They Call Him Mulberry Pete
There is a Mulberry tree back by the corn crib. I never met a Mulberry tree until last year when Pete plucked some berries off of his tree and put them in my hand. The berries were warm, juicy…and stained my fingers in an instant. I didn’t want to put my hands on any more of those “I’ll-Turn-You-Purple” berries again. Except that it is great to have a tree that gives such an abundance of plump fruit, and it is fun to pick them, and they are great to put into desserts. So it’s a big deal when the berries start to ripen. Pete goes into a Mulberry frenzy and we have to pick them before the birds get to them. (Can you find Mulberry Pete in the image below?)
So, Pete pitched me out the door to get picking one day. I limited myself to picking off of the branches that were within my ground level reach. I didn’t need a step ladder to get a bounty-load of the stuff. I was pretty amazed at the amount of berries per branch, and that’s not counting the berries that haven’t quite ripened yet.
The next best thing to a tree full of this fruity goodness would be a Juicy Fruit Gum Tree. I would pick that too. Later that evening, I decided it was high time to pull off all the stems and rinse and clean my catch of the day. Now, I am pretty sure I had made a dessert from these berries last year, but I sure don’t remember the amount of stained fingers, hands, counter space, colanders, clothes and boyfriend involved in the cleansing of the berries that happened this go-round.
So if anyone has a quick clean solution to berry-stained hands, please let me know! And white counter tops are probably not the best workspace for these berries. I’ll have to plan better next time I clean mulberries. And there will be a next time…Mulberry Pete just came in with another bag of the stuff.