One of my best childhood memories is stripping down to knickers (so we didn’t get into trouble for staining our clothes) and climbing the mulberry tree, and my kids did the same. Mulberries are so soft that they are the classic non-marketable fruit. I have picked a bowl for baking, but really, the only way to eat them is straight from the tree.
The birds get nearly all our black mulberries, but we have a white mulberry tree that is absolutely laden with nearly ripe fruit and so far the birds haven’t cottoned on to it. The white mulberries are sweeter – almost too sweet for me – but not as flavoursome as the purple ones and not as rich in antioxidants.
The other fruit right in season now are strawberries. We are still picking the last of the late season citrus – mandarins and lemons mostly – and the first of the season paw paws. Rhubarb is also in season, but I don’t grow it – one of the few fruits that none of us like. The local farmers market still has local Hass avocados.
With vegetables, this is so far an unusually cool, wet spring, which means that the leafy greens are still going strong. I have silver beet and chard of several different kinds as well as English spinach, and chinese cabbages of several varieties. The lettuces are all beautiful and I have rocket and aragula and amaranth and nasturtiums to go with them.
The cool weather also means things that might normally bolt to seed are still bearing well. I have big fat leeks and spring onions, the celery is loving the weather and the parsley, coriander and dill haven’t bolted yet.
I’m picking the first of the asparagus and finally picking broccoli – the bower birds massacred my first plantings so it’s late this year. Cauliflowers are not far behind. The peas and snow peas are succumbing to powdery mildew so the plants are not lasting as long and I am not getting as much of a yield as some years. But by planting successive lots and separating them, I am still getting a decent yield. The broad beans are now at the peak of their short season.
So that’s what I’ll be basing my cooking around this month.