Up until this season I had never taken part in a mulberry pick. Now I have picked four mulberry trees amounting to over 50 pounds of mulberries! After picking these trees I am delighted to say that Mulberries are now my favourite fruit to pick. I love picking mulberries so much because they are easy to pick, messy, and delicious. But most of all I like how picking mulberries requires more teamwork than your typical fruit pick.
While apples, pears and cherries can be picked by individuals with baskets and poles the mulberry needs everyone working together. The picks that I have been on have involved four people holding a sheet while one daring gleaner climbs the tree and gives each branch a vigorous shake. As the fruit rains down from the tree the people holding the sheet do their best to avoid being coated in purple mulberry juice, while shuffling around trying to catch the bulk of the fruit.
A mulberry tree also creates a lot of discussion, many people (myself included) had never had a mulberry prior to the pick. Everybody seems to want to discuss the flavour of a mulberry, compare it to other berries, and talk about what recipes they would include it in. Inevitably discussion always turns to the new stains people have picked up throughout the day. I particularly love how everyone unavoidably leaves the pick with purple stained soles.