Hello again, still catching up on summer photos… We focused more energy on growing vegetables this year than we did on growing fruit. Some of the fruit was plentiful in our garden this year, and other things not so much. Each year it’s different, but the blackberries are something we can pretty much always count on. They are invasive here and thrive despite our efforts to control and contain them. Much of the year the blackberries are a thorny nuisance taking over everything, but as soon as they are covered in delicious, sweet berries each summer our feelings change. They taste so good, and they provide an inexpensive way to fill the freezer with berries for the winter, we appreciate that. We have wild blackberries around the land here, and also a thornless variety from One Green World, which makes harvesting really convenient.
It was also a good year for figs, our best year yet. That’s because our little fig tree we planted years ago is not quite so little anymore and gave us a lot more figs this summer. They ripened at different times, starting in August, which we appreciated because we were able to enjoy them for longer rather than have them ready all at once. I’ve written about this here before, but feel like mentioning it again… we had a fig tree here that produced figs that never ripened, that’s why we bought a fig tree specifically suited to our climate. We love our Desert King Fig Tree from One Green World! It’s better suited for areas closer to the coast, like we are.
Jeff and B love figs, and while I do love dried figs, I’ve never gotten as excited over fresh figs as they have. Jeff insisted that there’s a huge difference between a fig that is picked before it’s ripe and a fig that’s ripe. He is so right. Enjoying some really ripe figs this summer made me understand why they love them so much!
I wondered how to tell when a fig is ready to pick? See the ones in the picture in the upper left that are more pink? Those ones weren’t ripe enough. Ripe figs will start getting really gushy inside. The picture above the one with the figs in the bowls also shows how the figs will start to “hang” off the branch, rather than sticking out straight. I found this video really helpful for some tips on how to tell when a fig is ready to pick.
We did dry some figs this year when we had a batch ripen all at once, and while a fresh fig is such a treat, I still think the dried figs are my very favorite.
We harvested apples, but it wasn’t our most abundant apple year. We harvested our early variety- Wynoochee Early (pictured above), and later our Liberty apples (my favorite variety, I absolutely love the flavor.) Both we bought from One Green World… I’m sure you’re noticing a theme here! We love ordering our fruit from them and look through their catalog regularly as a family. We all want to plant everything they have.
Let’s see what else happened in the garden this year, fruit-wise… besides the occasional wild berries, we got some handfuls of honeyberries… not a whole lot of blueberries (between the moles and the birds, not a great blueberry year for us.) Like I mentioned before, we need to put bird netting over the strawberries next year and grow them all up off the ground. The currants did really well this year, despite not giving them a lot of attention.
And our raspberries did produce, though we need to dig them all up and re-plant them in some sort of containers where they can’t take over everything. Our friends warned us about that, but we planted them far off from the garden in a gravel spot where we didn’t think they would spread as much and as quickly as they did. Lesson learned, that’s how gardening goes- you figure it all out as you go along.
We had to remove an old plum tree this year that rotted in the center, and when we start planning fruit for next year I definitely want to be planting a plum tree! And anything else we can find a space for…