This is a good time of year for foraging here in Austin, and this weekend I got off to a great start ahead of summer by singing “Pop Goes the Weasel” while collecting mulberries. The mulberry tree is sometimes difficult to spot, as it pretty much looks like an oak from a distance, but once you find one, you can forage for days and seemingly never run out. You can find all you need to know to start your own search on Foraging Texas.
I have a personal garden plot at the church down the street, and I also volunteer at a community garden in East Austin, and there happens to be a mulberry tree at both locations, so I didn’t need to walk around much to gather about 100 or so of the berries, which are sweet and kind of grassy tasting, if that makes any sense. I know that there are also a couple of mulberry trees along Willowbrook Reach in Cherrywood, specifically along 38th 1/2 Street, but I’m going to collect all the fruit I can reach next week so you better hurry!
Combining the berries with some blueberries, a banana, some yellow chard from the garden, local honey, and pomegranate juice, I made a damn tasty smoothie, which looks delightfully purple. You can also make wine from mulberries, but I’m going to shelve that project for now, in favor of loquat or dandelion wine. Loquats are also abundant in Cherrywood (look across the street from the café), but approach them carefully because poison ivy is also abundant, and even the most summery wine is probably not worth weeks of itching.
Anyway, here are some photos of my smoothie-making adventure: