The Ticonderoga Farms Fig Feast is in its second year, and had a happy crowd waiting to enjoy the farm-fresh figs. This year visitors were treated to Chef Patierno of Girasole and Panino demonstrating how to make his beautiful fig tart. As he talked about the tart, he had many good things to say about Ticonderoga figs, emphasizing that these are the only figs he uses now because of their high quality. As someone who has eaten these figs for the last year, I have to agree….
Summer at Ticonderoga Farms is a big growing season. In addition to the bamboo and figs, they have a large pick-your-own garden as well as a community garden that has been filled by many people from the surrounding area. You can drive out to the farm to pick sweet peppers, chilies, tomatoes, watermelon, corn, and some gorgeous sunflowers. They also sell their award-winning organic honey and organic free-range eggs, as well as their bamboo in various sizes, all at their market entrance.
The community garden has many different kinds of vegetables, including corn, tomatoes, sweet peppers, chilies, greens, squash, chard, kale, basil, and other herbs. Each garden plot is unique, planted with a wide variety of vegetables and extra touches that reveal the personality of the gardener. Some of the gardens include flowers among the vegetables, decorative rock layouts, signs, and garden ornaments. Plots open in the spring, so check their website for more information.
Figs are one of the most beautiful fruits in the world and make any dish more special. During my last visit I purchased a couple pounds of their Golden and Brown Turkey figs. The figs were soft and ripe, juicy and sweet, and they smelled heavenly. My boys were very excited, especially Top Gun who loves eating fresh figs. After fending off the scavengers in the kitchen, I made a savory/sweet appetizer that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes.
Just about any kind of fresh fig will work with this appetizer. I roasted the figs with white balsamic vinegar from Trader Joe’s because it has a lighter flavor compared to dark balsamic vinegar. The tangy goat cheese pairs well with the savory sweet figs, and I top it all off with just a kiss of Ticonderoga Farms honey. We ate one, then two, then three, then had to stop ourselves. Figs can be addictive.
- 2 pounds (~900 g) fresh figs, rinsed, stems remove, and cut in half top to bottom
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 16 ounces (454 g) goat cheese
- whole wheat baguette, sliced on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick
- Preheat the oven to 375° F/190° C.
- Place the figs cut side down on the prepared quiche pan/baking dish and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the figs. Roast in the oven until the figs are caramelized and soft, not mushy, about 15 minutes.
- Spread goat cheese on each baguette slice and add a fig half. Put a few drops of honey on each fig and serve.
quiche pan or small baking dish, rubbed with olive oil
Just about any kind of fresh fig will work with this appetizer
More Farm Project Recipes
More Fig Recipes From Other Blogs
Ticonderoga Farms began their Christmas tree destination 50 years ago, so this is a very special time of year for the farm. They start their celebration the weekend after Thanksgiving with breakfast with Santa and of course cut your own Christmas tree. They grow White Pines, Weymouth Pines (aka Virginia Pine), Scotch Pine, Red Cedar, Leyland Cyprus, and Norway Spruce. They also sell pre-cut Frasier Fir trees that they obtain from growers further north since the tree does not grow in our climate….
Autumn at Ticonderoga Farms means pumpkins, hayrides, and plenty of outdoor fun in their huge play area. Their pumpkin patch is a short walk from the entrance or the hayride will take you right there, though I recommend the hayride, which takes you around the bamboo maze and part of the Christmas tree forest. It’s a fun autumn tradition and my boys were screaming, “This is the best hayride ever!” They enjoyed seeing all the Halloween displays and prop animals throughout the ride….
The second farm in The Farm Project is Ticonderoga Farms in Loudoun County, Virginia, which has been in their family for five generations. They grow figs, pumpkins, bamboo, flowers, Christmas trees, tomatoes, and other vegetables on their 1,000 acres. In addition, they raise free-range hens and sell the eggs and sell organic honey from their bee hives. They hold festivals in spring, summer, autumn, and winter celebrating each season and the things they grow. In 2011 they hosted their first Fig Lovers Feast, a celebration of the fig groves that they had planted eight years earlier which now have over 400 trees and produce enough figs to sell commercially. They grow five varieties of figs for commercial production and are experimenting with 10 other varieties. They provide figs to several high-end restaurants in Northern Virginia, including The Inn at Little Washington.
(Figs in the photo: Golden Delicious, Brown Turkey, Verte.)