Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mulberry Time!

One of the great joys of June is the ripening of the mulberries.
I didnt even know about this berry until I did a long bike ride up
the west side highway and came across all these smooshed black mulberries
on the sidewalk. I picked a few berries, and identified them soon afterwards.

I was in heaven. This might have actually been my first wild food experience.
Later on, I discovered the white and pink varieties in Central Park,
and have been hooked ever since. The beauty of the mulberry tree
is that the berries will ripen at different times throughout the month.

Some will be ready the first week of june, others will be ready at the end.
So we get to keep going and harvesting throughout the month without
worrying about having to store them. You've got to love that.

The berry itself is great. The white ones are mild, the blacks are more sweet.
Nevertheless, both are pretty low in sugar. Try adding them to any
smoothie, whether its a green or a superfood variety.
They work great in both.

Are the leaves edible? I know that silk worms love them,
but as for humans...Im not sure. I doubt they are poisonous,
but as for taste, the question is up in the air. I've yet to try them.

I bought three mulberry trees for Minnesota, and although
they are around 8 feet tall, they are taking a while to grow buds.
They are still alive, but the shock of transportation and storage
had a pretty harsh effect on them. Live and learn...go local.

Keep an eye open for stained sidewalks and streets.
Its your best bet for finding ripe berries.
More info can be found HERE.

Again, the best food available is free and shunned by the masses.
If this isnt the twilight zone, I don't know what is.