How to blackmail a mulberry tree

July 4, 2013

It was just a little shrub growing at the side of the garden, a bit in the way but not too bad. All summer I had avoided it, then one day the mower reached out and flattened it. Oops. Oh well, there are lots of mulberries, both red and white, growing wild at the farm.

But it popped back up, looking horrid. So I backed over it to put it out of its misery. Further mangled, it doggedly resisted the diesel mower’s three spinning blades and rose tentatively from the sod again. I left it for a forthcoming session with the hand-held brush cutter, but then forgot the thing.

A year later it surprised me with a handful of extremely sweet mulberries which were a pale mauve colour.

I’d never seen mulberries of that mauve colour, ripe or unripe.

There’d been a large white mulberry near the house until I cut it up and burned it as firewood. It blocked my mother’s view of the road and it confused me because there was no way to tell visually if the abundant fruit was green, ripe, or spoiled: all were a pale greenish white. Of course the more common red mulberries are white when formed, progressing to bright red and then to shiny black when ready to eat. Simple. Birds, dogs, raccoons and humans love them.

This year the little tree in the upper garden is loaded with berries ranging from white to black, but the pale mauve fruit are already sweet enough to eat, and actually taste better than the fully ripe deep purple ones. The tree seems to be going all-out to prevent another visit from the mower.

Perhaps stress motivates a fruit tree.

mutant mulberries

With Emily-the-Wolf absent, this yearling fawn has decided she likes our orchard for twice-daily feeding sessions. She let Bet take a few shots yesterday.

Young Deer 1

Young Deer 2

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