Tag Archives: orchard

A fig tree in Erie

Burying the fig tree

One of my friends gave me 2 fig tree cuttings. They are cut from a mother fig tree growing in down town Erie. Understand Fig trees do not grow in Erie. It’s way too cold. I had never even had a fresh fig till he brought me one from the tree growing in the back yard of his future in-laws. Well possible future In-laws..he is dating their daughter, and she is Italian so if he is lucky….. Anyway, I have had my trees for about half a season and they already are producing Figs. Unfortunately the figs did not get a chance to mature before it got cold so I brought them in, but next year I should get a harvest. I wish I had taken some nicer pictures of them, but they are already put away in the garage for the winter. So it turns out they really can’t put the mother tree in the garage it’s just to big So, of course, they bury it in the garden each winter and resurrect it in the summer. Really you just can’t get around the overwhelming symbolic coolness of that. Now add to that they use cuttings to make new fig trees each year and give them away. You have a perfect example of what I love most about gardening, orchards, and foraging. It connects you to the earth then gives the chance to share out your abundance with others. My Papap and grandma had a garden as big as their yard could handle, and what I remember about it most is them sharing with neighbors and family. My friend was nice enough it take these pictures of them burying it this year.

Making cider

Picked apples yesterday. Today I went to a friends house and we made cider all morning. This is my first time making cider. It was really easy, and so fun. His cider mill is beautiful and worked really well. We made about 28 Gallons. Enough for both of us to freeze, drink and ferment. It was really good cider and was a great morning…… I hope to do cider every season till I am too old to do it.

Chestnuts are falling everywhere due to some storms. For the most part I just gather them up and let them ripen on racks but I also like to eat a few early. I was told they can be a little starchy but most of them here seem to be sweet even when really young. You can open them with your shoes even if they not really opening yet. The spins stick in and break off so watch yourself.

If they are small or miss shaped I break the shells opened and give them to the birds. The birds love them!

Around the yard

Poke berry – Poison but a great dye for cotton or wool yarn.
(I do eat poke in the early spring but it needs special preparation use caution)

Rose hips – Good medicine, great tea for flue or colds, there are a lot of other uses.

Chest nuts are just starting to fall. I have 6 huge trees that are very full. I figure I will get a good 40 or 50 lbs of big nuts, and a bunch of small.

First 2 trees of Apples will be ready next week! Cider, sauce and butter 🙂

Grapes – These survived along with a batch back by the woods.

BTW No sprays.