The Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm isn’t just for veggies (or dogs). We’ve got three fruit trees too: a plum tree and a peach tree that came with the house and a very young fig tree I planted a couple of years ago.
Little fig tree is coming into its own this spring and when one of our Canadian visitors pointed out that she saw tiny little figs sprouting, I knew something had to be done STAT!
You see, we have roving bands of marauding grackles even though the 4Gs do their best to chase them from the yard. Those naughty birds spend a lot of time picking our neighbors’ three fig trees clean of any figs, so we needed to take action, quickly, before they realized that our little tree was chock full of yummy figgy goodies. And yes, they eat the baby figs green. Bastards.
Taking action was easy enough. Bruce went to the local big box home improvement/garden center store during his lunch break to pick up just two things to build the tiny tree’s prison: bamboo stakes and bird net. Now before you go all PETA on me about the bird net, it’s not for catching birds, it’s for covering plants so the birds won’t get in there. I have used it with great success for several years on my sad tomato experiments with no winged casualties (there was a deceased bird near the urban farm last year, but I suspect feline foul play, not bird net) and once it’s in place, the birds (and squirrels) stay away, mostly because the plants look different.
Here are a few figgy photos so you can see what I mean:
The stakes are around 4 feet high so the fig tree is still more petite than me. But unlike me, it still has the chance to get taller.
The bricks are an inelegant temporary solution. It was very windy during the install on Monday night so I thought it might not be prudent to cut the bird net then. I’m going to adjust the bird net when both Bruce and I are at home this weekend (he was in Boston during the install and I’m in California until Saturday) and then pin it down using landscaping pins for a better look.
As for the office supplies in use, I find that binder clips are very helpful on the urban farm. I use them during the cold months to secure the frost cloth to tomato cages, the lips of the stock tanks, the bars of the trellises, and even attach the ends of the frost cloth to itself. That’s why when I noticed that theses stakes were so thin that the bird net’s holes could slip down and touch the fig tree, I grabbed a few. I may concoct another solution that looks a little better, but for now, they’ll stay.
So now that the fig tree is all locked up, hopefully I’ll be able to report back in a few months with a nice big fig harvest. I’d settle for a few to eat with prosciutto and cheese or on top of a yummy salad, but my dream is to be able to make fig jam and give it as gifts. It just may be another few years. Sigh. A girl can dream.
If nothing else, fruit trees teach us patience, something we all can use in our fast paced world.
Today’s gratuitous dog photo:
And a special treat for today, a gratuitous business travel shot from my current home away from home (and former stomping grounds):
It really was as picture postcard perfect as it looks. But don’t feel too jealous: I’m about to spend my entire day today (8:30 am – 7 pm PT) in a dark room! But still I took a quick walk at 6:00 am in the early morning fog to pick up a Peet’s Coffee at the Ferry Building. I won’t lie, trips like these make me miss the Bay Area…
I promise to never, ever go all PETA on you. 🙂
I am never worried about that from you, Grammar Belle.
I love fresh figs and fig jam, too. Your photo of SanFran has certainly got me fantasizing. Surely you will get some time off for good behaviour so you can enjoy being there.
We had a wonderful dinner at the Slanted Door last night. It’s at the Ferry Building and has a fantastic view of the bay. I walked a bit this morning to enjoy the scenery and we walked from our hotel through the Financial District to get to the facility. I’m sure we’ll see a little city life tonight.
Oh, that’s good 🙂
Oh my…I really SO know what you mean about grackles! Ugh! Rats with wings!! I’ve found the only way to deter them from my bird feeders is to offer only nyger (thistle) seed and safflower seed. I can’t even put any suet out because they will seriously clean a block of it out in an afternoon.
Love your pic of the bridge. I really need to get out to San Francisco one of these days.
Thank you for the photo comment! It’s easy to make a pretty picture here. Everyone should see San Francisco at least once in their lives. Of course, I’m really biased since I lived in the Bay Area for a big chunk of my life (14-26) and enjoyed a wonderful city view all though college. Hope you get out for a visit soon!
My friend in France has a fig tree – they are absolutely delicious. They don’t have to worry about the birds though: good luck with yours! Hope you got some more daylight in the evening in San Francisco
Sam Francisco was marvelous. Such a lovely city. We even played bocce!