Lawrence Oliva lived on Mound Street. He had many fig trees in his yard and each year would build a shack around them for protection during the cold winter months.
He gave me two fig trees over fifty years ago. One is a green fig tree and the other is a black fig. When we moved from the old neighborhood, I had to dig them up, so I feel very proud and nostalgic to still have them in my yard.
Each fall I begin to ease their slender trunks by typing rope around them to pull them close to the ground. This must be done over a long period of time so as not to disrupt the tree's roots. After many days and a lot of patience, the trees will be flush with the ground. A trench is dug for each tree to rest in. They are covered with dirt, leaves and straw and left like that until the middle of May when there is little chance of frost. Then, I uncover them and begin the easing process once again until both trees are standing upright. They are tied to heavy wood supports for protection from strong winds.
The trees gave beeb bearing for years and the older the tree, the larger the figs grow. The black fig bears heavier than the green fig tree, but both are sweet and juicy and have become a treat over the years for my friends. When fall arrives and evenings become cold, I cover them each night with blankets and tarps before the trunk burying process begins once again.