Spring will be here before you know it and the first season on our homestead is Mulberry season.  The purpose of this post is to go through the process we use to use to juice our berries.  It was a messy process, but not too difficult.  This is what we consider the low-tech approach.  We have started using a food mill, but if you want to process berries on the cheap, you can do it with almost no tools.

We normally juice the first few sets of berries that come out of the tree due to all the debris that drops with the first few shakes of the tree.  Because of the way juicing works you do not use any of the pulp so if there are a few little leaves and things still in with the berries that’s OK you will not use that stuff anyway.

First we fill the tub with the berries with water.  This will cause most of the gunk to float.  The really good berries will sink.  Next we skim the floating berries off of the top of the tub.  Then picked out the big sticks and gunk.

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We used a frying skimmer for this process

After you have the berries you are going to juice ready to go, put together the rest of the juicing gear. You will need gloves, this is very very important unless you want to look like Barney.

 

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The smashers!  Yes, I understand this is kind of a creepy picture…

 

Next set your splatter screen on top of a big pot like so

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Then lay out your cheese cloth folded over a few times

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Now it is time to squish some berries! Put a scoop of berries on the center of the cheese cloth and pick up all four corners. Then start to squish out the juice thought the mesh screen and into the pot.

 

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This is why we use the mesh strainer.  As you continue to squish seeds will start to get loose.

 

 

After you have squished all the juice out throw away the pulp or give it to your chickens.

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Then put the juice in a container for storage in the fridge until you need it. We made all of our juice into jelly. I like using Mason jars to store the juice.

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Now sit back and admire all of your hard work! It takes four cups of juice to fill a jar and about 12 cups of berries to get that much juice!

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Our current process has not changed much, but now we use a food mill to juice and separate the seeds, pulp, and leaves from the juice.