Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Adventures in Urban Harvesting

Guess what my second NFFTT pick was?

If you guessed mulberries, you'd be half right! I actually went to a sour cherry pick, from a very tall tree located right downtown. Sadly most of the cherries were tauntingly out of reach, even from an 8 ft ladder. My share of the volunteer's split was about 2 lbs- not a great haul but free sour cherries are never a bad thing. Luckily there was also a mulberry tree in the alley right behind the house we were picking from and they were the biggest juiciest mulberries I've ever seen!
After gathering a bagful of mulberries (and staining my hand a very vivid deep purple in the process), I set out to do the rest of my errands for the afternoon. Walking to the subway, I stumbled upon a line of people waiting to receive something that was being handed out of black van parked on the sidewalk. On closer inspection I realized it was cans of beer! Molson's was giving out samples of their new brand 'M' and all they required was a swipe of your drivers license. So I lined up and walked away with a bag containing 4 cans of beer!

I continued on with my plans with my purple stained hands now carrying a bag of cherries, a bag of mulberries and a bag of beer. Some of the mulberries had leaked through the bag and I had purple smudges on my shorts and legs as well. I had to pick up a package from a hotel and I also stopped for a bit of shopping on Queen St. No one even gave me a second glance!

On my way home I was a bit hungry so I stopped at a snack wagon for a plate of chips (yes I know they're called fries but I grew up on chip wagons and if it's big chunks of deep fried potatoes served in a paper dish with a toothpick and doused with salt and vinegar, they're chips to me.) I got a bit carried away with the vinegar and it was just as I boarded the streetcar home that the paper dish began to leak. No napkins handy, I had no choice but to let it drip all down my arms and legs. I must have been quite the picture- hands dyed brilliant purple, fruit juices and vinegar dribbling all over the place- the only thing that wasn't leaking was the beer thankfully! For once I was the person no one wanted to sit near on the streetcar.

But I made it home with all my bounty- the fruit is in the fridge waiting to be canned and the Russian very much appreciated the beer. And the best part? Vinegar removes mulberries stains like magic! Who knew?


  1. Just found you (via your comment on and was so thrilled to see you playing with mulberries! Love this post, seriously. Mulberries grow wild all over the place down here in Oklahoma, too, but the best we've managed to do with them so far is freeze for later use. If you come up with something fantastic to do with them, please post! :)

  2. Hey Devouring the Seasons and welcome! I have a few things I do with mulberries so I'll try to post somethign about them soon! Last year I did a white mulberry infused vinegar with tarrgon- it was very tasty and a great use of white mulberries which are kinda ugly on their own (they kinda resemble grubs, especially cooked)