It’s been a busy time in the paddock recently. I last wrote about the Figs in May 2013 when they were nearly a year old and now, another year on, they’ve started on the next phase of their growing journey. If you remember we made a make shift nursery for them under some trees. We had a few trials and tribulations to deal with. I had to finish off the last 100 figs in the car port because it was raining so heavily. That week saw me peering out the windows watching the giant puddle/small pond creep nearer and nearer to the little figs and then hot foot it over to them to drag them back from a watery disaster. The frost was also a trying time and a bit comical too. We draped some frost cloth over the branches of the trees which hung in swags and drapes like ghosts rather than a nice flat protective cover. We’re new to all this you understand! However, despite the low strike rate we ended up with 500 figs, 6 varieties (Koanga Black, Brown Turkey, Black Mission, Brunoro Black, Malta, Adriatic) and this is what we did next……
These were the last few figs left in the nursery…..
…..before being transported 100m to their new home.
This is the very clever bit of machinery that planted the figs. Basically we loaded up the platforms with figs then as it moved forward it made a furrow, the figlet was taken out of it’s pot, dropped into the furrow and the two small wheels at the back pushed the soil around the fig. Planted!
Just like that.
Here they are a few weeks later surrounded by lots of weeds…. It was fab to see the figgery take shape! We still had another mammoth job to do though. Baby figlets need water – especially during the Hawke’s Bay summers so we got in some fancy irrigation. Actually, it’s not fancy at all but wow has it made a difference. Before installing it Mr Fig and I were watering by hand with a leaky hose. It took a looooong time and we were getting a bit cross by the end of it I can tell you. There was much dark muttering to be heard in the Fig House.
When this little machine turned up we were Very Happy and watched as it dug the long straight trenches to hold the water pipes.
Littlest Fig was instrumental in this part of the operation.
And very soon, before our very eyes we had a water source for the figs and the paddock.
We could then start rolling out the black irrigation pipes.
We had to lay it out in the sun to warm up and become more flexible before attaching the sprinklers.
These are the sprinklers that I had to assemble (all 250 of them – I had blisters by the end of it!). We put them one between two figs.
In the weeks following the irrigation we noticed the figlets double in size with lots of new growth and the odd fig here and there.
See how the fig grows next to a leaf? The leaf supplies the fig with nutrients and water. When you pick a fig always take off the leaf first so you can remove the fig without ripping the stem. That’s a Top Fig Tip and you’re very welcome! It also prevents what I call Fig Picker’s Thumb. This is an ailment brought about by the repeated pushing back of the skin on the tip of the thumb that meets the thumbnail as it eases the fig off the tree and It Hurts!!! Otherwise figs are a pretty friendly fruit and fig picking a relatively peaceful and safe activity! We still have quite a bit more to do before the figgery is complete; ploughing up then grassing the paths inbetween the rows and netting from the birds but I can see it’s shape now and I can imagine what kind of space it’s going to be. Phase two concerns the rest of the paddock which will be ploughed and grassed at the same time as the fig rows. Yep, it’s all taking shape bit by bit…..