The Year of the Fig

This is going to be the Year of the Fig . . according to me! You know how I’ve always moaned and complained that our big fig tree freezes completely back every year and has to start from the ground up? We planted our first fig tree in March, 2012. That winter, it froze back and not a single sprout was visible in the spring. We thought it had died and in late spring, we saw shoots coming from the ground. We waited to see if any new growth appeared on last year’s growth and there was nothing so and we cut it off a few inches above the ground in Spring, 2013. Same thing happened in 2014 and 2015.

Fig Tree

Finally, in summer, 2015, it grew and produced lots of figs. It was over 10′ tall. For comparison, look at the water hose next to the diameter of the branches. That had to take a lot of effort in a few months.

Fig Tree

Fig Tree

Yesterday when I was out walking around, looking at the fruit trees, I was so excited to see sprouts coming from last year’s growth! I’m thinking . . if that tree doesn’t have to start from the ground up, we could get LOTS of figs and hopefully sooner this year. That makes me happy!

We have 10 fig trees and 9 are showing new growth on last year’s wood. I suppose that’s because we didn’t have much winter this year. I’d like to think it’s because the trees are older but since 4 of the trees were newly planted last year, I’m pretty sure it’s because of our lack of freezing temps. 

The bad news is . . no winter means LOTS of bugs this summer.  Figs? Bugs? Can’t have everything I guess.

 

Friends and Followers

It’s nice to be loved. It’s nice to have friends who are happy to see you and it’s nice to have friends who will follow you anywhere you might go!

Chickens

Chickens

When we had too many chickens, they became just “chickens”. I fed them. I watered them. I gathered eggs and I wondered why I allowed myself to get so many darned chickens.

Now that we’re down to just 7, they all have names again. I take them special treats every day and they’re my buddies. Yesterday I was thinning out beets in the garden and I saved all the little seedlings for them. They thought I was the best chicken mama ever.

The gate that goes out into the orchard squeaks. I keep thinking I’ll oil it but then I love how the chickens hear it from wherever they are and they come running when they hear the annoying squeak.

Chickens

Chickens

No matter where they are in the orchard, when they hear me coming, or see me, they all come running. These chickens will never be as friendly as Miss Hattie and her sisters . . just a different breed with different temperament, but these black chickens have all become way friendlier now that they’re free ranging . . or maybe it’s that I bring them so many treats.

Chickens

Chickens

They will follow me and especially when I have treats and they’re all trying to be first in line . . if I stop, they will almost run into me. See the chicken in front? She’s a cross between the Dominiques and the red hens we had. She makes me smile with her orange and black coloring, which happens to be my high school colors.

Not that we’re getting more chickens but IF we did, I think I’d go with the Dominiques. They pretty docile, sweet and good layers . . unless they’re on strike. It’s fairly easy to tell which ones are girls and which ones are boys when they’re just a day old so I’m just saying . . IF we went to Tractor Supply and IF they had baby Dominique chicks and IF we decided to bring a few home, we would want all girls because one rooster in the hen house is plenty and I really like old Willie! He does a good job of keeping the girls safe, warning them of danger, and attracting their attention when he finds a fat, juicy bug. He’s friendly . . the friendliest rooster I’ve ever had. In fact, this morning when I went out to see why there was so much squawking (just two hens arguing over who was going to sit in which nesting box), Willie was so determined that I had treats and he was staying close by just in case . . I had to give him a nudge to get him out of the way so I could walk.

Yes, it’s nice to have just a few chickens. I hope we remember that when those cute baby chicks start showing up this week.

Funny Trees

A few weeks ago, I think I showed a picture of our jujube tree, leaves and fruit are gone for the season and all that remains are those evil thorns. It reminds me of something that should be found growing around a haunted house.

Jujube

Jujube

The only time the thorns get me is when I’m carefully picking fruit and a big gust of wind comes and blow the branches into my skin. Those thorns will go through most gloves and about all the clothing I have.

A couple of weeks ago, we bought two more jujube trees and Vince got them planted. I think this one is even funnier looking than the other one.

Jujube

Jujube

It will be interesting to see what it looks like after it sprouts some leaves and branches.