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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush

Mulberry trees, actually.  Very big trees in fact.  We have two of them in our back yard, and they mark the border where our trimmed yard ends and our scrub "back of beyond" begins.  I'll take pictures of them for you, but they are definitely some of the biggest trees on our property. 
I never knew what type of tree they were until a couple of years ago.  Then after I found out what they were, I thought maybe something was wrong with them.  Most of the berries I saw dropped off the trees and were white.  I figured that they never really got to "full ripeness" and fell off early, so just never paid much attention to them.  Then I looked them up last year and guess what!  They are supposed to be white!  And we can eat them!  So I ate a few last year, and picked just enough to throw in a pie.

This year they are quickly becoming my favorite berry.  We have the two trees.  The larger of the two has the white berries, and I like those the best.  They have a mild flavor and a slight crispness to them.  They vaguely remind me of apple.  The other tree is either the red or black variety - I originally thought red but now am leaning more toward the black from seeing more berries in the last few days.  This type tastes like and has more of the texture of blackberries.  What is also really cool, from what I've researched and seen in these two trees, they cross pollinate, and the berries on the dark fruit tree range anywhere from a dark purple berry down to a pale pink one - the colors are all over the place.  Some of the white ones have pale pink edges.  And this year they are both loaded.

I didn't even realize they were ready already until I saw something drop while I was moving the lawn, looked up and saw several birds in the trees, eating some of the berries.  I looked on the ground and realized that they were indeed starting to drop from the higher points and were ripe.  So, later in the day I climbed up, and shook the heck outta the trees, and first day I was able to get a half gallon of berries from both trees (I forget exact which day it was - it was either Tuesday or Wednesday).  Just on the first day of picking!  Yesterday I got about a quart of both, but today (Saturday) I was able to pick a half gallon of just the dark berries, and haven't even gotten to the white berries yet, and there are far more of those than the dark ones, so I'll be able to load up quite a bit. 

And these trees are just there. Nothing we planted, they've been there for as long as anyone can remember. Nothing we've ever watered or fertilized or done anything with. We even had a small section of the white one (in comparison with the rest of the tree - still a lot to cut up) break in the ice storm we had this winter, but the rest of the tree is fine and seems to have healed itself well. Now that I've learned how useful they are, I am paying more attention to them. I pruned alot of dead branches this spring. Found out rabbits love them, and many people purposely build rabbit hutches under them. I've eaten some of the leaves which surprisingly taste really good. And there's still plenty for the birds to eat, so we're all happy. One cool tree in my opinion!

* Here's a picture taken on 6/21 of the mulberry tree, and a pic of the berries from the white version:


You can see the section that broke off in the ice storm this winter.  It looks small comared to the tree, but it was a good sized section.

These are the white berries in various stages of ripeness - once they're white they are good to go, and in my opinion, one of the best berries out there.

1 comment:

  1. Today alone I picked 2 gallons of mulberries, and they are still everywhere! We have 4 and 3/4 gallons in the freezer along with three gallons of strawberries and at least a quart of cherries. And that doesn't even count the gallon of strawberries we gave to David! That's a total so far of 9 gallons of fruit in such a short time! Cheryl picked the strawberries the last couple of days, and those are still coming on strong, even despite fighting the slugs. This is the strawberry patch's 5th season here, and we got more the first time picking this year than in all the other four combined! So far, we've really been blessed this year!