Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

New Year, New Tactics

My potted fig is thriving.

It’s just over two years since I planted it and it’s taken to the wall down the skinny side of the house like…well, like a slug takes to lettuce.

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We can squeeze past to prune it because it’s pinned to the wall. Espaliered.

Branches bud in late August, leaves unfurl in September and tiny fruit appears from October onwards, gradually swelling into heavy globes – 24 this year, a bumper crop!

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As the fruit begins to darken – indicating it’s almost ripe enough to eat – something eats it.

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Vaseline on the trunk had no effect, so ants weren’t the culprits – although they certainly enjoyed the leftovers – and Maggie would surely have chased away any possums. It had to be birds. Netting was useless, they just pecked through it.

So in desperation I bagged some of the branches. It doesn’t look pretty.

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But guess what? It works.

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Unwrapping a ripe fig for breakfast is like Christmas all over again.

16 comments on “New Year, New Tactics

  1. Eliza Waters
    January 5, 2017

    Who cares what it looks like so long as the results are delicious? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gaye Priestley
    January 5, 2017

    Deb bats were eating my figs. I had it covered with netting, but they got caught in the netting. So this year I will do what you have done.
    Gaye

    Like

    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      January 6, 2017

      That’s interesting I never though about bats. I see one most nights when I walk Maggie around the churchyard opposite – so I might be maligning the birds!

      Like

  3. Jack Burke
    January 5, 2017

    Hi Deb.

    Lucky you are getting something from your garden this year. We have had a very poor show with all the crops. Germination has been poor and those seeds that did come up either died or bolted. Can’t have a bumper crop every year.
    Hope you and Clyde are keeping well, Happy New Year to both of you.

    Thelma and Jack.

    Like

    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      January 6, 2017

      Sorry to hear you haven’t had a good crop. I’m savouring every mouthful of whatever I manage to grow! Happy New Year to you and Thelma

      Like

  4. rthepotter
    January 6, 2017

    Gardening eh? I don’t mind giving 10% back to nature, or even 25%, but when it comes to 95% I get vicious. Well done for circumventing nature on this one!

    Like

    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      January 8, 2017

      Isn’t it funny? Nothing makes me as cross as something interfering with ‘my’ plants. They’re just getting on with doing whatever they need to and I’m jumping up and down shaking my fists like Basil Fawlty. Paper bags are meant to calm you down when you’re hyperventilating aren’t they?

      Like

      • rthepotter
        January 9, 2017

        I’ve never tried to calm myself with a paper bag, just continue to wave arms and shout. After all, I’ve put a lot more energy into raising the crop than the slugs or the birds have – feel entitled to ask for some ‘natural’ justice.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Isabelle P.
    January 7, 2017

    Reblogged this on From Goats To Soaps.

    Like

    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      January 8, 2017

      Hey Isabelle, happy new year and thanks for re-blogging! How’s life with you and yours? Looks like you’ve had some extraordinary weather over there

      Like

      • Isabelle P.
        January 9, 2017

        Hey Debbie, Thanks for your wishes.Grey Dove and I wish you also all the best for this New Year! Oh, yes , this winter rocks 🙂 . Tomorrow, we are supposed to have another 10-15 cm of snow. Today is minus 24C. A true Canadian winter 🙂 That’s why we enjoyed so much seeing your figs in this time of year we wanted to share that with our readers !!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. bkpyett
    January 9, 2017

    We’ve had the best crop of figs this year. Birds do take some, but I’m leaving the top branches for them and trying to pick the lower figs as soon as they start turning purple. It’s such a joy as this year we’ve watered more consistently and the figs are far larger and really sweet. Covering them looks a really good idea, Deb, especially if you have bats.

    Like

    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      January 10, 2017

      I imagine your fig tree as huge and laden with heavy figs, how generous of you to share any of them with the birds! Maybe one day ours will be big enough to do the same.

      Like

  7. candidkay
    January 12, 2017

    Ooh, yum:). I have a recipe for roasted figs stuffed with goat cheese and these pics make me want to try it.

    Like

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This entry was posted on January 5, 2017 by and tagged , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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