all around the mulberry bush

if you know me at all, you will know that i'm not a tree-climbin' kind of gal.  something about heights and not liking to get all scratched up and a fear of dive-bombing birds (they exist - just ask the back of my mom's head) just kind of turns me off.  but i will tell you that i did find myself climbing a tree the other day, all for the love of a great deal.

what the crap, you ask.

i will tell you.  but first i have to back up and tell you a little story about mulberry trees.

your neighbors or your mom will probably tell you something about mulberry trees, but they are wrong.*  they will say they are basically really tall, annoying weeds.  and that they're a nuisance.  and that they spread like... crazy (i was about to insert a very inappropriate tara reid joke).  and that when birds eat mulberries, their crap turns purple and stains stuff and helps spread MORE mulberry trees.  but i say NAY. (actually, the parts about them spreading and the bird poop are true.  but i say purple blotches of bird poop all over my deck is festive.  sort of.)

my neighbors gave me this whole song-and-dance.  and  before i knew the gloriousness that is the mulberry tree, i actually believed them.  and cut one down with my own two hands.  (actually, i oversaw the cutting down of one by my husband with my own two eyes.)  but in my defense, it was growing through our arbor (yes, we have an arbor, how old-person are we?!) and would've taken that spindly-by-comparison thing down in no time.  so i'm okay with it.  but luckily for our sakes, i left two standing, much to the chagrine of my neighbors.  so now we're basically 'those people' in our neighborhood, but whatevs.

what's so awesome (and worthy of neighborhood shunning) about mulberry trees, you ask.

i will tell you.  they are free food.

they don't have to be weeded or sprayed or maintained at. all.  they are sun-ripened, chemical-free, organic free food.  and in comparison to the non-free kind of berries, even the non-organic kind, that's a pretty great deal.  and if you know me at all, you will know that i LOVE a deal, as well as the opportunity to play laura ingalls.

which is how i found myself climbing a tree the other day and shaking what its mama gave it.  i just spread a bunch of old sheets out on the ground around it (watch out - mulberries permanently dye whatever they touch) and went to town shaking that puppy and watching it rain mulberries.  and between two days and two trees, i have so far gathered about 10 pounds - shut up!  i googled the math on it, and that's equivalent to anywhere from 15-30 pints.  FOR FRIZZ-EE.  the only way i could've gotten a better deal is if it was some kind of stripper tree and it rained dollar bills when shaken.

also, here are some bullet points to read:

*my kids like them, which is awesome.

*i can put them in smoothies and pancakes and a whole host of other stuff.

*they are free.

*i will be trying out my new garage-saled dehydrator to see if i can't make some kind of mulberry raisins.  (mulaisins? sounds ethnic.)

*i may also be making some mulberry jam to take to the neighbors as a sort of please-don't-hate-me-for-not-cutting-down-those-trees-because-see?-it's-worth-having-them-around peace offering.

oh yes, believe you me: i will be out there berrying until there are none left... or until i get dive-bombed by a bird; it took my mom a really long time to recover from that incident, and i don't want to put my family through that.

*todd's mom brought up a really good point that has me rethinking just how awesome mulberry trees are - when birds mulberry-crap on your clotheslined laundry, it's they're kind of hindering my laura ingalls-ing now by preventing me from line-drying my clothes.  i have found myself in quite a conundrum.  what should i do?


whenjeskasparks said...

the money you save on free food can help you buy new clothes. i say keep the trees.


apotratz said...

Or use the money you save to use a dryer?

We've been stalking you!! Not really, just walking by and looking at your house. It looks way big and way nice!

Jessica said...

ALSO mulberries are delish with some milk (preferrably not skim you need a little fat) or cream (for a lotta fat) and a little sugar. Sooo good! My friend Lindsay and I used to pick the trees in the ditch and her grandma let us in on that little secret! :)