Farm Stays: Figs, a Love Story (Part II)

Road Journals Blog—The Leaping Lamb Farm in Alsea, Ore., provided me with a wonderful feast of fresh figs. The 40-acre property, with a two-bedroom guest cabin, is nestled in a narrow, verdant valley among the enchanting mountains of the Oregon Coast Range. The place felt to me like a magical, moss-covered wonderland.


Rowena/Flickr

Scottie and Greg Jones run Leaping Lamb Farm Stay, raising grass-fed Katahdin lamb, pasture-raised Heritage turkeys, and a bounty of fruits and vegetables for their family, neighbors, and guests. At the time they hosted me in September 2010, I had recently become a contributor to Farm Stay U.S., a website Scottie founded to connect travelers with a wide range of farm stays throughout the country.

When I arrived at the farm, Scottie handed me a basket brimming with figs, each as big as my palm. She said, “We have so many we don’t know what to do with them—we’ve been making jam but still can’t use them all. If you finish these, feel free to pick some more off the tree.”

My eyes were wide, my mouth eager. I couldn’t believe the bounty; all these figs, for me, for free. I rarely get to eat figs fresh. Every time I see them at the grocery store, they seem to go for around $1 apiece, or $5 a pint. Much as I pine after them, I’m usually too cheap to pony up for such a luxury.

Figs have been cultivated for thousands of years, and were perhaps the first example of ancient agriculture. Native to Western Asia, they spread first to the Mediterranean and eventually to most of the temperate regions of the world. In the United States, figs are grown in the South, and in California, Oregon, and Washington.

If you’re looking for a fresh fig fix, these resources might satisfy:

  • The California Fig Fest is held in Fresno each August.
  • LocalHarvest.org is a searchable site offering thousands of listings for pick-your-own, farm stands, and restaurants around the country.
  • PickYourOwn.org offers tips for picking and preserving figs, along with listings for farms that offer pick-your-own figs.
  • At the Leaping Lamb Farm Stay, guests can enjoy all the figs they can eat, included in the price of their stay. (From $125/night.)
  • Friendly Haven Rise Farm in Southwest Washington also offers figs, farms stays (from $150/night per person, including meals), and a multitude of other fruit and nuts.

Why figs? See Part 1 of this two-part series: Figs, a Love Story.

Michelle Nowak is writing about farm stays for an upcoming issue of VIA.

This blog post was first published in May 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.