green envy

In recent years, around May and June, when the green buds are out, I find myself eyeing for new suppliers.  I have a good supplier already but I feel she's getting expensive.  She said her stuff is the best quality all around so "you pay for what you get".  We did two meet ups last year and in our second meeting, I noticed that mixed in with all the good quality stuff are some passable ones.  I was not impress.

I've been trying to plant some on my own.  It's a bit tricky as I don't understand the pruning process. I try to gain as much knowledge about this stuff as I can from my aunt, who loves gardening.

Vietnamese people loves gardening.  It seems most, if not all, the nammers I know grow something.  And everything they grow seems to flourish without the use of chemicals.  They all have a green thumbs and a garden to prove it.  My family likes to garden too.  Whenever we go on walks or driving somewhere, we would be talking/criticizing/admiring/comparing ours and someone else's turf.  I've been trying to grow for years now but so far, it's very little yield.  It's been challenging for me but I'm going to keep working at it !  Can't get any worse :-)

*nammer:  a term our Vietnamese families and friends used when referring to a Vietnamese person who just came over from Vietnam or someone whose lifestyle is very much like those living in Vietnam.*

Wonderful C would sometime come along with me on my shenanigans.  We would to on the lookout for the special green leaves.  I can spot the leaves from miles away.  It's has a very distinctive shape.  I did find a few houses with the greens growing out of their fences.  I told C if we come back there at night we should be able to pick them without consulting the owner.  If it's not on their land it's public property !  "Stealing you mean ?" he looked at me with a disgusted look and asked me "Are you that desperate ?", "Yes", I said.  One of the house is next to an alley, a perfect place to do a drive by.

Though I thought of it and suggested it, reality is I don't have the heart to do it ! The Jesus in me wouldn't let me sleep peacefully with that.   The whole idea of this "scouting" is to find new seller.  People who wants to sell their "surplus".  "Why are you so cheap ? just pay the woman, get your fix and be done with it." C told me, signaling he no longer wants any part of this craziness.  Might as well, he's not the best person for it anyways.  He doesn't love it as much as me.  He doesn't understand.  And it's not that I'm cheap, this is purely based on principle.  I don't want the lady to take advantage of me.  I was her first buyer and I was the one who told her there are many like me out there and suggested she post on craigslist.  She received an overwhelming number of responses and then jacked up the price.  I didn't even mind the increased price, but when she start to give the best to her major clients and give the "decent" quality ones to me  ?  we're done.  I deserve better figs.

Fig isn't like apple where you can eat it whenever you want.  The good kinds are never sold in store.  I've tried many times and the flavor just don't measure up to the homegrown kind.  Good figs are no widely sold or widely available, which makes them limited, highly desired and sought after !  People who has fruitful trees with good figs already have frequent buyers who return to them every season.  There's only about 1 month out of the year, Aug-Sept. that we can enjoy them.  When the fruits on the tree ripen I'm in fig heaven.  I can't wait to devour those luscious green pearly fruits, filled with sweet honey like nectar oozing out of "eye" (the opening at the bottom of the fig).

It seems I'm always scouting out for figs.  Whether I'm in a car, on the train, or walking, my eyes are always drawn to them.  There are many fig trees in my neighborhood but they aren't big ones, they bear just figs for their owner.  I need to gain access to a fruitful tree and an owner who likes to share or at least out to make just a bit of mula !  Not preying on my obsession !

Today I spotted a house from the train with 2 huge fig trees in the back.  I did a quick assessment of the property since I have perfect aerial view from up there.  The house looked uncared for, with lots of junks on the ground, on the side of house and the front yard.  It's probably rented and there's a chance the tenant might not care so much about figs.  I made a note to visit them in August.

This summer marked my 5th year with my fig tree.  I'm very excited that it bears about 50 fruits this year !  I promised 1 to a co-worker so there's 49 left.  I would have to share a few with my mom and C and the kids so that leaves me with 41 figs :-)  That should last me for 4 days if I portion it right, and follow it !!!  I can inhale 10 figs in one sitting easily :-)  Just a few more months friends, just a few and I get to enjoy these amazing fruits.