FORAGER FRIDAY

Foraging Friday with Diego. In Season now: Mulberries!

Yay, it is that time of the year again. Who hasn't been climbing a mulberry tree to fetch those succulent treats? I remember distinctively my mother scolding my sisters and I every second day for 2-3 weeks during the height of the season, as we made such a mess of ourselves!

How can one resist? So good, so sweet and so addictive, you cannot stop. Always one more, juicier, sweeter, further up the branches!

SO here we are, the season is about to start, some of the wild trees scattered around by birds already have the first ones turning in colour, before you know it there would be bucket loads of them on the floor, on cars, on footpaths and on clothes and hands!

The best part of it is your fingers, as they get bright pink from the harvest. Would you like to know how to clean them? The problem IS the solution: if you get red fingers from picking ripe mulberries, just use a green one to clean them. Yep, that simple. The green berries juices when rubbed on your fingers would clean the redness of the ripe ones. Good ay?

Would you like to know where is your closest tree? just check Wild Food Map, as there are plenty located on there, just search for mulberry. And if you find a tree that is not mapped please add it. Below I share a video we did a few years back with Alex from Cornersmith presenting a simple mulberry jam recipe, try it! 

 

As part of the wild Stories project artist Diego Bonetto collaborate with the Pikling Ladies of Cornersmith to make a foraged Mulberry Jam YUM! www.weedyconnection.com www.facebook.com/WildStories

More info? Read on, there's more to mulberry than jam>>

Origin: West Asia

Edibility:
You can eat the fruits: raw, cooked or used in preserves, a delicious and slightly acid flavour, it makes an excellent dessert fruit and can be eaten in quantity. The fruit can also be dried and ground into a powder.

Medicinal Uses:
The mulberry has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese medicine, almost all parts of the plant are used in one way or another. The white mulberry (M. alba) is normally used, but this species has the same properties. Recent research has shown improvements in elephantiasis when treated with leaf extract injections and in tetanus following oral doses of the sap mixed with sugar. The leaves are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, eye infections and nosebleeds. They are collected after the first frosts of autumn and can be used fresh but are generally dried. A tincture of the bark is used to relieve toothache. The branches are harvested in late spring or early summer and are dried for later use. The fruit has a tonic effect on kidney energy, it is used in the treatment of urinary incontinence, tinnitus, premature greying of the hair and constipation in the elderly. Its main use in herbal medicine is as a colouring and flavouring in other medicines. The root bark is used internally in the treatment of asthma, coughs, bronchitis, oedema, hypertension and diabetes. The roots are harvested in the winter and dried for later use. The bark is used to expel tape worms. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial and fungicidal activity. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves.

Other Uses:
A fibre used in weaving is obtained from the bark. A red-violet to dark purple dye is obtained from the fruit. A yellow-green dye is obtained from the leaves. The wood is used in joinery.The branches are harvested to feed silkworms for the silk industry.

Further info: Wikipedia