Backyard blossoms


Illustration by KYLE SHINE

For just a few weeks, mulberries ripen haphazardly on trees hidden in parks and backyards. Some make it to farmers markets, where they look like stretched-out blackberries. The reddish-purple fruits can vary widely in sweetness vs. tartness, depending on their variety and readiness. If you find a good tree, keep it to yourself (and the birds) and pick as many as you can for sorbet, sauces and syrups. They make gorgeously jewel-toned jams as well. But think twice about planting a tree, lest they take over your yard.