What is new at Figs 4 Fun

September 2012

The Figs 4 Fun Foundation

The specific purpose of this Foundation shall be to enhance public awareness, knowledge and adoption of edible figs through collecting, preserving, researching and distributing the many varieties of Ficus carica.

The Figs 4 Fun collection started more than 10 years ago when I began the personal quest for a few additional figs that were as good as my Vista Black Mission (now known by DNA to be Violette de Bordeaux). At that time I would have been content with adding two or three more varieties to my varied fruit tree collection. After discovering that they could be grown from cuttings, my world expanded, and before long there were 100 varieties, and then 200, and in just a few years many hundreds. About 2 years ago I began duplicating the collection to lower the risk of losing varieties. The collection now consists of about 1500 trees. The vastness of the collection is largely a testimony to the sharing nature of the fig community which has made it possible.

It became apparent that there was a stewardship issue with a collection of this size and diversity. I do not expect to live forever. If the collection was to continue to be enjoyed, shared and made available to the larger fig community, provisions for that future needed to be developed. Many options were explored, but in the end, the best option seemed to be their own home. To that end, the Figs 4 Fun Foundation has been established as a California corporation as of July 2012.

The Foundation is starting out small, with an initial Board of Directors who will be responsible for safeguarding the current collection and continuing to add to it in the future. We are applying for non-profit status, which will take several months to complete. A project of this magnitude, starting quite literally from nothing, is an immense undertaking and will only succeed with the continued support of the fig growing community that made it possible.

The goal is to preserve and increase the collection and to provide a permanent home for the collection as an in-ground orchard, most likely somewhere in San Diego County. We desire to make the collection accessible to all, including the distribution of cuttings so that many largely unknown varieties can be widely distributed and enjoyed.

In the very near future we will be requesting participation by the entire fig community as we seek to make this vision a tangible reality. This will involve funding for the project and, just as importantly, the sharing of additional varieties which are in the hands of many in the fig community and which will enhance the collection for the benefit of all.

Jon