New Greenhouse Fig Experiment

As many of you know, assuming you’ve been following our work at Food Forest Farm, the Permaculture Greenhouse project has grown! We are now in two States 🙂 The bioshelter is still growing delicious citrus at the Paradise Lot garden in Massachusetts. Our new project is in Brooktondale, NY…

IMG_20180405_101224277_HDR.jpgDoesn’t look like much now…

Our plan is to turn this sheep barn poly tunnel into a delicious cold hardy figgery!

The ground is being prepared now, by removing the old sheep manure and bedding, spraying the ground with diverse microbiology and liquid minerals, prepping the planting holes (think “pots in the ground”), and then planting the trees!

Here is our list of hardy in-ground fig trees for 2018:

Florea (sugar berry flavor)- early season
Improved Celeste (sugar flavor)- early season
Saint Rita (punch berry flavor)- mid season
Ronde de Bordeaux (resin berry flavor)- mid season
Valle Negra (resin berry flavor)- mid season
White Trianna (honey berry flavor)- late season
Hardy Chicago (punch berry flavor)- late season
JH Adriatic (citric berry)- late season

We will be overwintering the trees with heavy mulch of horizontal main trunks in the greenhouse, growing the trunk like this:

senteimaeThese are end of year dormant canes that will be cut off at the trunk, and then the trunk covered with mulch. Canes will regrow the following year and produce fruit (Japanese Step-over Method borrowed from the internet).

7 thoughts on “New Greenhouse Fig Experiment

    • Hey Bob. I can answer you here. I’ll also put an update on the Bullhead blog post. There are lots of details I could note, the most important is that 1/3 of the fish lived longer then I expected, two and a half years… Yet never successfully reproduced, although they did lay eggs at one point and it may be that there wasn’t a male available to fertilize the eggs. My assessment is with better conditions (more oxygen and food) they would have thrived and reproduced. With that said, they don’t grow very fast (due to the cold 6 month long winter, there is no growth) it takes two years or more for the fish to get to edible size. We eat the last remaining catfish (one fish), and mirror carp 3 years after adding to the tanks.

      • Thanks Jonathan. I have been working with both YBH and BBH for 9 or so years now. I echo all that you say… except I did’t ever get eggs and I have used under water air bubblers.

        Used your ‘spawning’ goldfish
        suggestion last year as well as will try this year to stimulate breeding/repro success. Slow growth (winter dormancy) and no reproduction are
        The two big hang ups…..

  1. Last time i saw unrestricted root growth figs in a polytunnel (in UK) it had very quickly made a break for freedom through the plastic tunnel – am guessing the method you are using will stop this and encourage fruiting rather than growth?

    • Were the fig tree roots growing out the sides, or the branches out the top plastic? Our plan is to pinch the tops of the canes to encourage fruit production (we will know in year three how vigorous the canes are, until then who knows that’s three winters away, and 3 climate zones colder then UK!)

      • Hi Jonathan, it was the branches out of the top that i saw – it was a large polytunnel as well – in our community garden greenhouse we planted on in an old tumble dryer drum off the ground to keep it small and training along wires to encourage fruiting – I’ve done similar in my thermal greenhouse as my hieght is restricted – be interested to see how your experiment fares – fresh figs are nectar of the gods.

  2. Yum….. can’t wait to try them. Related to “figs”, our chutney company just got a big order from Harris Teeter – some 450 of their stores – to put three of our spreads in their cheese/deli sections. One of those is our fig spread which we love and has been a big seller in other stores. Maybe one day….. just dreaming…. Sigh..

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