In Milton’s Company

Morus_albaI have something in common with John Milton and Shakespeare. I am serious. Though neither a poet nor a playwright as these distinguished gentlemen of yore were I still consider them to be my friends.
Let me come to the point.
The author of “Paradise Lost,” is said to have planted a mulberry tree at Cambridge and at Stowmarket, and these trees thrive to this day. Shakespeare planted a tree at Stratford-on-Avon, which supposedly came from the mulberry garden of James I. Though this tree was chopped down, a few cuttings of it were transplanted at various spots around England, and the wood from this tree was fashioned into countless mementos of the poet and playwright.

Van Gogh's Mulberry Tree
Van Gogh’s Mulberry Tree
In fact, my inspiration to plant a mulberry tree in my orchard after having seen a reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, Mulberry Tree.
If you have an orchard you need to have a multi crop orchard unlike my farm-owning neighbours who beside mangoes having nothing else. They wait or a year to get the mangoes. While I feast on jackfruits, cashew, amla, coconut, mulberry chickoo et al year round they wait for their Alphonsos and Neelam.
March is the season of mulberry when its slender branches hold tiny fruits which turn pink and then red while ripening, then dark purple or black, and have a sweet flavour when fully ripe. In fact, Mulberry is among the rarest of those fruits which fruits twice a year. Once in the summer months—February to April— and then during the monsoon months—late July-September. Refreshingly succulent, tart and sweet mulberries are indeed rich in numerous health benefiting flavonoid phyto-nutrients.
Mulberries are favourite of the birds and easy to grow. Have a mulberry and you will witness the winged guests visiting your orchard.
Planting a mulberry is easy. Planted from large cuttings they root readily. Do it during the monsoon.
I have come to the conclusion that one needs to be really fortunate to consume these easily perishable fruit. For you hardly find them in the market.

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