Mulberries are everywhere in northern Kentucky and are ripe for harvest. The purple berries are falling all over town, on cars, sidewalks, sticking to the bottoms of my shoes and worse…. Being shat out by all the birds. Blue bird pooh….. Everywhere.
Unlike the song, mulberries grow on trees, not bushes. They are edible. Some varieties are white, but that is just weird to me. I wonder what whit jam would look like. Maybe some day ill give it a whirl.
With my granddaughters pink sandbox bucket in hand, I went hunting and foraging around town. Instead of looking up as I drove, I kept my eyes, down, looking for the purple mess beneath the tree I was searching. It is important to beat the birds to the berries. Although tempting, I wouldn’t recommend picking them up off the ground. The branches are high. I put a large cloth on the ground and then with a long stick, I hit the branches, causing the berries to drop. I’m sure there is a more graceful method that involves ladders and pretty buckets. I am sure that method would require me to wear a kerchief and matching smock of some sort. I used what I had, an old piece of material I would never make into something, a stick and a pink sandbox bucket. That’s about as graceful as I get.
Despite the odd glances from passers, I collected berries until my bucket was half full and it was time for me to get ready for a bbq party with my husband (Who finds this foraging of mine amusing but in a “oh there she goes being weird again” kinda way). My fingers were stained blue, a lovely touch when shaking hands with strangers.
Anyway, here is my fruitful foraging booty.
I soaked them in water and then gently put them in the colander instead running water on them. The ripe berries are fragile, bursting with juicy goodness.
Then then fun part begins…. Snipping off the little green stems.
I placed the stemless berries in a heavy sauce pan. About 2 cups.
I added 3/4 cup organic sugar
I cooked them on medium heat, stirring frequently and then smashing with a potato smasher while they stewed.
Once it was cooked down and thick, I let it cool a bit before placing in a small jar. This was for storage for immediate use, not canning or preserving although that could be easily done if you follow directions for canning and preserving.
I kept some it for a nice spring salad if homegrown lettuce, strawberries and mulberries. Add almonds for a nice crunch.