Chicago Hardy Figs and Attracting Native Pollinators

Reader Contribution by Anna Hess And Mark Hamilton
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Our Chicago hardy fig is putting out fruit for the first time this year. Stay tuned for a full taste report once they get more mature.

Speaking of reports, Anna has a nice update on the effects of experimental biochar on the garden.

Last year we made some nest sites to attract more native pollinators to our area and it worked!

One of those pollinators was a Braconid wasp who attack tomato horn worms by laying white egg sacs as shown in the photo.

We’ve been adding organic matter with oil seed radishes and had one of our sweet potato plants to bloom. The last time we saw a sweet potato flower was back in 2009, and this year we plan to save the seeds. So far we’ve got a few readers interested in experimenting with this possible new breed of sweet potato. Hopefully we’ll have plenty of seeds to send out to everybody brave enough to dedicate some time and space to this research project.

Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton can feel the summer coming to an end and have been making preparations for the fall garden season. Follow the season change by going to their blog at and if you’ve got chickens or know someone who does they would appreciate a minute of your time to look at how awesome their new chicken waterers are and maybe consider buying one for yourself or a friend. Anna and Mark make and sell them to suport their homesteading habit and have DIY kits available.  

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