Knowledge Is Key | The Issues With Spending Big Without Knowing
Researching figs before throwing away big money is key to developing your knowledge on fig varieties.
I will be the first to admit, I have made huge mistakes when it comes to collecting fig varieties. You know what they say, "you learn from your mistakes".
One of the biggest mistakes we as newbies make (and I can account for one of those people) is look at other collector's images and descriptions of their experiences and assume "we need to have that variety". Also, we have an impulsive buying dilema which means we buy without planning ahead. As a result of that, we end up acquiring either fig varieties which many are of the same type (but different names) or we end up spending too much on a variety which we could have paid just a couple of dollars for if we would have stopped and researched first.It's alright though, we all make mistakes and it's a part of us to be this way.
I've only collected figs for a couple of years but as a very observant person, I have also paid close attention to the varieties I have had at hand. I've been able to identify a few with different names being too similar to others, which unfortunately often happens. I was not able to do this at first. At first for me, it was all about trying to grow all these varieties friends sent me, I bought and traded with others. In the end, not planning ahead of time got me into a "it's too late now, don't look back" situation. The years went by and I was overwhelmed with trees. I thought this was a huge mistake and it cou;dn't be undone.
To my surprise, little did I know that after years of having these trees growing, it would come in handy for the Fig Database. As these trees grew, the amounts of information they provided, not just for me but for many in the community were outstanding. Living in one of the worst climates for figs, I was still able to identify some varieties which were too similar (probably the same), which really were strong candidates against rains, humidity and processes that can be taken (still working on this) in order to keep some favorite varieties for you and your family to enjoy without the rains destroying your crop.
But unfortunately, I also learned that so many newbies jump into spending huge amounts of money in order to acquire "the next big fig". When in reality, it may just be a fig variety equal to one we already know about but with a newly made up name. And OMG there is no lack of people that are willing to make up names to either make a name for themselves or a few bucks off unexpecting new collectors. Below, I will use one example of a "the next big fig" compared to a variety we already know about.
Welcome to the game Kafe Te Jiate
Kafe Te Jiate also known as "KTJ" is a variety, thought to have came from Albania. Posts around the community quickly described it as "very productive, closed eye, large fig and even mentioned other varieties within those descriptions as Cavens Craving which is another big time variety". But all this should bring some red flags. To me personally, these are just tactics. Even the people bringing in new varieties don't do enough research before spreading them around.
Now, after some time of people acquiring this variety at outragious prices, some collectors finally grew them and compared them to others in their collection. Introducing to you, an older variety, "very productive, closed eye and large figs", this variety is called Flanders. Look at the picture below and tell me which one is Flanders and which one is KTJ.
Recently, this variety has been grown side by side with Flanders by Amy J. Kinsey, a well respected fig collector in the community. The results and concensus has been that yes, KTJ is the same as Flanders. And what a great example of renaming figs this is. You simply can't go wrong with this.
The point is KTJ has sold for way over $500 and only because mostly newbies rushed to get their hand on what they thought was "the next big fig". Some more experienced members did the same thing and all this because they did not do enought research or held on a little longer until more information was put out there.
This KTJ variety is so similar to Flanders that that is how it will be put into the database. This isn't because it is what I want. This is because it's how it should be. The information to actually help others start with honesty. If we can help the community and make others aware, maybe the less people there will be to incourage dishonesty or simply "huge mistakes" when considering renaming a fig. We already have many out there that do this for a living that go around and just makeup names. So, because other's don't say anything, then you pay a bunch of money when you could have paid much less for a Flanders, look at the image below.
In the end, who benefits from these renaming issues? Keeping yourself informed is key. The Fig Database was created for this same reason. We have now opened up a new community for you to join for free and get even more information on figs. Join The Fig Spot today and enjoy a new, modern and user friendly extention of Fig Database.