First fig of the summer | 2021

by The Darwinian Doctor

This is the thrilling update on the Darwinian Doctor’s fig trees and garden. It’s time for the “first fig of the summer”, 2021 edition!

First fig of the summer | 2021.

Over time, the Darwinian Doctor blog has focused down to three main topics: personal finance, real estate investing, and financial independence. But I still like to write about other things like gardening, Tesla cars, and other random topics. I feel that these other topics give you some insight into my personal life (and it’s fun to mix it up).

In the theme of more random topics, here’s my annual “First fig of the summer” post. It’s become a tradition on the blog to highlight the first edible fig produced by my garden, so here you go!

For reference, here are links to the “First fig” posts from previous years:

Why figs?

I sometimes write about figs and gardening because I love figs, and I love the similarities between fruit trees and personal finance. Just like a nice index fund, a fruit tree benefits from regular watering and care. Over time it grows into a productive resource that will pay you in ripe fruit for years to come.

Read more: Figs and finances

The first fig of 2021

Every year, the first edible fig comes from my prized elephant ear fig tree. It’s a tree that I purchased about five or six years ago. It spent its first couple years of life in a pot, and then I planted in the ground when we moved to our current house. It’s a vigorous tree that grows a tremendous amount each year and produces tons of large, juicy, sweet figs.

In January, I pruned the tree branches back like crazy, hoping it would make a healthier tree come springtime. Here’s a photo of the fig tree after the haircut, looking quite sad and naked, and what it looks like now.

I’m happy to report that the fig tree responded really well to the pruning and had crazy amounts of growth this spring. Lots of new growth appeared, along with lots of budding figs as the spring warmed into the hot summer months.

Then finally, in June, we enjoyed our first fig of the summer! It was from the “breba crop“, or the earliest figs of the season. Here it is:

Fig alley

On the other side of my property, we have an area that I’ve dubbed “Fig Alley.” It has an old fig tree that produces a different type of fig we call a “jelly fig”. It also has about a dozen other fig saplings that I’ve grown from cuttings.

Read more: How to grow a cutting from a fig tree

This year, a lot of the saplings have grown to a point where they’re also bearing fruit!

Passion fruit vine

We also planted two passion fruit vines in fig alley. Over the last year, they’ve just exploded all over the wall. This part of our property gets a ton of full sun which the vines just love.

Passion fruit make very exotic flowers before they fruit. This is the first year that we are actually seeing blossoms and fruit, and we’ve watched their growth with excitement.

We had our first taste of a passion fruit last month, and it was delicious. Perhaps a little under-ripe, but it was enjoyable in that special sweet-tart way unique to passion fruits.

The Darwinian Dr-ess recommends that you eat passion fruit over greek yogurt, or in a smoothie.

My helpful gardeners

My boys, now turning 4 and 7, are also very helpful with the gardening. Here’s a couple of shots with my younger son doing some watering, and also enjoying a ripe fig.

The raised planter bed

We also planted something new in our raised planter bed this year: Cucumbers! We grew them from seeds in an egg carton, then transplanted them to the planter bed in April. They’ve just started to produce some cucumbers, so I hope we’ll have a good supply of them for the summer.

We wanted to also grow peppers, but only one of the seedlings survived the transplantation process. Oh well, there’s always next year!

I can’t take all the credit for these cucumber vines, as I had excellent supervision from my 7 year old during the planting process.

He got bored and went inside soon after this photo


I hope you enjoyed this “first fig of the summer” post, 2021 edition. It’s a lighthearted and whimsical look into my personal life, and perhaps a welcome break from the real estate and personal finance posts.

It’s been a hard year in many way, but I encourage you to find refuge in gardening. It’s relaxing and rewarding in a way that’s hard to describe. Even without a backyard, indoor plants can be a wonderful and affordable way to get some fresh fruit and veggies into your life.

I hope the rest of the summer will continue to “bear fruit” for you in all areas of your life!


Are you a gardener? What other areas of your life do you find both rewarding and relaxing? Comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe to my free weekly newsletter!

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Since everyone is different, it may not be appropriate to generalize my doctorly advice to your own situation. Please run all medical, life, and financial advice by your own physician or financial professionals before applying it to your own life! Consider all information for your entertainment only!

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