father Michael, his mother Connie, and his wife Caroline. The family are no strangers to a bit of hard work – they do the majority of the picking, sorting, packing, and selling themselves.

Yenda is a small community just east of Griffith in the fertile Riverina agricultural region of south-western NSW.

Yenda Figs grow their produce outside in the paddock, meaning all of their fruit is only available seasonally. The fruit sold at market is always picked the day before to ensure it is as fresh as it gets. Fruit that isn’t sold on the weekend is then used for products like their fig or strawberry jams.

They specialise in growing Black Genoa figs, which is the only variety of fig they sell. Their other specialties are strawberries and prickly pears.

As someone that is very proud of his produce, Glenn loves coming to market because he can sell to his customers directly, fresh from the farm and for the right price. He says that the support that the Capital Region Farmers Market gives to farmers has always been great.

His favourite thing about selling at markets, is that he is able to build relationships with customers, and through conversations he can learn what a person enjoys about figs and then he is able to help select the fruit that will best match their tastes.

Glenn says there are heaps of ways to eat figs depending on whether you like sweet foods or savoury, but personally his favourite way to eat them is straight off the tree when he is picking.

Due to the Black Genoa fig’s very thin skin, they are very good for eating fresh, but if you prefer them cooked Glenn suggests fig pizza (pizza base with a bit of sauce, add some mozzarella, then put some cut up figs on top, cook it in the oven, and throw some fresh rocket on).

Another popular way to enjoy figs is by cutting a whole fig in half and stuffing it with blue cheese or goat’s cheese, then wrapping the package in prosciutto and roasting it under the grill. When the colour starts to change, pull it out and drizzle it with a caramel balsamic vinegar and voilà!

If you’d like to chat more about figs with a grower, you’ll be able to find Glenn at Stall #52A every Saturday.

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