If you haven't heard, Spring time is my favorite season here in South Florida. A big reason why are Mulberries! These precious lil fruits are one of my favorite things to grow.
I'm currently growing the Everbearing variety which I bought and planted years ago from Ready-to-Grow Gardens in Homestead, FL. I highly recommend this nursery, Dylan's awesome and has a ton of amazing plant knowledge! The Everbearing has a perfectly fitting name, one tree gives you so many fruits! Enough mulberries to share with neighbors, friends, and ducks. This year the tree is getting too tall to reach the sweet delicious treats so once it's done fruiting, I'm going to try my hand at cutting it back and starting those cuttings. Hopefully my mulberry growth will be exponential in future springs to come!
I planted a Pakistani Mulberry that I picked up from Sow Exotic in Winter Haven, FL. If you haven't heard of Sow Exotic, check out their website. It's incredible. I went to pick up the plants I ordered in person, but they ship plants too, how awesome! They're website is real fun to peruse, to read about all the different varieties of rare fruit and medicinal plants. The Pakistani Mulberry hasn't yet produced fruits but I can't wait for those! The fruits are extra long, almost the size of fingers.
I'm also in love with the Native Red Mulberry, Morus Rubra. On a recent plant walk with Andy Firk in the Sebastian Inlet, I found myself snacking on these babes from the ground. The native Red Mulberry is a beautiful and giant tree that provides such lovely shade and fruits. The leaves on these trees can get as big as my face.
If you haven't heard of Andy Firk, he's an amazing plant human that lucky for us Floridian's lives in our sweet state. He has a website called Florida Foraging which is an amazing source for all plants and plant events going and growing in Florida.
A big bowl of fresh picked mulberries, Yum! What do I like to do with all this goodness? Besides just snacking on these like candy, I love making Mulberry Jam. I just simmer 2 cups mulberries with 1 cup raw honey and 3 tablespoons orange juice for 30 to 40 minutes for the most delicious jam around. I've been using oranges from my friends farm in Ocklawaha, FL, called Bear Necessities.
They have a CSA pickup every other Sunday, the next one is April 21st at Anuttara Yoga Shala in Delray Beach. I'll also be there from 2pm to 5pm, vending my herbal wares. If you want to join in on Bear Necessities CSA, use code, thegardenjules, for $25 off whichever CSA package you choose!
My friends Gabi and Katia of Mother Earth Miami recently made a Mulberry Syrup, which sounds like a lovely way to use this medicine. What beautiful tonic lung medicine. I love including the Mulberry Leaf and Bark in my Pine & Reishi Cough Syrup. I think a Mulberry fruit, leaf, & bark trio syrup would be beautiful medicine to make in the future.
I took a class with Susan Krammer during the American Herbalist's Guild Symposium in the fall of 2018 about Clearing Phlegm with Herbs of the Southeast. Susan, who is trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine, had a bunch to say about Mulberry! In fact many of the teachers did over that weekend. The leaf and the bark is used more medicinally but the fruits are useful too! All parts of the Mulberry plant are great support for mucous membranes.
I really enjoy starting my day out with a handful of these babies. If you have any Mulberry stories or medicines to share please let me know in the comments!