The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Hay porcupine for fig protection

Hay porcupine

I'm trying a different method of winter-protecting our largest fig tree this year. I call it the hay porcupine.

Cutting back fig branches

I would have considered this technique far too wasteful if we hadn't dramatically overbought on hay in fall 2015. But I'd already decided to mulch with the eleven leftover bales that our goats would prefer not to eat. Why not use them first to insulate our fig's many branches?

Hay pyramid

After snipping back limbs that spread past the protection of the hay, I put one final bale on top.

Winter protecting a fig tree

Then I topped it all off with a tarp. Only time will tell whether the hay porcupine trumps the leaf cylinder as our fig protection method of choice.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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