Monday, June 26, 2006

Mulberries

Candy came and got me yesterday so I could help her harvest her mulberries. This was the first time for me – I’d never even tasted one before. I was pretty excited because everyone keeps raving about how GOOD they are!

However, I was a little disappointed – I don’t think they are that good. They have a different taste – sweet but tart, but leaves a little bit of aftertaste in my mouth and I don’t like aftertaste! Norm likes them, though, so I will make stuff for him.

They have those little stems on them and if you want to get rid of the stems, you have to sit and pick and pick and pick and pick them out. Too much work for me, so I am making jelly – the chickens will not mind stems in the leftovers.

The actual harvesting calls for very precise tools, all of great expense. You need a drop cloth to collect those little buggers when they fall off the trees – and you need a shaking stick to reach the higher branches to shake the berries out of the tree. If they are ripe, they will fall off. The un-ripe ones, for the most part, will stay and ripen later.
Candy’s expensive drop cloth was an old sheet – one that didn’t matter, because of the mulberry stains on it. The stains came from dog prints as they started snarfing up the berries as we dropped them out of the trees – until we finally convinced them to leave us alone and go find something else fun to do. I was surprised at how the dogs loved these berries – they were constantly eating them from the ground. We had to cover our pan to keep the dogs out of our hard work. The expensive shaking stick came from the woods – Wayne cut one from a dead tree – it had a fork to lift the branches – however, the fork eventually broke!


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We ended up with about 5 gallon bags full of ripe, purple-black berries and I brought home two bags. I have started some syrup that Grandma Rosie had posted – not sure if it’s going to be thick enough or not. Also I started some jelly for the pantry – it will be beautiful and I’m sure Norm will love it!

We sat under one of Candy’s trees and rested during breaks, with the dogs laying around us. Bentley is really enjoying being a country dog – he spent his first two years on a chain, then in a fenced back yard after Candy got him. He now has full range of the 5 acres to run and can go anywhere he wants. Of course, that’s usually under Candy’s feet when she is working. However, Candy has trained him to “brace” when she’s on the ground so she uses his body to help herself get up. Cool idea!

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It was a beautiful summer day yesterday, it looks to be another today. You have a beautiful day!


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