For years, beating the squirrels and birds to our mulberry crop had been a losing battle.
One year, we decided to keep a close eye on the tree as the berries began to ripen. As soon as they turned the perfect shade of deep, purplish-black, we spread out old bedsheets on the ground beneath the branches.
Using a garden rake, we jostled and shook the branches; the fruit fell like rain onto the sheets. We carefully gathered up the bed linens and took our bounty inside to wash. We left any berries we were unable to reach for the critters to enjoy.
Syracuse, New York