Madera District Fair - "Gettin' Figgy with it."

September 2, 2009 7:22:53 PM PDT
But Madera Fair officials want everyone to know Madera County is the Country's top fig producerThe Central Valley's Ag Industry may be best known globally for its grape and nut crops, and dairy production. But Madera Fair officials want everyone to know Madera County is the Country's top fig producer.

The fig is one of the first fruits to be cultivated by man. And nowhere in the US will you find more figs than in these Madera County orchards.

The Madera District Fair begins next Thursday. This year's motto - "Gettin' Figgy with it."

Julia berry, Madera District Fair said: "We wanted to do something that was fun. People identify with the will smith song 'get jiggy with it' and so gettin' figgy was kind of fun and we also wanted to appeal to a younger crowd."

Fresh figs are still picked by hand but those to be sold as dried figs are knocked to the ground by large wind machines.

Jose Gomez, Debenedetto Farms said: "The first time they start the wind machine and fall down the figs so they dry. Wait for a couple of days."

The drying figs are then swept up with a mechanical harvester. Figs don't rank among Madera County's top ten crops. But the 6,000 acres in production are worth almost 17,000,000 dollars.

Julia berry, Madera District Fair said: "Part of the mission of the fair is to be promote agriculture and educate people and so many people who live here and people who move here don't know we are number-one in fig production."

Next week Madera Fair visitors will be able take part in the fig recipe contest, and take a picture with a giant fig.

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