Mulberries

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I don’t think there’s anything that gives a feeling of abundance more than fruit trees.  To watch the tree first awaken in early spring, the incomparable colour of soft green buds, and then the fragile pastel flowers bursting into life, covering the tree in the archetypal colours of springtime.  We moved onto this rental property in winter, when the trees stood bare and skeleton-like in the frosted landscape.  We had no idea of what would happen to these trees in springtime.  Now that it’s summer and they’re in fruit, it feels like such a blessing to have seen this unfold over the seasons, it makes me wish I had planted fruit trees at the houses we’d rented in the past, for other people to be able to appreciate in this way after we’d gone.

This mulberry tree had a different way of coming to life than the other fruit trees around here.  When the other trees were covered in blossoms, the mulberry tree was still leafless, very late in spring we noticed some leaves forming, and then soon after, the berries appearing.  We watched as they grew and changed colour, beginning to eat the very first ones that we thought were ripe enough.  Now as the leafy canopy protects us from the harsh summer sun, we pick them at their blackest, when they are at their height of sweetness and juice.

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Mulberries are full of ripe fruit for several months of the year.  They’re a good tree to have wherever chickens are roaming, because they will constantly drop delicious and nourishing fruit on the ground for chooks to eat.  They’re a good tree to have around children, as they provide both low hanging fruit, and branches at a decent height for climbing, to reach higher fruit.

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The leaves from the mulberry tree are good to have for larger livestock, the leaves are a natural way to rid animals of worms, and you can either bring a few leaves to the paddock for the animals to eat, or plant trees around the place for the animals to harvest themselves.

Mulberries will also grow from cuttings.  I haven’t tried this myself but plan on taking some before we move.  Linda Woodrow recommends using water with willows steeped in it, to help the cuttings grow roots.

Here are some of my mulberry recipes:

Mulberry Crumble

Mulberry Honey Jam

Mulberries with Créme Fraiche, Honey, and Paleo Granola: Put mulberries in a bowl, top with around half this amount of créme fraîche, drizzle with a teaspoon or two of raw honey and sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of paleo granola or chopped nuts.

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