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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


O, the mulberry-tree is of trees the queen!
Bare long after the rest are green;
But as time steals onwards, while none perceives
Slowly she clothes herself with leaves—
Hides her fruit under them, hard to find.
    *    *    *    *    *
But by and by, when the flowers grow few
And the fruits are dwindling and small to view—
Out she comes in her matron grace
With the purple myriads of her race;
Full of plenty from root to crown,
Showering plenty her feet adown.
While far over head hang gorgeously
Large luscious berries of sanguine dye,
  For the best grows highest, always highest,
  Upon the mulberry-tree.
        D. M. Mulock—The Mulberry-Tree.

It is spring.....and the Mulberry tree in our front yard is coming back to life

Growing up in south India with its tropical weather, the world "Mulberry" meant nothing more than a fun bush to go around as the more well-known (and badly fact checked) rhyme suggested. 

 Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.
Berries were not a common occurrence at the neighborhood fruit stand. Then came our lesson on how silk is made thanks to silk sarees being an integral part of every south indian wedding or function. It had completely faded out of our memory until we came to our house. Even then we did not recognize the shaggy looking tree with a gnarly bark and branches that had been the result of bad pruning and neglect. 

We managed to prune it a little this fall, but to some extent the damage has already been done !I still see a lot of dead limbs that haven't shown any sign of life. I am hoping someone points me in the right direction on what I should be doing to preserve the only nice tree that came with our money pit.

In the meantime here is the picture from last year's Mulberry harvest that I am drooling over.

I am looking forward to the Mulberries this year......and I might even end up making some Mulberry preserves

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