In Marin / CURRENTS
CON TINUED FROM PAGE 31
WHETHER THEY’RE IN classic bar form or wrapped in bacon, stuffed with goat cheese
and cooked, figs are a healthy and flavorful addition to any diet. But figs have
something else going for them that gives
them an edge over other foods, a deep
and nefarious backstory. Jesus famously
cursed the fig tree for being barren before
driving the money changers out of the
temple in Jerusalem, and it withered
away the following day — the act was considered to be one of his miracles. And the
intrigue doesn’t stop there. Spanish missionaries brought over Smyrna figs from
Syria in the late 1700s, and while the trees
thrived in California’s Mediterranean
climate, they never bore fruit. It actually took farmers more than 100 years to
realize the importance of a tiny creature
that was responsible for pollinating the
trees — the fig wasp. This fig variety
requires pollination by a specific female
wasp that crawls into the flower through
a hole, loses her wings while doing so,
and gets trapped inside. What happens
next depends on the sex of the flower.
If the wasp goes into a male fig she lays
her eggs, and they hatch, break through,
become wasps and carry pollen along. If
she ends up in a female fig she pollinates
it but, unable to lay eggs, dies inside alone.
Enzymes in the fruit completely dissolve
the wasp. Be sure to include figs in your
holiday spread and be ready to teach a
little biology and history while you’re at it.
ELECTRIC AVENUE Currently,
there are more than 30,000
plug-in electric vehicles in the
Bay Area, with Marin leading
the charge (so to speak).
Our county has the second-highest number of EVs per
capita in California; can we
reach number one? It’s very
likely. Ever since Tesla opened
its doors last year in Corte
Madera, the coveted cars have
been flooding the roads, and
the recent announcement of a
$35,000 Model 3 should add
even more. But you’ll need to
make sure all those cars have
enough juice, so here are some
stations that will allow you
to charge for free around the
county. Check marinmagazine.
com/chargingstations for an
updated list of where to plug in
for power. K.P.
Holiday gift giving can be a stressful ordeal. We often
WHO WHAT FEATURES
wait until the last second, make a subpar selection
and hope to pass it off with no one noticing. The
thing is, you can give a gift card and not be
settling. Here are some gift membership cards
for three types of people in your life. Besides free
admission, benefits vary depending on level of
contribution, but we’ve called attention to special
highlights you or your loved ones will get to enjoy. K.P.
de Young/Legion of Honor
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
California Academy of Sciences
Discounts at all museum stores.
Invitations to special members-only events and parties.
Exclusive access to family programs
at both museums. Invitations to
special members-only events.
Invitation to the members’ hiking series
at GGNPC and special planetarium
shows at Academy of Sciences.