Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Figs From a Greywater-Irrigated Tree

Late summer fig harvest from an improbable source

I didn't think this fig tree was ever going to make figs. It grows in the shade of the biggest oak on our property, clinging to a rocky slope. Earlier in the summer I realized that it was making little fruits so I moved the washing machine drain line over to it and I've watered it all summer with the greywater. I don't know what kind of figs they are but I'm guessing they are not Texas green figs because those are much larger. I've harvested maybe three handfuls of little fruits off of it this summer and I'm hoping for a couple more.

This tree may never be a big producer but it has inspired a much bigger idea. Why not use that washing machine greywater to water several fruit trees? In a few years we can be eating fruit grown with a valuable household byproduct that typically goes to waste. Win win! I've been researching which types of fruits and which varieties grow well in our local climate and soils. I'm thinking about plums and pears, and maybe a loquat or a persimmon. I will happily take advice because I've never raised fruit trees before! Lay it on me if you have any thoughts or ideas.


  1. I was just at the nursery this weekend looking at fig trees. I've never eaten a whole fig but feel from my fig newton years and all the recipes that call for it to be paired with Proscuitto that a fig tree and I would get along famously. Anything that can be paired with cured pork of any kind is my kind of edible.
    HOW do you get the grey water out of the house??? My washer is hooked into lines and tubing and all runs under the house...I totally want to do grey water stuff.

    1. I put my washing machine in the workshop/carport so it would be easy to run the waste line into the yard. There are other options, though, if you want to keep the machine inside the house. You can run it through an exterior wall pretty easily or through the floor if you have a floor you can cut through. Our house is on a concrete slab so I can't get to the the plumbing AT ALL without jackhammering the foundation. If your house is on pier and beam you can run alternate plumbing under the house. See my post on Simple Greywater systems from March!


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