Organic fig grower Redlands Queensland
My name is Su P, I am a 3rd generation fig grower, though the 1st in Australia. I have a small farm of around 140 trees in the Redlands area, east of Brisbane. My trees are about 10yrs old now & I have 2 that I set aside as my parent trees to propagate from if needed. This practice is from the old country from where I originate. I have been using chemical free processes for about 6yrs now & have been unofficially certified Organic. I have been using composting & brewing as a means of making my fertilisers, accessing ingredients & mineral trace elements from a reliable source. I feed my liquid fertilisers through my watering systems into the root systems. I do not spray on the leaves or fruit. This is so time consuming & frustrating but it’s the only way I knew of getting everything my trees needed. Seasol was useless.
Summary of Results from using Rural Boss on Figs
We do our best to keep away the wasps & fruit fly, which are natural for propagation. We do this through netting or wrapping each fruit amongst other things. We change over our fertiliser to Rural Boss about a year ago as our store of brewed fertiliser was getting low & I was running out of time to get another batch brewed on time. So we kept what we had to fertilise 2 rows of trees & then used Rural Boss on the shorter 3rd row. The results were very interesting on the 3rd row, usually the row that gives the poorest result due to it having a more sandy loamy soil than the other rows which are up the top of the hill.
Findings on the 3rd row where I used Rural Boss compared to the others – The fruit had a more even rose sheen on the skin & it was a bit deeper in colour & further up the neck. The fruit was slightly firmer also. We thought it was not ripe so we delayed picking but took a sample & was delighted it was ripe. So there was less fruit bruised when it went to market & it was also ripe when it was picked. We usually pick about 2 weeks short of being fully ripe to prevent bruising & account for shelf life.
When cut open, the colour again was more uniform & a small shade deeper. Usually the flesh becomes whiter towards the top & around the sides. But the full ripe portion seemed to be over a great area. We opened another 20 fruit from random trees along the 3rd row & this was consistent.
The fruit was also sweeter & more pungent when opened initially. We haven’t sent any away for testing but we think the phytochemical content must be more concentrated. Not sure which one or all of them. For the 3rd row of fruit we asked & got more from the agent & fruit shop down in Byron Bay than the normal fruit, which was still excellent from the other 2 rows.
We also sell fig jam & bottle poached figs. This was also an experiment as we kept some from each row for this purpose. There was no real change in making the fig jam, other than the bottles that had 100% of fruit from row 3 was stronger & over sweet. We know next time to add less coconut sugar.
Future – We are going to buy more Rural Boss & do the top 2 rows & use our own blend of brewed fertiliser on the 3rd row & let’s see what happens.