We try to be self sufficient in fruit and this year we are succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. In fact we still have a store of summer fruits in the freezer and in bottles. Last year we had no citrus fruit to speak of and were hanging out for the summer fruits. The Mulberries were the first to ripen and we had a magnificent crop. We seemed to be picking Mulberries for months.
Berries are such a treat and impossible to buy decent quality except for strawberries in my opinion. When there is a glut of strawberries the ones in the supermarket are often quite nice. However who knows what chemicals and pesticides are on them, so best to steer clear of them I think.
There was one sad old Mulberry tree here when we came, not in the yard but out near the back shed. We have pruned it a bit and I have put the ducks pond underneath it so it gets a bit of food and water from that, otherwise it is on its own. It has responded will and last year produced loads of berries. Originally I did not think it would grow so I planted two more trees. Now they are all doing well and loaded with berries. The old tree has a few ripe already. Mulberries are a treat that are rarely available commercially as they are just too soft to handle and sell so we think ourselves very lucky.
I love Raspberries and was determined to try and grown some here even thought the climate is marginal for them. I created a micro climate near the passionfruit, the Raspberries also create some shade for the asparagus and that has all worked well. In fact the Raspberries are going to need containing. They are flowering already as are the Blackberry and Marion berry.
We planted a lot of strawberries last year as well and they are also flourishing and look set to provide us with a big harvest so we will be in Berry heaven.
In the meantime the Mandarin trees still look as loaded as ever after months of picking and eating them. I am going to pick the majority over the next few days I think and try to give them away at our Car boot sale on the weekend.
I'll miss going out every morning to pick my breakfast mandarin.