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  • How do you handle Lookie-Lous?

    Background: the IT guy at work who is giving me cuttings of his UNKs has an Iranian neighbor who "takes care of" his figs in exchange for the majority of his fruit. From the photos he's shared with me and the state of the cuttings, she's not doing a very good job, if anything at all. She's not covering them, not pruning them, from what I can tell, she's just taking the fruit.

    That said, I'm going to help him try to ID them and see if he can do more with them like sell them to a local restaurant or jam maker (I know several). I'm dreading dealing with the neighbor, as she has already run off other neighbors who have asked him for the fruit when it ripens.

    How do you handle neighborhood Lookie-Lous and requests for fruit? I'm lucky enough to be on a quiet cul-de-sac where 3 of us have fig trees so no one has ever asked me for any of mine before.
    Zone 7a in Virginia

  • #2
    I'm in a similar station as you. Three houses on our little private road--two owned and one rental at the main road. Both of us that own our places have just starte fit trees. His dad came for an extended visit last summer and brought 5 or 6 trees to plant for them and I have...well....a lot of little trees in pots.
    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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    • #3
      Well for me it depends, If they are nice and polite when asking for fruit and don't take advantage of me I will gladly share some. For those who are pushy and try to strip my trees I tell them they are for my family and they should grow their own. The last group might not like me after that but they aren't the ones putting in the time and effort. Heck if you wait until the cold weather is coming in you can get discounted fruit trees really cheap.If it becomes to much of a problem plant all your trees behind fences and get a big ugly dog. P.S. I love dogs and the ugly ones could use a god home too.

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      • #4
        I would say, as nice as you are, she will be very happy to know you 🙂

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        • #5
          Not very people in my neighborhood seem to have an appreciation for figs to I would almost be flattered.
          Steve
          D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
          WL: Nantes Maroc

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          • SarinaP
            SarinaP
            Senior Member
            SarinaP commented
            Editing a comment
            Steve, my friend is in Rockville too! I'm mostly concerned that his neighbor is not going to take kindly to him wanting to keep his own figs now that he knows he can sell them.

            I live in Woodbridge, and people often put up little No Trespassing signs or half-fencing around big fig trees.

          • Rewton
            Rewton
            Fig Phenom
            Rewton commented
            Editing a comment
            It's funny that a neighbor would be that pushy! Seems like she is forgetting who owns the fig tree. Maybe root a cutting and give it to her and tell her from now on to grow her own?

          • Rewton
            Rewton
            Fig Phenom
            Rewton commented
            Editing a comment
            By the way, I would be interested in hearing more about what this fig is like, and its story, since it is growing close by.

        • #6
          I would simply tell her that her Services over the years are greatly appreciated but no longer necessary. I would nicely tell her that if she would like fruit from the trees she will now have to buy it or grow her own.

          For me I have no issues or interest from neighbors, no one knows what a fig is where I live.
          Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

          “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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          • #7
            Giving them their own clone of the tree or another variety like RDB might help smooth the waters...
            Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste, Rubado, Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra

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            • eboone
              eboone
              Moderator
              eboone commented
              Editing a comment
              Agree, offer to help her airlayer her own off the mother tree or root some cuttings

            • SarinaP
              SarinaP
              Senior Member
              SarinaP commented
              Editing a comment
              Great idea--I don't know why she hasn't tried this yet--she's been getting the figs for over 15 years now... if it was me, I'd be propagating them left and right!

            • Darkman
              Darkman
              Dirt Master
              Darkman commented
              Editing a comment
              Have you ever had a good fishing trip and called up a friend and asked them if they wanted some fish and their reply was, why are you cooking some or are they cleaned. For fifteen years she has reaped but never did anything to earn it. Most likely she will not want to take care of her own tree.

          • #8
            I have citrus trees right along the street. There are people who think nothing of picking 'just one' as they walk past. I've also had one of the orange trees stripped of all fruit, as well as a guy stop his car and fill a bag with lemons... all without permission. When my blueberries were in the front, a neighbor saw two women had walked into my bb patch and were picking. He told them to leave.

            If I am in front and someone asks for a fruit, I've never said 'no'. And I tell them I appreciate that they've asked because many people don't. All of those 'just pick one's add up - to the point one Christmas when I was going to do some baking and needed lemon zest - there was not one lemon left on my tree. Not. One. At that point I put up a sign that says 'please to not pick'. And that has helped a lot. I think a lot of people just don't think.

            I like giving fruit and veggies away. That's part of why I grow so much. But I don't want someone just taking. Most wouldn't steal fruit from the store.

            SoCal, zone 10.
            www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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            • #9
              I have attack ducks. Ok the 5 foot fence with two rows of wire above that might deter people from picking. People do sometimes ask what I am "trying to keep in" with the fence that surrounds the property, I tell them not in, trying to keep the 4 legged bambi vermin OUT. I have never had anyone ask me for any of the figs. I have had strangers stop and ask me if they can come pick "a few pounds of blueberries" but that is a firm no. I did have someone stop this winter and help themselves to some fig cuttings (rolls eyes). That is the reason why none of the figs have a tag that would mean anything to them. I would let them pick the figs if they asked. 90% of the figs end up falling and the ducks eat them. I am hoping this year to feed them to the tilapia.
              Cutting sales at willsfigs.com will continue till about March 1.

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              • #10
                I didn't know tilapia would eat ducks

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              • #11
                No, Dan... pay attention. He was saying he hoped this year to feed the fruit thieves to the Tilapia.
                CA 9b "May you sit under your own fig tree..." This metaphor, in use since Solomon, is a wish for the receiver's spirit to know peace, for their family to be secure, and for their life to be fruitful.

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              • #12
                I wouldn't put a bit of $ ahead of my neighbor. Perhaps still share some with the neighbor, but sell the rest? I can't imagine a few a week would hurt profits that much.
                Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
                Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

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                • SarinaP
                  SarinaP
                  Senior Member
                  SarinaP commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You're nicer than I am! I agree he could still give her some but my cousin's boss will pay $6/dozen for his restaurants... Over the years, my buddy could have been making some nice pocket money.

              • #13
                I would still give my neighbor a dozen each week
                Youtube: PA Figs eBay: tdepoala
                Wishlist: Galicia Negra, Paritjal Rimada, Black Ischia UCD

                Comment


                • Darkman
                  Darkman
                  Dirt Master
                  Darkman commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I have many neighbors so should I give all of them just a pound of blueberries? Where do you draw the line? And then those you give some to show up with their friend and expect a pound. I will give to those that I want to and I am pretty generous. Usually I try to get them to come back and get a plant of their own for free. Many say they will but few show up later to get one. Last week a neighbor wanted to use my pressure washer. I know him well enough that he is capable of not abusing it. I told him to come back in two days and we would check it out and make sure it was working properly. He agreed and said it would be a good time for him. He never came back but he hasn't done the job he needed it for either. I grow Elephant Ears. Really big ones. You can easily stand under the leaves. Some get ten feet tall. People all the time want some. I tell them to bring a shovel and we'll dig some up. Rarely do they come back. People are funny that way.

              • #14
                put up sign that says NO Trespassing video surveilance. Violators are being prosecuted. with fruit theives it is always the homeowner that goes wanting and seething. Tell the bad fruit tender that thanks for her services in the past but other arrangements have been made. Give her an unlabeled Brown Turkey and tell her how much she will enjoy growing her own fruit.

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                • #15
                  There was a wild plumb grove near a friends house beside the high way but it was not on his land. The land owner said he could pick them so he cleaned all the scrub growth out and cared for the trees. When they got ripe he and his wife went to pick some and the trees were stripped. When the next season came around he wanted to be sure to get some so just before they got ripe he put up a sign that said toxic chemicals applied and then he covered the trees and fruit with the stuff. No one picked a single one except him and his wife and lucky for him the flour that he put on them was easy to wash off.
                  Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.

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                • #16
                  Ha ha ha. That reminds me of my house. I have a 15 and a 16 year old boys. If you buy a gallon of orange juice it's gone in one day. They are merciless. I like making fruit smoothies but I like using frozen berries (which I grew) and I add apple cider. Problem is, there is never any apple cider. The boys drink it all.

                  So I got so desperate I put it in the downstairs fridge. Now I fish a lot and this is where I keep my bait. And I keep fig cuttings and some other odds and ends.They caught onto that very fast. They continued to drink it and there was never any left when I went to use it. Then I decided to put a sign on it "Human Fecal Sample" "Bio Hazard!"

                  I go downstairs, I pour some in a cup. Come up and make a smoothie and they see me do it. But, since the sign they have never touched it.

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