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How to Pick and Store Mulberries

Tip

If birds are decimating your mulberry crop, cover the bush with bird netting before the berries begin to ripen.

Warning

Black mulberries crush easily. Cut the berry clusters from the tree with shears to prevent fruit damage.

Mulberry juice stains easily. Wear gloves and cover your work surface to prevent staining.

Mulberry bushes produce fruit that looks similar to a blackberry. White and red mulberries mature in late spring and early summer, while black mulberries don't produce a mature crop until late summer. The berries have a mild flavor that is both tart and sweet. They work well for fresh eating or as a filling in pies and cobblers. Harvest the berries as soon as they begin to ripen and drop from the tree; otherwise the birds may get to the crop before you can. Mulberries can be eaten soon after harvesting or stored in the freezer.

Spread a tarp under the mulberry bush. Use a tarp large enough to cover all the ground under the canopy of the mulberry branches.

Grasp the branches of the bush and shake them so the ripe mulberries fall onto the tarp. Repeat every two to three days when the berries are ripening.

Collect the mulberries off the tarp. Layer the berries no deeper than four berries deep in the collection basket, or the weight of the fruit will crush the berries in the bottom of the basket.

Place the unwashed mulberries in a storage container. Seal the container closed and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Wash the mulberries under cool water immediately before use or serving.

Wash the mulberries immediately after harvest if you prefer to freeze them. Pat the berries dry with a clean cloth and pack them into a freezer storage bag. Seal closed and store in the freezer for up to three months.

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