This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We, at the North, are now growing tropical and semi-tropical fruits, to wit, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. I wish we would add the fig to the list. General Worthington of Ohio, who has cultivated the fig in the open air for more than fifty years, says that he grows more of this fruit on the same space of ground than he can of potatoes or tomatoes.
Your reference to fig culture in France and Germany, (March number, page 79.) is pertinent and timely; but by my method of planting the trees, the winter protection is made very easy.
The great thing in growing trees, etc., is to be able to ripen the wood. Unripe wood causes the death of the peach and other trees. Fig wood can be ripened as well as can the wood of other trees. Of course if we cannot have fruits without winter protection, we will want to cultivate all the same. At the far north, grape vines, raspberry bushes, peach trees, etc., have to be protected, and it pays, for the people must have fruit. So then if our fig tree is laid down and nicely covered, no matter how cold, it is not disturbed more than any other sleeper.
An American gentleman residing at Brighton, England, has sent me the leaf of a fig tree planted by Thos. a'Becket more than 800 years since, and a photographic view of the fig orchard in which this tree is now growing. Well, if in that moist and dark climate figs are grown successfully, how much more in our sunny climate? I would like to send my pamphlet " Fig culture at the North a success," three editions, to any party inclosing five cents.