Growing Figs and Making Jam

Learn how and when to best grow figs, and then create the ultimate appetizer with our fig jam recipe

Think this fig jam and goat cheese appie looks delicious? Wait until you taste it

Grow fabulous figs and enjoy them as a fresh snack or tasty jam

Rarely do we find a fruit this fabulous – equally sinful, sultry, simple and humble. Imagine a classic comfort food that is also good for you.

From snacks to gourmet accoutrements, figs are an unbeatable addition to your garden and table.

Growing Figs

In mild areas, ‘Black Mission’, ‘Brown Turkey’ and ‘Desert King’ have been shown to be quite productive. However, you’ll need to place your fig tree in a spot where it receives full sun for the whole day in the summer for it to fruit consistently and for the fruit to ripen.

Dwarf figs can even be grown in pots. This is especially handy if you live in a colder climate, as your fig may not be hardy enough to survive the winter. In a pot, you can simply drag it in for the winter.

Preparing Figs

It’s worth the extra effort to grow a few figs – if you’ve not tried them before, fresh figs can be a true culinary epiphany. Delicate, soft and subtle, the difference between a fresh and dried fig is somewhat akin to the distinction between a fresh grape and a raisin.

Each taste has its place, but real fig connoisseurs will rarely pass by a flat of these lush and juicy fresh delicacies. Also, fig leaves are handy when crafting serving platters. Use them to decoratively line plates and platters as you would grape leaves.

Fig Jam


  • 150 grams (1 cup) dried figs*
  • 250 mL (1 cup) water
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 45 mL (3 Tbsp) honey


  1. Chop figs finely (we use kitchen shears for this) and remove any woody stems.
  2. Place the figs in a small saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to minimum and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes (lid on), stirring occasionally until the figs are very soft. (Be careful not to scorch them and add more water if needed.)
  4. Remove the lid and continue to simmer, until thick.
  5. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and refrigerate.

Serve on crackers with goat cheese or soft blue cheese and a snip of lovely garnish from the garden. Special occasion? Drizzle the whole works with honey.

*Ripe, fresh figs will work too, but cut the water to 125 mL (½ cup).

This is excerpt from Sow Simple: 100+ Green and Easy Projects to Make Your Garden Awesome, by Christina Symons + John Gillespie.