Tuesday, July 15, 2014


When we bought this little place here, at one corner of the property was a smallish mulberry tree.  The purple kind, not the supposedly more desirable white kind.  But that was A-okay with me, because I like purple mulberries.  I'd only ever had them on the intermittent occasion that my parents and I attended the annual family reunion of my paternal grandmother's side of the family down in Kentucky.  At the park where the reunion was held was a huge old mulberry tree and the berries were always ripe at reunion time.  So, for me to find a mulberry tree at this little place here seemed like a great and wonderful thing.  Mulberries of my own! Mulberries every summer!

It hasn't quite worked out that way in the twelve years that we have now owned this little place here.  Some summers I've been so busy that I forgot to check the mulberry tree until all the berries had gone.  Other summers there weren't many berries at all even though I did check at the right time.  And, honestly, that mulberry tree of mine isn't in the easiest place to harvest; on the edge of the ditch between the front field and the road. There is some poison ivy in that area that we haven't gotten around to eradicating yet.  Plus, most of the branches are over my head, so I am unable to reach most of the berries.

A few years ago I noticed a seedling growing on the eastern edge of my garden. Joyfully I identified it as a mulberry tree, and decided it could continue to grow right where it was.  Most volunteer seedlings we get in the garden get pulled and transplanted within a year or so, but this one, this little mulberry tree, was right on the edge.  The edge of the garden seemed a perfectly good location for a tree with edible fruit.  Easy to get to, no poison ivy, and level ground that I can set a ladder on when the tree grows too tall for me to reach much.

This year it has an abundance of berries.  When K3 was here, they were just starting to get ripe, and we'd check that little tree daily for berries that were ready to eat.  At first she wasn't so sure about that; eating the little purplish black things that Grandma was picking off the tree. But within a few minutes she'd tasted them, and found that she loved them, and her face and hands were stained purple with their juice.

If a day went by where I'd forget to check the tree with her, she'd say "Grandma, yum!" (I only heard her say 'mulberry' once, the last day she was here) and point at the tree. Then we would walk to the edge of the garden and eat some mulberries.  She did this with DS2 on a day he came to visit, and I was able to get a picture of them as they picked and ate the fruit.

There are still more mulberries ripening this week.  Last night I put a handful of them on top of my slice of angel food cake during dessert.  Yum!

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