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The Wondrous World of Figs

In the world of figs and fig trees, Llucmajor plays a perhaps surprisingly eminent role. Not very far from this capital of the Migjorn region one can find Son Mut Nou, an experimental farm of 15 hectares specializing in the cultivation and study of figs and fig trees. A total of 1,616 fig trees grow on the extended 15 hectares of this finca, fig trees of a total of 367 fig varieties, of which 251 are indigenous to Mallorca. Some fig trees found there originate from the Americas, China, Syria, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Israel and Japan, including one from Fukushima. I am told that Son Mut Nou is the place with the largest number of fig varieties anywhere in the world. I am also told that Mallorca was once the number one fig producer worldwide, some 80 years ago. Today, Mallorca has slipped to rank 27, occupying rank 7 within Spain. It seems that perhaps tourism has diverted Mallorcan farmers away from figs and other crops and thus, somewhat away from agriculture.

You can visit Son Mut Nou, not far from Son Antem golf course. Señor Montserrat Pons Boscana is a pharmacist by profession, a botanist by passion, the finca‘s proud owner and the dedicated head of fig cultivation. Open Doors are held at Son Mut Nou throughout the fig season, between May and September. This year, the fig season has come to an end. All of the 500 tons of figs harvested here this year have either been sold as fresh fruit, as dried or conserved product, or been distilled into liqueur.

Montserrat Pons Boscana is also the author of the definitive book on Mallorcan fig trees (in Catalan, Les Figueres a les Illes de Balears, 450 pages, 36 €), covering each and every one of the 251 autochthonous fig varieties in Mallorca and the Balearic Isles, as well as some of the other ones.

The photo (top) was taken near Llucmajor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 29th, 2011. The time was 15:30:32. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of facebook.com and Montserrat-Pons-i-Boscana. The poster was published by Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca, showing 57 Mallorcan fig varieties, with some brief information on the reverse in Catalan, Castellano, English and German. The poster is still available from the Miró foundation, for free, I think. The bottom image depicts Senyor Pons‘s book, edited by Son Mut Nou.

Thank you, and

moltes gràcies.

9 replies »

  1. Very beautiful Figs…. is there any “English Version” of this book? May I know, where to buy Figs tree / stem cutting of figs varieties in Mallorca. Hopefully I would visit Barcelona on October 2012 and could visit Mallorca as well for couple of days.

    • hi hellym, the fig book was published in catalan. now, a version has come out in spanish. no english version is available at the moment. if you want to buy fig trees or cuttings, best get in touch with montserrat pons at sonmutnou.com. he may be able to advise on plant sources in barcelona.

  2. WE LIVE IN MANACOR AND HAVE SEVERAL FIG TREES — BUT ALAS THIS YEAR OUR CROP IS NON EXISTENT — THE TREES HAVE A GREAT QUANTITY OF FRUIT WHICH HAS NOT GROWN BEYOND A VERY SMALL FRUIT — IS THERE ANY REASON FOR THIS? — YOUR OPINION WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED (THE TREES ARE ABOUT 150 YEARS OLD).

    • Hi Colin,
      I am not really enough of an expert to do a long distance diagnosis of your fig trees. but I would suggest you go to Llucmajor and pay Señor Montserrat Pons Boscana a visit at his pharmacy in Carrer Font no. 6 (Farmacia Pons Boscana, telephone 971.660.395). It would help if you spoke some Spanish but I think Señor Pons understands a word or two of English as well. He will know an answer to your dilemma, for sure.
      Best of luck,
      Klaus

  3. Hi,
    Very nice blog. I really want to buy fig cutting from Mallorca. Do you have any relative or contact that i can reach by email? My email is boy1781945@gmail.com
    I am looking forward to hear from you.
    Thank you !

    • hi Zidny,
      the authority on figs in Mallorca is Montserrat Pons i Boscana. I guess that you could ask him for fig cuttings. You could have a look at his website at http://sonmutnou.com. He also has a Facebook page (Facebook | Son Mut Nou – Monserrat Pons i Boscana). His email is mpons.sonmutnou (at) hotmail.com.
      Good luck.

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