Just about every New Jerseyan knows what a thrill it is to grow stuff from your very own soil with your very own hands (It is, the Garden State, after all).

Except me.

I was never a plant person. I had the proverbial black thumb, whereby even if I walked near a plant it would die. In fact, my husband, who is a whiz at gardening and growing things, has asked me to not even speak to his plants because he says I make them want to kill themselves. That’s why, when I inherited a small fig tree from the previous owners of my home, I just figured, well, I can’t possibly do anything to care for this so I guess it’ll be dead by next summer. But it wasn’t dead that next summer. It also it certainly wasn’t bearing fruit.

But I love figs. So I just started casually looking up things on YouTube about how to care for this little tree, telling myself that there was no way I was really going to care for it or get it to actually grow and produce fruit, but that I just wanted some information. I was literally afraid of setting my sights too high. Then, I started asking people who have grown figs about their advice on soil, sun, covering the tree etc. etc. Last week, I asked online and a bunch of you answered with great tips by email.

Watching the tree sprout up under my care has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. It’s almost 6 feet tall and this week I picked its first fruit. I know I’m late to the party, but I can’t be sure if it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted in my life, or things are just more fulfilling when you help them to grow.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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