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.