Years ago I heard an interview on CBC radio with the then-mayor of Toronto, John Sewell. He said one of his favourite things to do in the summer was to pick mulberries from the many trees in the city. They are a popular ornamental tree because they grow quickly, provide ample shade and attract birds. Their fruit is highly edible but almost no one harvests it, so Mayor Sewell would knock on people's doors, introduce himself as the mayor of the city of Toronto and ask permission to pick their mulberries. He then made jam and pies from them. I was absolutely tickled by this idea of free fruit for the picking and began to make note of locations of these trees around the city and since that time I pick and eat them wherever I find them.
Walking Lily in the early morning has given me ample opportunity to enjoy mulberries this summer. There are several of them in my neighbourhood. They look and taste like a smaller, slightly sweeter blackberries. and they are absolutely delicious. I feel so fortunate to be walking in the early morning and tasting summer fruit that would otherwise go to waste. It feels almost decadent.
Another great summer experience brought to me courtesy of walking Lily is a stroll beneath the many Serviceberry trees which are another popular, fast-growing tree found here. The scent of their blooms is intoxicating. Apparently, the fruit, which will come later, is also very tasty.
What a gift this summer has been so far; walking my puppy and tasting and smelling summer's bounty. I'm so glad I gave myself this opportunity.
Life's short and so is summer. Eat mulberries. They're free!