Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Figmageddon is here. Plz send hlp!

Fig season is here. Yay!

Four years ago we planted a Mission Fig in the back yard. That was, as Nick likes to say "a good idea". It's productive, low maintenance, grows fast, doesn't need a lot of water, and doesn't get affected by our ever-present oak-root fungus. A less good idea was never trimming it. I don't think pruning shears ever touched a single branch of this tree for all four years we've had it.

As a result, what started out like this:

Fig tree at one year old. So cute and spindly.

Progressed to this:

The tree a year and a half later. Still cute, but you can see signs
of impending disaster. Might have been a good year to shape
it a little bit...

And now looks like this:
Oh, you want your yard back? Well, too bad, now I live here.
Yes, this is a four and a half year old Mission Fig. The fence behind it is
seven feet, so I estimate the tree is about 14 feet now. Western Gardens book
says Mission Figs can grow to 30'. Anybody have a really tall ladder?
The tree has now taken over half of my garden space. There are two planter beds underneath the branches that you cannot see, one has a very sad zucchini that is growing sideways to get some light, and the other had European strawberries, which threw in the towel when they didn't see sunlight for a month.

Heeeeelp meeeeee!

But on the plus side, the tree produces figs. Lots and lots and lots of them. Starting around mid-August the tree feeds the resident humans, dogs, squirrels, chickens, Mr. Possum, rats, and who-knows-what-else that comes into my yard.


Whatever doesn't get eaten, falls down a makes a mess. We pick the ripe fruit every other day, just to stay ahead.

The helper. The other reason I don't trim the tree is that
it's super nice for climbing right now. 

Looking for figs is a very serious job.
We picked about 14 lbs today, and I didn't even get to the high branches. I figure the squirrels can have those for now, mostly because I cannot find a way to fit a ladder into the whole mess.

We picked two baskets like this.
Since there's no way we can eat 14 lbs of figs in two days, these are going to go into the dehydrator. The Triathlete uses them for snacks when he's out training for hours.

Stacked in the dehydrator. I have four trays, but they don't all fit.

Whatever didn't fit will dry out in the sun for a while.
The extras.

About 12 hours in the dehydrator, and it's done. Triathlete Snacks are ready.

Yesterday's batch dehydrated. The Triathlete has been
partaking of this already, the bowl was full last night.

The tree is mostly clear for now. More figs are due tomorrow though. It's Figmageddon out here. Help!

Oh, and that whole thing in the Bible about Adam covering himself with a fig leaf. Could. Not. Have. Happened. I crawled in the tree for an hour today, and my arms and face are covered with an itchy rash. Fig leaves are rough and abrasive. And fig sap is an irritant. A fig leaf brushing against bare skin feels like rubbing yourself with acid-covered sandpaper. No man would have that anywhere near his "special" parts.

You're going to put this WHERE?

1 comment:

  1. FIGS! FIGS! MOAR FIGS!!!!!!

    This whole fig leaf thing is proof God was a She. No sane man would use a fig-leaf.