The fig tree – ficus carica -is native to the Middle East and is a member of the mulberry family. It has been cultivated since ancient times and is now found in many parts of the world. It grows up to 20m in height and has a deep root system that enables it to cope with both dry conditions and poor soils. Overtime it develops a large canopy and, having drawn up plenty of water into its leaves, it creates a cool, shady microclimate that benefits both humans and creatures alike. The fig has been cultivated as a crop since ancient days in the Middle East, predating the cultivation of wheat and barley.
The fig tree in the Bible symbolised Israel and its fruitfulness – or not – the wellbeing spirituality and physically of the community
… nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; they shall all sit down under their own vines and under their own fig trees …. Micah 4:3b, 4a
Peace is not just the absence of conflict; peace is the creation of an environment where all can flourish, regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, class, caste, or any other social markers of difference. Nelson Mandela