Looking for Mulberry

It’s good to be back in my regular “routine” after a more than a 2 week long residency and collaboration. I don’t mind the extra work and the opportunity to teach in other directions, but the usual offers more time for preparation and creativity of my own, not to mention rest. I don’t know if there’s a way to strike a balance. At any rate, there were some little rewards waiting in my classroom when I arrived yesterday after spending 1st period up in the art room.

My “silkies” had hatched Tuesday and that was exciting. My students got a good look at them and could compare their growth to that of Beth’s (and hers are already fattening up). Later, when taking an afternoon’s sampo (散歩) around Shelley Lake I looked for mulberry and found at least 2 small trees. However, after looking more closely in my own yard, I found some abundant shrubs.  It means I’ve got a good food supply for the present and the future (if I want to continue with this, and I think I do).

The Japanese term for mulberry is kuwa (クワ・桑) or guwa (ぐわ・桑) depending on the context and the mulberry tree is called kuwagi (桑樹・くわき).

The dictionary also gave me this clever expression:
時間(じかん)と 技術(ぎじゅつ)で、桑(くわ)の葉(は)は 絹(きぬ)に 変(か)わる。
Jikan to gijutsu de, kuwa no ha wa kinu ni kawaru.

With time and art, the mulberry leaf becomes (or changes to) silk (the dictionary said “satin” but kinu by itself defined as silk.)


4 Responses to “Looking for Mulberry”

  1. Velma Says:

    Can the twigs left over from feeding the worms be peeled for making paper? Just wondering…

  2. Velma Says:

    Depends on the diameter of the twigs…you use the inner bark…but I harvest twigs from 1/2 inch to 3 or 4 inches. That inner bark is gold, excellent, you can try it by stripping it and twisting it, if it makes a knot, it’s good for basketry and/or weaving and/or papermaking.

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