Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More snow


Fig in a pot and cardoon chilly in the ground

Yeah I guess it is time to pack it in. I mean, don't get me wrong, I LOVE snow; I simply don't like it in October. Or November, March, April or May.

Tom and I accomplished a divorce-inducing task this morning: we moved the figs indoors for the winter. This is on par with moving the air conditioners twice a year. (The only time Tom and I become short-tempered with each other is when we are lifting heavy things together, which is why I usually try to do things myself. But that downstairs air conditioner weighs 95 lbs, and, burly as I think I am, it's not something I can swing solo.)

My grand experiment this year, plant-wise, was a ton of different fruit trees/bushes. The farm already had some gnarly apple trees and a magnificent Canadian plum, as well as one lone highbush blueberry and a ton of wild blackberry, sour cherry, and autumn olive berries. And the farm's name is Old Vines, for its 80-year-old grape vines. But I of course wanted "more," and I wanted "weird." Here's the tally:

2 Chicago fig
4 Arctic kiwi
3 red currants
3 green gooseberry
3 lingonberry
2 pawpaw
8 assorted blueberry, mostly high bush

Only the figs are mobile. They are frost-hardy, though they don't particularly appreciate it. They are in the basement stairway now covered with burlap.

And we're not getting divorced.

4 comments:

Jenn said...

Moving the figs:

Invest in a dolly - an appliance dolly even has a track on the back to make stairs easier to navigate.

Tie those pots on the dolly and it's MUCH easier.

Advice to save a marriage.

El said...

Thanks, Jenn. We have a dolly, and used it...and still, the arguments! (Of course what doesn't help is the ground was so wet in the garden we had to schlep the pots 75' before we could GET to the dolly...)

Artemisia said...

My fig (in the same sort of huge pot like you have) dropped all of its leaves weeks ago & we hauled it into the garage for the winter. I've had it for years & years & it's finally putting out some wonderfully sweet figs.

This year I put in strawberries & blueberries. My question to you is: now what? Can you tell me what you do to winter them over? I've been looking online for info but it's pretty sketchy. Any ideas?

El said...

Hi Artemisia (love your name btw: one of my favorite painters shares it with you)

As far as I know, blueberries and strawberries don't require any special care. (I had forgotten, but our farm used to have strawberries, too, which are now wild and consume a good 2 acres of our land. Their berries are pretty tiny but oh so sweet.) We are surrounded by blueberry farms, and the farmers do nothing to protect them.

That said, we're Zone 6A, so it doesn't get super cold here. What I have done with my blueberries, and in fact all my fruit bushes, is mulch them pretty high with a combination of leaves, straw and grass clippings. This may not keep the frost out, but it should keep the worms happy and maybe give a bit of nourishment to them, too. Now I just need to make sure I replace the mulch once the chickens scratch it up... If your strawberries are in a raised bed, you can probably just put a ton of straw on top of them to keep them from drying out.

I am so glad to hear your figs are producing. I figure it WILL be a few years until we see anything on them (and on the kiwis too) but I am excited nonetheless.