05 June 2017


For two years we have missed mulberry season. Year before last we were travelling during that one-two week timeframe they are ripe. Last year there wasn't a good crop- the trees didn't seem to be fruiting well or we just missed it, checked too late. When we first started gathering mullberries, they always seemed to be ripe the week after school got out. It's sooner, now.

So far we have only checked four trees walking distance from our house. One was still not ready- the fruits small, hard and yellow. Another was past ripe- drying out. But the largest tree had a decent fruit crop, and the smaller one closest to our house was full of nice plump ripe berries. We have a set strategy now, to get the most berries. First, pick up all the clean ones off the grass under the tree. Then spread an old sheet underneath (it still has purple stains from last time we got mulberries). Handpick from all the branches we can reach. I use a long stick to hook down taller branches into reach. Last of all we shake the branch ends and get rained on by ripe berries falling. There's tons more left way high up in the tree for the birds and squirrels.
The job really stains my hands. And one of my knees is purple- I guess I must have knelt on a few berries. Several times yesterday people asked me what happened to my knee, it looks like a big nasty bruise.
We got just enough berries to make one small pie- I didn't have time to bake yesterday so after a gentle rinse to get debris and bugs off, stashed them in the freezer for later. Must check the other trees in public reach (parks and overhanging walkways) before the next week is out, or we'll miss them.

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