Friday, June 24, 2011

Mulberry season

 Mulberries are in season. They ripen at different times and a little wind sends them dropping all about. The easiest way to harvest them is to spread out a large sheet and jiggle the branches. The fruit will drop mostly on to the sheet, unless a strong wind comes up or your hilarious spouse shakes the branch over your head while you are not paying attention. They are delicate and will stain the sheet, your hands.. and your carpeting should you forget to check your shoes.

 The darkest berries are good to eat fresh, juice, or jam. The slightly under ripe berries are a bit more tart and are good for baking (toss in muffins, cobblers, etc.) The white ones I'll toss into the compost. I'll be making juice, jam, syrup and cobbler. 

 Mulberry is one of my husband's favorites to snack on so he was quick to have found the better flavored berries. One tree behind the small house in town is particularly good flavored and sweet. Some of the trees on the bigger farm are incredibly tall and out of reach. No doubt he try to find a way to get some of those too! It took us maybe 30 minutes to gather these up. 

 Mulberry trees start producing fruit at about 10 years of age. If you want to try and grow some from seed, plant the mulberry drupe right after you pick it. The trees can be cloned, something to consider if you find a particularly tasty one.

 Here's a link to some nutritional information about mulberries. 

 The ones we are picking are the red mulberries. They are quite common around here and often considered a weed tree. Birds also like the berries (guess what color my chickens' beaks will be!).. and what goes in.. comes out with a purple vengeance. As in.. don't hang a laundry line near the tree! 

 My husband is thinking about making mulberry wine. I think he should. I also think he should try to make some mulberry vinegar! (Fig vinegar has to be my all time favorite, but I like various ones.)

Tossing more batteries into the charger.. I am hoping to get some chicken and farm pictures. I named many of my chickens after my friends. Granted.. I am now discovering that the names are a bit off, but I rather enjoy the fact that I have a hen named Dave.


  1. Can't spend much time commenting, sitting at an ER waiting for my ultrasound machine to start up but...

    Waiting ten years for a tree to produce seemed unreasonable at first. Until it struck me to that i could plant some for my children to enjoy when THEY have children. Kinda prepping for their future nutritional needs. It's the 30 minute harvest time that makes it so appealing.

    Thanks for great usual.

  2. Your zone.. go for the black mulberry. It is smaller, a heavy producer and better berry flavor. I'd just check to see if there were any at a local nursery. You'd have to keep up with watering them though.. they tend to need more water. Black mulberry can't handle our winters and the red ones are just native wild trees.

    Your zone.. I'd be planting olives, figs, citrus, avocado, kiwi, passion fruit.. and squealing with glee as those are some of my favorites! And bay, and rosemary.. mango.. breadfruit.. Wait... hoping yer not in Flagstaff.. in which case you'd need a whole new list lol.

  3. LOL I met my husband in Apache Junction! BTW.. if you ever hike in Box Creek Canyon.. I found an interesting bowling ball sized rock. Brought it home to give to my friend, who gave it to her professor cough suckingupforabettergrade cough.. he about wet himself. It was a garnet. My husband knows where we were (near some glyphs by an abandoned gold mine).. I just remember running away from horned cattle that were chasing Laura and me.. and passing an old abandoned house. I found the garnet in the wash.

  4. Those mulberries look wonderful, I can't quite fathom what a mulberry tastes like but they do look good. We have two young (6-7 year old) white mulberry trees that I hope will produce within the next couple years. The white mulberry is supposed to be the most cold-hardy which is why we chose them.

  5. When I was six years old, my bus stop was under a mulberry tree. It was great until one day the two boys who caught the bus with me, decided to pummel me with mulberries. I went to school covered in purple juice. The school nurse was not amused...but I still don't see why she got mad at ME!

    I never saw another mulberry tree until last year, when I discovered one at a sort of botanical garden where I go walking on my lunch break sometimes. Everybody else has discovered it, too, though, so there's rarely any ripe berries within my reach.

  6. Taste varies from tree to tree! Like 1 of the trees in the yard tastes like mild ripe blueberries.. kinda blah, very mellow.. and the tree literally 3 feet next to it is like wild black raspberry mixed with blueberry.. but not watery and sweet (the first taste from that tree.. it was like candy where it socks ya right in the jaw.. like when you eat a strong candy..POW right in the lymph nodes lol.) It has been raining almost everyday.. so in time I will see if that impacted it.

    Bed sheets work the best. Painter's plastic drop cloth caused more fruit to bruise and flopped way too easily in a breeze. To clean them.. float them in a sink of water.

    To me.. the flavor seems to diminish if put in the fridge. So right from the tree I go to clean and sort them.. then I start processing them. They are similar to raspberries with their tiny seeds.

    It stains. Did I mention the stains? I bring this up because I was looking up at a cardinal when Mr. Funnypants shook the tree. I got hit in the face by a couple and I look like a dork with these blue-ish purpley black spots on my forehead and cheek. They match my hands I suppose.

    These are a good berry to mix with a zingy wild grape or currant in jam. Tames the other flavor a little.. lovely combo in a juice or smoothie. If you make a syrup.. great on waffles/ pancakes.. over ice cream.. in a vinaigrette.. or in carbonated water to make a "soda".

  7. Keep an eye out Kris! Maybe you'll find more of them! Birds love them and can eat a lot.

  8. Alright, I turned my commenting section to No Moderation. Now your comments should pop right up when you leave them. I just made your life 1/1000th easier! Yay me! ;-)

  9. We used to have a bunch of Mulberry trees but of course power company right of ways take precedence and they are all gone now. I managed to replant or move some but it will be a few years and my son is pissed. He used to graze on them ripe or not most of the Summer. He especially loves them green which I read was bad for him but he has never suffered an ill effect yet.

  10. @ OJD.. ty! lol

    @ PP... that blows!! Hopefully the ones you saved bounce back with a vengeance!