September 27, 2010 at 12:43 am #253301
Mulberry Lips, Voracious Mice And Other Things In My Life
Mulberries are the best thing ever for kids. Our mother used to ban us from the mulberry tree because they are the worst thing ever for those who have to wash clothes. We never listened. I doubt any child did when it came to mulberries. Luckily I now wear black so I can pick and eat mulberries without guilt. By the time I am done, I have stained my mouth red. Combine this with black, long hair and nocturnal habits and I look like a wannabe vampyre (which is like a wannabe vampire but with even more pretention). But I refuse to sparkle. As you may have guessed, our mulberry tree is doing well and right now I look like a goth tranny with bad lipstick. I love my mulberry tree.
Our trees have yet to die. I have figured out how to plant in heavy clay soil. I dig a hole, dig a channel (we live on a nice slope so that’s quite easy), and fill it all with potting mix, compost and sapling. If I simply dug a hole in such dense soil, I would create a bucket. This is what killed out first avocado tree. In a few years, we will have a large amount of fruit, berries and nuts. When we have an excess, I shall buy a grizzly bear to help us eat them. Ellie can bark at it, Charlie will ignore it, Milla will play with it and Odessa can arrest it for Possession Of Front Legs (unlike the USA, we have no second amendment).
Current animals are: Ducks (now named Jemima, Donald and Daffy). Chickens (named Billina, Bubbles and Henny Penny) and Ellie (named Ellie). The ducks are now the size of small geese and enjoy paddling in the dam where they are safe from chickens. They follow us around in hopes of food and occasionally attack Ellie’s tail. The classic Muscovy caruncles are starting to show. The ducks refuse to be caged so I have little hope of eating fresh duck eggs. Instead, I shall have to settle for eating the eggs 18 weeks after they are laid. I must steel myself for that by remembering how delicious duck meat is. The ducks are also learning to fly short distances but prefer to waddle about. They love it when we use the hose. Despite being so large, they look cute as they float in the dam.
In a moment of inspiration, I have created a way to harvest lots of azolla off our dam. A net runs between two ropes strung over the dam and I haul it in, scooping up four wheelbarrow loads in a matter of minutes. Azolla is not good mulch by itself as it holds so much water the plants rot. I use it for my compost because it is very rich in nitrogen.
Our compost heap is little more than a hole in the ground. I mix it all up, add the food scraps and cover it in azolla. The next week, the covering azolla is mixed in as the process is repeated. I have created a very rich mix teeming with worms. The chickens love this so I have to cover it in netting to stop them eating all the worms. Right now, we use it when planting trees but I imagine we’ll run out of places to put trees so after that, we will use it in the gardens themselves.
Other plants include the ubiquitous tomato and pumpkin. Rodents have attacked our pumpkin stash so we’ll have to grow some more. Luckily this is a matter of not pulling them out of the garden beds so I don’t anticipate a pumpkin shortage. I have no idea where the damned mouse is but it is in our garage somewhere and even with Ellie’s help, I can’t find it. I am amazed that one could escape both of us but I guess Ellie and I have our limits. We are both embarrassed at our failure.
I used to think I knew about rats. I know what they hate, I know what they like (licking saliva off my tongue is always popular but only the Flying Spaghetti Monster could tell me why). I could write about my pet rats for at least another paragraph.
And I shall. They love pulling things and would never tire of hauling on a loop of ribbon. Once we left a toilet roll too close to their cage. By the time they were done all that was left was a cardboard tube. One would think we had caught and caged a large cloud. Their primary sense is smell. Sight is just how they see what to smell. This causes problems when they see a cactus. In the three years of their life, they never got close enough to be satisfied with its identity. And now some are eating my pumpkins…well, mice are but one would think they are similar enough that Ellie and I could catch them.
Postgrad is going well. I am eagerly awaiting my first non-seven so I can relax about my GPA. I have submitted an assignment which may help this cause. Final exam for this semester is October 12. After that, I shall emerge from my textbooks as a human again. I’ll be up on my mountain if anyone wants to visit (as always, everyone is welcome hereâ€”when exams aren’t imminent). I shall make pumpkin pie, custard, cheese sticks, pancakes, omelette, bagna cauda, and rice (this is my entire culinary repertoire) to tempt you all.
If there are any left, you can also have some mulberries.September 27, 2010 at 3:30 am #478879
I love mulberries. My best friend/adopted mother has a mulberry tree in her front yard. Try keeping an 11 year old off them!! And they’re not even ripe yet!! 😆September 27, 2010 at 4:19 am #478880
hehe mulberries, yum , my kids are in the tree right now, swinging on the branches picking the darn things 😛September 27, 2010 at 4:29 am #478881
My mulberry hasn’t even got leaves on it yet.:|September 27, 2010 at 6:36 am #478882
My mulberry hasn’t even got leaves on it yet.:|
Must be too cold down there yet – I picked 7 mulberries on Sunday from our one year old tree – Yum.September 27, 2010 at 7:52 am #478883
Definitely have a love/hate relationship with mulberries too!! My girls picked about 5kg from a friends tree yesterday. I now sympathise with my own poor mother who must have dreaded my own childhood mulberry hunting trips…the girls were COVERED…but ever so happy!
So we cooked up a mulberry pie for dinner, mulberry and apple jam, and have mulberry muffins cooking as we speak.
I love them, but will be happier when my own little WHITE mulberry becomes their favourite mulberry tree…but it’s going to play with my brain when I try and make pies and jam out of them!!!!!!
Anyone tried mulberry cordial???? That is my next project.September 27, 2010 at 10:12 am #478884
yes , you make a concentrated syrup and mix it with soda or lemonade its lovely
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