Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Here We go 'Round the Mulberry Bush"

I don't know why the nursery rhyme speaks of mulberry bushes, because these things are real trees! We have a nice mulberry tree in our back yard that came up all by itself. We have kept the top pruned out of it so that we can reach the berries. It is not unusual for them to grow to be forty feet tall. As it is, we have to use a ladder to reach many of the berries.

There are several varieties of mulberries. We have the black ones. The berries start off white and then go to red, then finally to deep purple or black.

They are really yummy and sweet. You know they are ready to eat when thy practically fall off into your hand. If you have to tug on them to pick them, they will be slightly sour. The berries are very fragile and crush easily in your hand. The ripe ones do fall off on to the ground. Dallas the Dog has been doing a good job keeping the patio stones cleaned off. He loves mulberries too.

The stems come off with the berries and you eat them as well. The berries don't keep long, although they can be frozen. We have made mulberry pies in the past as well as mulberry muffins. They are good in smoothies. They are nutritious and rich in anti-oxidants. One of our children's favorite things to do in June is to pick and eat the mulberries off the tree. They are very prolific and will keep ripening over the next 3-4 weeks. Yummy!
Birds love mulberries. There is usually plenty to share though. Some people say that if you have other fruit trees in your yard, plant mulberries, as the birds will go there first and leave the other things alone.
"It is a marvel what children, dogs, plants, and baby birds can pack into their insides without coming to any apparent harm."
H.L.V. Fletcher
Purest Pleasure (1949)

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