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Archive for the ‘Figs’ Category

Fig with matching Bug

Fig with matching Bug

The back porch is the closest I can get to a cool greenhouse. It has windows on three sides, and is heated with electric baseboard heaters that are turned down to 40F most of the winter. This makes it a great place to over-winter the fig tree and any remnants of outdoor pots that I can’t bear to toss out in the Fall. It’s also a catch-all for garden remnants that are awaiting further processing. This includes several year’s worth of flax plants and a container of black walnuts (the hulls are another story).

This year, the fig tree started putting out leaves in February, which seems a little early, but so far it seems happy enough and is sporting a little bug that perfectly matches the green of the leaves.

In spite of having two years worth of flax to experiment with, of course I’m planning to plant and harvest some more this year. I suspect that it takes a great deal of raw fibre to produce even a very small amount of linen thread, so the more the better.

Flax Bundles

Flax Bundles

The black walnuts are enjoying their second winter in the porch, so it may be time to make a present of them to the local squirrels. I’m always amazed that they are so good at getting at the kernels, a job I do not greatly enjoy doing myself.

Black Walnuts

Black Walnuts

Next on the agenda is a trip to the farm to put out a few sap buckets and see if we can make a few litres of maple syrup. It’s fun to get outdoors on a sunny day in March and listen to the patter of the sap droplets in the buckets and poke at the wood fire that we use to boil down the sap. Cold, but fun.

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This year’s fig crop (the first!) has increased by 50% with the arrival of Fig Three. Fig One and Fig Two are growing steadily, and are still firm and green.

Another little branch has formed too, which is good news as we are trying to achieve a bush shape which is a challenge with only three branches.

As it’s only the end of June, there’s a strong possibility that these will ripen, and I hope we get them before the critters do.

There’s another development to report – I think the Uplands Cotton plant is going to bloom – this doesn’t look like another leaf and there are some very tiny but similar buds on some of the other plants. This one is far ahead of the others in size.

I’ve read that cotton likes the same sort of fertilizer as tomatoes, so I’ve added a tomato spike to each pot.

The Indigo is growing, but looks like it could also use a boost, so I’ve added tomato spikes to each pot here too.

There will have to be significant leaf growth to produce enough leaves for fibre dyeing.

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First Fig Crop

The little fig tree from last summer has grown nicely and is now sporting two little figs!

It’s only just left the shelter of the back porch to spend the summer outside the back door, but it seems to have taken the transition in stride.

The figs will be monitored closely so we’ll know how long they take to ripen, and whether they can do so before the warm weather ends and the fig tree must go back into the porch for the winter.

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Even though snow is still falling daily, the little Hardy Chicago Fig in the back porch has decided that Spring is almost here.

The good news is that it has apparently made it through the winter, but it has broken dormancy three months before out last frost date.

Over the winter it has been watered lightly, and kept above freezing, but has been exposed to daylight in a south-facing room.

Now that the buds are bursting open, I’ll move it under a grow light and wait for outside temperatures to stay above freezing before putting it outside.

You grow, little fella!

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