[NAFEX] Oiling figs; searching Pomona?

Bassem Samaan bassem at gardener.com
Thu Sep 10 10:25:44 EDT 2009

Oiling figs is a very common practice in the middle east. The vendors who
are so eager to have their figs first in the market will oil their figs
at the end of june or begining of july. They get up to 2 to 3 weeks ahead
than the average ripening time. I have tried oiling here in Pennsylvania
with varied success. I have applied olive oil using cotton on the outter
skin. The fig have to be almost full size, and the weather has to be
warm. Some may apply oil at the end of summer, that will work only if the
sun is still sharp enough to warm the oil on the fig.  Bass Samaanzone 6,


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: "Richard Moyer"
  To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
  Subject: [NAFEX] Oiling figs; searching Pomona?
  Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 21:37:25 -0400

  Miekal wrote:"Oiling was recommended here a few years back.  I tried
  it on some, a few ripened & most didn't.  Perhaps I needed to have
  done it earlier.  What I didn't like is even the smallest amount of
  oil was still  present to the tongue..."

  Did you consider something other than used motor oil?Seriously, we
  have used food grade oil successfully on Hardy Chicago for years. 
  Olive, Canola, Corn, etc.  Brings them in several weeks earlier in
  late Sept and early Oct, and in mid-late Oct to first hard freeze,
  ripens many that would not otherwise.  I only oil those that that are
  full size, with a cotton swab, trying to apply just enough oil to
  seal over the tiny, closed eye.  This apparently traps the ripening
  hormone ethylene in the fig, and promotes ripening. But it's at least
  a week before we eat them after oiling, sometimes more.  If too early
  in the season, they ripen too close together. Did your oil enter
  inside some figs with an open eye? Ray Givan, NAFEX Fig Interest
  Group Coordinator, has evaluated a number of figs re: their response
  to oiling.  Can't remember where I read that, I think he published an
  article in Pomona.  Some figs were responsive and others not.  Hardy
  Chicago also responded well under his conditions. Ray welcomes
  questions through his website:  http://nafex.org/figs.htm Richard
  MoyerZone 6, SW VAPicked Korean Giant pears and first Mammoth Black
  Twig apples today.  Jujubes just starting to ripen.
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Bass Samaan

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