Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We planted a mulberry tree last year, it was my husbands' treat to himself whilst I was working away from home! He has, like many people, childhood memories of gorging himself on their sweet, purple deliciousness and being scolded for the light dusting of purple stain left behind on skin and clothes!

We expected to wait a few years for a crop, but thanks to careful attention, love, a really, really great season,  and the huge tajmahal of a bird proof net it has over it, the darling tree is about three times its original size and abundant with mulberries!

The best thing is that the fruit is ripening at intervals, so there is just enough to sate your desire for a few days and then the next crop is ready!

The heaving tree - before any major cropping
Mulberries are sweet and delicious when ripe, the only tartness really comes when you pick it a little early - and there is a method in picking! The berries that are truly ripe will literally fall off in your hand, with the most gentle press of your finger - if you have to force the berry to yield, it won't be ripe enough!

The bright green stalks contrast against the brilliant
purple of the ripe fruit!

If any of the fruit makes it inside...I love them simply thrown in the non stick pan after cooking buckwheat pancakes (organic buckwheat and water...simple!) and swirl them around a bit with a splash of proper maple syrup - not the fake stuff which is loaded with sugar!. This makes a sensational start to the morning (made even more divine after a wander in the garden harvesting breakfast!) or a cheeky after dinner treat!

Organic bliss - buckwheat pancakes served with homegrown
mulberries and maple syrup!
Mulberries also make brilliant tarts (making one tonight with the left over harvest from this morning!), crumbles (we made one recently that had mulberries and green apples YUM) or go well with yoghurt on muesli for breakfast.
Of course there is no better way to eat them than from right off the tree - and there is no sneaking either, the purple stain on your fingers and lips is a dead give away!

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