Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mulberry Alley- A Simple Gift

I've had mulberries on my mind a lot lately.



I've been working on an informative blogpost--one that I never knew I wanted to write, until I realized that a lot of people don't know what mulberries are. I've been eating mulberries by the dozens every day since they began ripening last week. They are always something I've always taken
for granted, I suppose, since I grew up with a tree and since we've enjoyed the fruits of the backyard mulberry in our current home for years.

The huge tree I found last summer--
this mulberry tree is a monster!



Huge berries fall from the branches and carpet the ground below.


I've been telling my husband that we will have to go and forage for mulberries, soon. We get a lot of berries from our own tree, but I want more. I want enough to freeze and use all winter long. I had a very specific tree in mind. It was around the corner and down the street from his mom's house, and I had noticed it last June on one of our walks to our favorite ice cream stand, Zesto's. Last year we saw it during prime berry time, and the abundance we witnessed was just overwhelming. Mulberries the size of grapes fell to the ground by the dozen as we stopped on the sidewalk to look. The street and sidewalk below the tree were impossibly stained with huge smears of purple, thousands of smashed fruits forming a mat on the concrete. I've had my mind on that incredible tree ever since, knowing I'd have to return for a big harvest during mulberry time.

Today we were out for a rare kid-free drive to run some errands, and I mentioned the tree. "Let's go over there, please! We can just pull up under the tree and shake the branches--all the mulberries will fall into the bed of the truck. It would only take a few seconds to get a ton of berries!" We didn't have a sheet or a tarp with us to put in the bed of the truck, and as we discussed the idea, we realized it may be difficult to remove the fragile mulberries from the truckbed without a sheet. So, we vetoed the foraging for today and vowed we'd come back, soon.

As we headed home, and much to my surprise, my hubby revealed that he had his own mulberry trees in mind. "Oh yeah! I've been meaning to tell you--I found the greatest mulberry trees over by my buddy's house. In the alley behind his house. You wanna see?"

I stared at him, wide-eyed, grinning. "What? You were actually on the lookout for mulberries?"

"Yeah, sure! These ones are really nice, too."

Mulberry Alley did NOT disappoint.


One of at least a half-dozen perfect mulberries trees,
hanging over the alley.

He couldn't have made me happier. He is officially becoming my forage partner-in-crime. When he pulled into an alley and slowly drove through to show me the trees he'd found, it became clear very quickly that he'd found a mulberry goldmine. Lining the alley behind several houses, we counted at least 6 trees, all with branches hanging low enough to grab and shake into the back of the truck. I was speechless. I even reached through the window of the truck to grab a couple mulberries as we drove by. These trees are gorgeous, the berries are plump and sweet and ready to be harvested, and we will be coming back within a few days. I think I like his find better than the monster tree I found last summer; these trees are much more accessible.

I could reach right through my window for a sample as we drove through.
A mulberry drive-thru!


Looks like we'll have plenty of mulberries this coming winter--if they last that long in our freezer after we harvest them. This mulberry alley is a gift from my husband I'll always remember. What can I say, the man is learning that it's really very simple to touch my crazy little forager's heart!

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