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Early summer foraging: Mulberries

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It's mulberry season! Mulberries are delicious treats that are easy to harvest and great to use in all kinds of recipes.

I've written about mulberries in my Cooking With Kids column in the past, because mulberry picking is a great activity to do with the kids -- and kids love to eat them!

I detailed how to find and gather mulberries in Here we go 'round the mulberry bush:

Once you've seen a mulberry, you'll never mistake it for anything else. The mulberries are about 1/2" to 1" long and come in all shades of white, red, and black. When you find one tree, you'll start seeing them everywhere. At our local county park, we've found 20 trees so far and find a new one every day. If you're not positive, Wildman Steve Brill's website has all the information you'll need to identify them.

As to how to gather them:

You and your helpers can pick the ripe berries by hand, and while this is the best way to get only the ripe ones, it's also the slowest way (and you can only reach the lower branches). The easiest way to harvest them is to spread an old sheet on the ground and lightly shake the branches. The ripe ones will come down. When you've got one section of the tree fairly clear, look over the sheet and pick out the ripe ones. Put them in a container, shake out the sheet, and move on to the next section. Repeat.

Be sure to read the full article for more information on mulberries. I also have pictures of the steps to help you identify and collect them.

I've also compiled Ten great ways to use mulberries, including:

  • Flash frozen berries
  • Triple Berry Sauce
  • Mulberries and milk
  • Mulberry sorbet
  • Mulberry parfait
  • Homemade slushies
  • Mulberry fruit leather
  • Mulberry smoothies
  • Mulberry syrup
  • Mulberry ice milk

No matter how you use them, just get out and gather some. You won't be sorry!

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Want to learn more about foraging? Be sure to subscribe to my column to be notified when I publish a new article! There's more of my favorite wild edible resources on Pinterest. And don't forget to check out my Cooking with Kids column!

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