August and September bring a change of seasons in South Africa, so along with a spike in allergies, spring is in the air! Winter plants and trees are starting to slow down and the summer varieties are starting to sprout. I just love this time of year because it is time to be inspired!
It is time to enjoy the warmer weather and marvel at the gifts nature brings us. My mulberry tree is always the first to show that spring is here. It produces those delicious purple berries at an astounding rate and I can hardly wait for them to ripen so that I can enjoy their wonderful juicy sweetness. The first harvest is of course, eaten – straight off the tree! The second harvest is gathered to produce various delicacies which may or may not be edible! Smooshed mulberries on ice cream is one of my ultimate favourites. A mulberry smoothie is a close second. No need to add anything, just the smooshed berries with ice, blitzed in the blender. Mmmmmmmmm…….! Mulberry jam is really simple to make and if it doesn’t set, use it as mulberry syrup – on ice cream, with water as a drink, in smoothies or make a jelly. Read this article for more ideas on what to do with your mulberries.
This year, I cut my tree down to an eighth of its size because it was just getting too big and I waited for new growth, hoping that I had not killed it! But the mulberry never disappoints. New growth on the trunk shows nature’s persistence and need to grow. It even has some mulberries on it. Next year, the harvest will again be magnificent and until then, I am just grateful that the tree has survived the extreme prune it was given and look forward to the next harvest. The mulberries on the tree this year, will be eaten off the tree. No extras this year for experimental delicacies!
Do you have a mulberry tree? Does it fruit? Do you allow your children to climb the tree to pick the berries?