Mr G and I are in training for a walk we plan to do in Tasmania early next year, every second weekend we have been going on a two to three hour walk together...in our hiking boots, just around our local area. We do look rather amusing walking the beaches, coastal tracks and suburban footpaths in our 'mountain hiking boots' in lovely spring weather!
A couple of weeks back whilst out walking, we discovered along the side of the road, not far from our home, a mulberry tree laden with fruit. The tree is outside someone's property, it is planted on the nature strip and overhangs the side of the road, making it accessible. We felt it was legal to help ourselves. After picking what we could reach, that was ripe, we stood devouring and savouring the texture and flavour of those sweet, deep purply red mulberries as we lingered on the side of the road.
We returned to the tree a week later with a ladder, a bucket and a plan to collect enough fruit to make jam. Much of the fruit had fallen to the ground into the long grass below and was beginning to rot, yet there was still an abundance hanging from the branches, some still to ripen, some ready to be harvested. We managed to fill our bucket, oh and our mouths in between, leaving the scene with purple stained fingers and tongues. There was much excitement at the thought of returning to my kitchen to make these local mulberries into jam, except for a few handfuls we kept to eat fresh with vanilla ice cream.
We have returned to the tree a few more times since that day, recently we drove by and there was another couple of happy people beneath the tree branches, filling old ice cream containers full of the delicious fruit. Occasionally Mr G stops on his way to work in the morning and has a handful of freshly picked mulberries as his 'second breakfast', just because he can!
When you understand the seasons, you'll understand that the fruit will only be there for a while, just a couple of months. Soon it will all be gone, and in this case much of it will be missed out on, lying rotted and wasted, squashed in the grass beneath the tree. We on the other hand will have memories of mulberry filled spring afternoons, and the flavour and aroma will linger on beyond the season, captured in our jars of sweet, home made, local mulberry jam.