The Mulberry is a great addition to the permaculture garden or food forest, it's fast growing and provides two edible foods. The fruits, being the first edible, can vary in flavor from species to species and cultivar to cultivar. Because Mulberries can either be dioecious (plants are either male or female) or monoecious (male and female flowers on same tree) it may be a gamble to grow a mulberry from seed.
Out of the more common mulberries Morus nigra is considered superior to Morus alba in regards to the flavor and size of the fruit. The fruit contains anthocyanins, resveratrol, vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamin complex, zea-xathin, beta-carotene, iron, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Resveratrol has a wide range of benefits, from reducing inflammation and LDL cholesterol to helping to prevent Alzheimer's disease and insulin resistance.
The second edible crop from this tree are the leaves. They can be used to make a tea, or cooked and eaten like many other greens. They are great protein source, about 15% to 28%, with 15 amino acids. The leaves contain calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, beta carotene, chlorophyll, fiber, and quercetin. The leaves also contain Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, which can help to lower blood pressure, as well as 1-Deoxynojirimycin, which may help to control blood sugar levels.
Mulberries are not picky plants, they seem to do well on minimal care. My white mulberry puts out fruit in April and May, whereas the black mulberry fruits in the summer to early fall. By planting both you can have a nice long harvesting season.
|'Illinois everbearing' Fruit|