Oh, what a joyous time of year! Mulberries and raspberries are ripe and ready for the picking!
We are blessed, truly, to have two very productive mulberry trees here at the farm, AND to have a public hiking trail directly behind our property that is home to dozens of equally productive mulberry trees. Last evening, Jae and I took the kids out on the trail to do some foraging, and came home with a bucket full of mulberries and several handfuls of wild raspberries.
The plan was to make mulberry jam, but I wanted more berries before getting started. This morning I went out into the yard to collect from one of our own mulberry trees.
Have I mentioned how blessed we are to have these trees? This particular mulberry tree is the favoured hang-out spot for our farm animals. It’s a shady and breezy spot, with soft sandy soil, perfect for dust-bathing and stretching one’s legs. The chickens go wild when I collect the mulberries, gathering around in hopes of being the first to nab any berries that fall to the ground. When one hen grabs a berry, the rest swarm her, trying to steal her treasure. Many squawks and clucks later, someone emerges from the mass of feathers, victorious. I am grateful for this comic entertainment while I pick berries.
The chickens aren’t the only ones who enjoy the mulberries. Our goats have discovered how delicious these little purple nuggets are, as well. Here is Daisy, our bottle-fed kid (who’s too big to drink a bottle anymore!), helping me with my berry picking. The silly girl stretched herself up so high at one point, she lost her balance and toppled.
This morning’s harvest barely made it to the jam pot. My children were all over it the moment I had it washed, popping berry after berry into their mouths. Our fingers were stained purple all day, much to the delight of the little people. Now they are asking for purple hair, too!
Voila, mulberry jam! As the berries continue to ripen on the tree, there will be more and more of this coming out of our kitchen. A delectable summertime treat!