The Press Democrat, Sonoma Index Tribune, and Petaluma Argus Courier are gearing up to publish their annual guide to regional summer camps on March 15, 16, and 18.

Operators of day and residential camps within Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties are invited to submit their camp information on the form found at pressdemocrat.com/2018camps. All camp information must be submitted by Feb. 23, to be included in the printed guide.

This year the free listing will only include the type of camp and basic contact information. If you would like to add a description or artwork, please contact Mary Jane Dean in our advertising department at 707-521-5342, to discuss the rates for expanded listings.

If your organization hosts multiple camps of different types, please make multiple entries. If a single camp can fit within multiple categories, please select “general” as the camp type.

Questions? Please contact Janet Balicki at janet.balicki@pressdemocrat.com or Mary Jane Dean at MaryJane.dean@pressdemocrat.com.

A bite of fig history

After spreading from Mesopotamia through Asia, the African coast and around the Mediterranean, figs were brought to the New World in the 1700s by Spanish and Portuguese missionaries.

The dark purple Mission figs were imported by Franciscan missionaries from the West Indies into Mexico, then planted in the mission gardens starting in 1769, from San Diego to Sonoma.

In 899, the California commercial fig industry was born after the golden-brown Smyrna variety was imported from Turkey into the San Joaquin Valley and renamed Calimyrna in honor of its new homeland. The large, pale yellow Smyrna figs, which require a special wasp and pollen from the Caprifig for fertilization, replaced the White Adriatic fig, which was deemed inferior in flavor when dried.

The Calimyrna figs have pale yellow skin and a nutty, sweet flavor, similar to a chardonnay.

Black Mission figs have a purple/black skin and a pink flesh that has an intense earthy flavor, like a cabernet sauvignon.

The Brown Turkey fig, a large elongated fruit with a robust flavor, may be the most popular fig in the world to grow. It has a light purple to black skin with an earthy flavor, like a pinot noir.

Kadota figs, which ripen into a yellow-green color, have a light, delicate flavor and are prized for their smooth and silky, rosy flesh with few seeds. In Italy, they are known as Dotatto.

Tiger Striped Figs, also known as Candy Striped figs, have bright yellow flesh with dark green stripes and a sweet, red raspberry flesh. They are an ancient fig that has been rediscovered in California, with a fruity, raspberry citrus flavor.

Sierra figs are a relatively new, green-skinned fig introduced by breeders in 2006. The fruits are large and round, with an amber flesh that has a fresh, sweet flavor, like a Riesling.

If you have extra figs, try making a refrigerator jam, a compote or a relish. You can oven dry them or use a dehydrator. Individually frozen fresh figs will store for three months in the freezer. You can also pack them in syrup and freeze them.

Source: California Figs