Thursday, June 11, 2009
Mulberry trees used to be a lot more common in the old days, and most farmhouses had some planted around them. There are a few of them near my riverside garden, and now the fruits are turning black and ripe and so with stained fingers we gather as much as we can. Mostly we make jam with them, or sauce that we add to yoghurt.
Called kuwa in Japan, they were of course not raised for the fruit but because their leaves are the only food eaten by silkworms, kaiko. Almost no-one raises silkworms anymore, but in the living room of our farmhouse there are still attachments around the edge of the ceiling that supported the racks that held the leaves and silkworms (which are actually caterpillars)
A few years ago the lady who sold us our house gave us some kaiko and leaves for us to watch. She no longer raised them as a crop, just as a hobby.
The wasteland next to our house and roadsides have also been giving us a good crop of noichigo, which the Japanese refer to as wild strawberries, but seem to be more like rasberries. They are also real good in Yoghurt, and freeze well.
The rainy season is officially started, but to be honest it is often hard to tell the difference between the rainy season and any other time of the year. As usual I am late with all the jobs that need doing in the garden, but have managed to get a good layer of mulch down so I should have less weeding to do later. As well as all the planting and planting out I've started to pick the onions and potatoes and finished picking all the Lima Beans