Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mulberries, Scapes, and a Surprise

Yes, it is indeed Mulberry Time at Blackrock once again.  Unfortunately, this year I am doing exactly nothing with the mulberries.


I just . . . I can't.  I can't deal with the tarp and the beating of the tree; I can't bend over to pick them up; I can't spend hours making juice and canning it.  It is not happening this year.  Blame it all on the coming boy-child and the crippling effect he is having on me.

But the current boy-child!  My my, does he love those mulberries.  He had his first mulberry encounter a couple of days ago, when we randomly went into the ram pasture while A. was pulling out stones from there for another stone wall he was building elsewhere, and when I discovered the mulberries were just starting to get ripe and fall off the tree, that pretty much ensured Cubby's entertainment for the next half hour.

He has quickly learned to eat the dark ones ("That one's too red!" he announces, before throwing it far away), to avoid the ones that are close to the sheep shit that inevitably accumulates under the tree, and to beat the tree with sticks to make the berries fall down.

Does it get any better for a two-year-old?  Maybe next year he can do all the work for me.

Mulberry Time always coincides with garlic scapes.  I snapped off all the scapes this afternoon and sauteed them in bacon fat for dinner.  Man, do I love sauteed garlic scapes.

And now, the surprise!

While Cubby and I were visiting the mulberry tree today for snacktime, I spied one of the hens wandering around in the hollow down there.  And . . . what's that moving behind her?  ARE THOSE CHICKS?!

Why yes, yes they were.  This was the hen that went missing a couple of weeks ago.  We knew she was gone.  We were hoping she had stolen away to sit on a nest somewhere and hadn't just become hawk bait or something.  And there she was.  Foraging quite capably, with two small chicks hopping in her wake.  Now we need to integrate her back into the flock, because those two chicks won't last long free-ranging with their mom like that.  And then we wait to see if we have more egg-producers or . . . chicken dinners.

Either way, a nice surprise for a random Tuesday.


Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

No pics of these chics? Oh, lady. The pain of a story and no picture. For shame...

I do not think we have mulberries around here. We may. It's possible we have them and I just suck at spotting them.

When I was 8 months pregnant I just kicked everything that fell into a corner and had the H pick it all up at the end of the day. I didn't bend over for, like, 3 weeks. I feel ya'.

Phoo-D said...

It is sad to miss mulberry season! (Though I totally understand.) If you gather a few cups worth you could make a quick simple syrup, add a couple tablespoons of vodka and stash it in the fridge to use as a mix in for your seltzer drinks. I did this last year and it lasted almost a year in the fridge. The small amount of vodka keeps the bugs out. Hooray for chicks! That is so cool.

Anonymous said...

I love little chicks...they are great entertainment.
Sorry you can't bend over.

Sherry said...

Enjoyed this post and I can just imagine Cubby with those mulberries! When is your due date? I was thinking July? Be sure and let us all know when the baby comes and don't forget the picture!

FinnyKnits said...


Also - good surprise :)