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Mulberry harvest tips  RSS feed

 
brian haitz
Posts: 17
Location: alsace france
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Hi folks,

We have a beautiful Black Mulberry tree and harvest time is coming up soon and we have tried out various ways of harvesting the berries in the last couple of years. I was wondering what kind of setups you people have come up with to harvest the gorgeous but fragile fruits. Our best solution so far have been 2 huge elastic bedsheets elevated by four sticks each in the ground, it reduces the falling height and softens the land and it keeps the berries off the ground. Another bonus is you can let them ripen and Fall in their own time.

I will try and think of making a photo of our setup
 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
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Location: Denver, CO
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Some people keep chickens under them to eat up all the falling fruit; it is supposed to be a lot less work then picking the soft fruits. Your sheet idea is an interesting one.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Clothesline devices like this, could have the sheet suspended over the top. It would be quite simple to make one, in just about any size and height. It could be held by someone or firmly attached to a garden tractor, a wheelbarrow full of rocks, or other heavy device.
Whitney-Outdoor-Umbrella-Clothes-Dryer-Clothesline-Economy-Aluminum-w-165Ft-01.jpg
[Thumbnail for Whitney-Outdoor-Umbrella-Clothes-Dryer-Clothesline-Economy-Aluminum-w-165Ft-01.jpg]
 
duane hennon
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Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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I like to stand under the tree and shove as many as I can in my mouth
the rest I leave for the birds, hoping they will stay away from my blueberries
(which I also harvest by trying to shove as many as I can in my mouth)
 
Peter VanDerWal
Posts: 120
Location: Southern Arizona
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duane hennon wrote:
I like to stand under the tree and shove as many as I can in my mouth
the rest I leave for the birds, hoping they will stay away from my blueberries
(which I also harvest by trying to shove as many as I can in my mouth)


What a coincidence, I use the same method.  Then again my Mullberry is only about 6' tall so far and this is the first year it's produced fruit.  After gleaning the entire tree it just about made one mouthful.  Next year it will be better.  I can hardly wait until the idea of using sheets sounds attractive.

FWIW here in Arizona, my harvest was about 6 weeks ago.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 579
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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there are cultivars about 1 to 2.5 inches (2.5-5 cm) long, still really tasty.  you get more mulberry for your buck, but then you may not get a wholly ripe berry each time.  still theyre very good.  also, you can pick them up from the ground before the ants have gotten them, they're still good.  i love the sheet idea, then tilt over so they roll into a bucket.  if anyone tries it please take video and report back?
 
Michael Heath
Posts: 12
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We have many mulberry trees.  The birds enjoy the fruit and sit on fences, and "deposit" the seeds, often with a bit of fertilizer to help it get started (c8.  Because they are so delicate, we harvest along with the majority by popping them in our mouths.  It helps keep the mowing moving along when you can get a treat every round.  We have a rather rare white mulberry tree (more like pink), I would think these berries would stain any white sheets much less.  Many's the mowing session I come in with purple fingers after passing under the standard mulberry trees.  That also means that shoes come off at the door to prevent carpet staining also.
 
Tamara Klein
Posts: 1
Location: Phoenix, United States
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We're blessed with Pakistani Mulberry trees here in Phoenix, which get delicious fruit as long as your finger.  Our main tree is about 25-30 feet tall - gorgeous!  This year we tried using shower curtains stretched between t-posts to catch the fruit.  We set up several stations under the big tree, with one end of each curtain fastened lower and more loosely than the other, creating a sort of spout.  This allowed the berries to fall onto the curtains, and then into capture basins underneath, which made them easier to harvest.  The berries MUST be harvested daily or they spoil.  We've tried other methods (fresh pick, sheets or containers under the trees), and so far this has worked the best for quantity.  However, even though we froze literally gallons & gallons of berries this year, we still captured only a tiny portion of what the tree actually produced.  Would love any suggestions to harvest more - thank you!
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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Location: Wisconsin, USA Zone 4b-5a
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For people like me who didn't know how to harvest mulberries in bulk, since I don't think shaking the branches was explicitly mentioned. I remember doing the "pick and put in my mouth" harvesting style when I was a kid.



 
Michael Heath
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I've gotta ask.  What do you do with mulberries?  Because they are so delicate, I assume they don't freeze, store or travel well and that's also why they don't join straw, black and rasp as the berries found in the local WallyMart.  I assume you juice them, but they seem sweet enough, that they wouldn't need much sugar and therefore not a candidate for jelly/jam/preserves unless you mix other berries with them (Traffic jam?).  Wine, perhaps?  At the risk of subverting this forum subject by turning it from harvesting to preserving, what do YOU do with them?
 
Mike Cantrell
Posts: 555
Location: Mid-Michigan
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The only times I've harvested more than a few berries for fresh eating were the times when I harvested many GALLONS of berries.

I think it varies tree-to-tree: some of them have responded well to spreading a sheet out below and shaking the fruit off the branches, and others just haven't.

I once filled a five-gallon pail with mulberries in under 20 minutes, including walking from the house to the tree and back! Just spread the sheet, shake the fruit down, and funnel it into the pail. It was great. Other trees sometimes just don't respond the same way.



I've made wine from them. It took a full two years to turn good, but when it finally did it was quite good. If you have an easy shakeable tree AND you've got plenty of patience and storage space, then I heartily recommend it. Otherwise, no.
 
Linda Polle
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Anyone try a vacuum cleaner on a low suction setting?
 
D. Klaer
Posts: 64
Location: Queensland Australia
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I have black mulberry and red shahtoot mulberry. I think that one is called Pakistani mulberry elsewhere, it is actually a type of white mulberry. Harvesting has always been by hand. As said above you do get more mulberry with the long Pakistani ones but the black mulberry is more productive, at least here.

One thing I have found though is this. Queensland fruit fly is very common here (well it is Queensland) and there is a bit of a myth that mulberry are not targeted. I think what is actually happening is that mulberry just ripen so quick that you never notice them if you get what I mean. When harvesting I always freez the berries straight away to avoid the issue of them hatching and making a mess. I found this through experience. The berries don't last anyway and once frozen they can be used when needed for drinks, jams, cooking etc.
 
Linda Polle
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Sounds great. I am currenty conducting exeperiments with fermenting foods. The agent of fermentation is sour cream. What I do is pack the fruit or vegie in clean large mouth jars making sure liquid is covering the food. (if not add water).
Then let it set for two or three days, and then put it in the back of your frig or other cool place. I suggest that you set the jar in another dish, as the fermemtation will force some of the liquid out of the jar and creat a mess.
Taste from time to time to achieve the level of sourness you desire.  To date I have fermented red cabbage mixed with beets (salt vegies) and fresh cherries.
I plan to try grape tomatoes, and dill flavored green beans, and onions in a brine next
 
Susan Pruitt
Posts: 92
Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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I got excited about mulberries when I learned how nutritious they are.   I've bought trailmix in my healthfood store that has some DRIED mulberries, white and black.    I've yet to get a good harvest from some old mulberries that were on my property when I bought it and think I need to remove some other trees to give them more sun and then I'll try the dehydrator.    Anyone here tried drying them?   I'm also finding I like the flavor of dehydrated blueberries better than frozen.  It takes a long time and tricky to get just the right dryness without turning them crispy.   The mulberries in the trailmix were nice and chewy.
 
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