Spring finally came after the rough winter I think everyone had and now it's (somehow) almost Summer! What's Going On in ...

Foraging Mulberries


Spring finally came after the rough winter I think everyone had and now it's (somehow) almost Summer!

What's Going On in the Woods Right Now?

Spring and Summer are the most prolific time of year for the plants and, consequently, for us to eat and make all kinds of goodies. For the past week, my daughter and I have been focused on foraging mulberries. I think mulberries might just be one of the tastiest and most overlooked berries, along with one of my favorite native berries (okay, I say many plants are my favorites). There's two species you'll usually see around here, mostly the native red mulberry (Morus rubra), and sometimes the non-native white mulberry (Morus alba). They can also hybridize for a berry that can be somewhat pinkish. I think the red taste the best.

A Legacy to be Shared

Lately it's really come through loud and clear how important it is to teach my daughter how to forage and wildcraft (this means foraging medicinal herbs, in case you didn't know). It's good in so many ways: 
  • We bond with each other and mother nature and the plants, while creating a connection to place.
    • We learn together and laugh together.
  • She will inherit a trade she can use to support herself.
  • I'll be confident that she will always be able to feed herself, and with food that has the most vitality.
The best way by far to harvest mulberries is with a tarp! Shake the tree gently over the tarp. And this is definitely a case for going after the "low-hanging fruit". I use this as a metaphor in foraging to teach to take it easy on yourself, but in this case, it's literal!

Okay, so if you don't want your hands to look like this, you might want to wear gloves, but I kind of like it. Plus, it washes off quickly. Ripe mulberries are pretty soft, so you need to refrigerate and use them quickly. Here's some great ideas: Mulberry Harvesting - 10 Ideas of What to do with Mulberries
Like all berries, especially the darkly colored ones, these are super good for you because they're packed with anthocyanins. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions (Read more: Anthocyanins: What Should I Know About Them?). I found out some good info on this and other phytochemicals last weekend at the fabulous Midwest Women's Herbal Conference from Lisa Ganora. (Check out my pics of the conference.)

Always something to look forward to!

I'm so looking forward to heading down this trail with you! Just to give you a sneak peek of what is to come: 

Elderberry flowers, soon to be fruit! Another one of my favorite native anthocyanin-rich berries.

My yummy brew of leftover forageables: pickled ramps and nettles!

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