It is that time of year where all of your soft fruits such as Figs, Persimmon and the smaller fruits are ripening and will be ready for picking in a few weeks. Now is the time when you need to net everything before the birds beat you to your harvest. Just because the fruits are not fully ripe now don’t think you can postpone it. The bird population will know exactly when your fruits are ready and will swoop down and gladly fatten themselves before you get there. So let’s get netting.
June 20th. Things I have been doing lately:
🕸 Netting fruits. To net your fruits you will need a good quality small mesh net of a suitable size. These are available in all local garden shops. You will need string and ties to secure the net, and lastly you will need old CDs to hang on your trees as a further deterrent to the birds. If your trees or plants are at a relatively low level then you can manage this yourself. If however, your trees and plants are large you will obviously need help. Normally Cruella (my wife) assist with this by flying over the trees and dropping the net down. However, in her absence I am proud to say that I imported a crack fruit netting team to assist me.
We started with the team assembled on the front lawn and began with the traditional separation of the net. This involved Derek (National large net champion 2009-11) accompanied by his wife Margo (West of Scotland regional champion 2015-16) getting involved in early net wrangling. In the background you can just see Daphne (all Northern Ireland non sectarian net champion 2014) as she begins her run up in her specialist event “Labrador leaping”. The photo below shows the action.
The afternoon continued with Daphne performing the netting Hakka; this is the first time this event has been performed on main land Spain. In this thrilling display the antagonist threatens the other side in a ritualistic performance where they dance, display weapons and make terrible faces. The photo below shows Daphne mid performance. It is only a pity that we did not capture her display of grimaces and tongue poking on camera.
Once everyone had a short rest and refreshments we moved on to the all important tree section. Here the team have to place the net over the tree whilst performing a dance of their choice. I am pleased to say that this free style section allows the team to show creativity and movement. In a crowd pleasing move they opted for an international theme and chose “Limbo”. The photos below show the team at the early stages. In the first photo Daphne can be seen going into her preliminary limbo moves. The next photo shows the team in full flow. Daphne has snapped up into her throwing stance, whilst Derek and Margo chant traditional Scottish sea shanties as they throw the net across the tree. Despite the great display the team were docked points for “cultural appropriation”. Click on each photo for a larger view.
The afternoon finished with the traditional blessing and worshipping of the tree. This involves using string and ties to make the net secure. The photo below shows Daphne – who was chosen as the presiding priestess – saying the last few incantations and curses against birds. Margo meantime, in an unexpected move, gave the whole event a flourish by showing off her famous Hebridean crochet knots. This crowd pleaser would normally have garnered top marks, but unfortunately points were deducted when someone from “Me-Too” complained that Derek had made lascivious glances at Daphne whilst she performed the rites. An appeal was launched, but the photo evidence (seen below) was upheld and points were lost.
My biggest disappointment of the day was that I came no where in the small nets rounds. My entry in the small tree category involving my Persimmon did not get through to the second round. Whilst my “pot and net combination” was disqualified for being messy. The photos below tell their own story. Click on each photo for a larger view.