Gather Ye Rose Hips..

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We had planned a “Goonies” trip, with the intention of finding an old cave that according to redneck lore had Civil War crates in it. So we set out with the canoe on a beautiful fall day. My wife asked that I didn’t shoot any squirrels on the trip, but I justified taking my new .22 pistol just in case we ran into the Fratellis. The cave was silted in, so we turned our attention to scouting for campsites and foraging, all the while being taunted by the barking squirrels.

Nevertheless, we did find a new pawpaw grove, some large cattail beds, more beautyberry, a loaded persimmon tree, and a couple quarts of rose hips. We have been drinking rose hip tea, known for it’s high Vitamin C content, but wanted to branch out tonight and try something new.

Rose Hip Syrup – I had read about it on the internet being heavily promoted by the British during World War II, due to diffulculties of importing citrus fruits. One of my mother’s British friends survived those times and the Blitz, so I called her up today and she confirmed Wikipedia’s tales. How about that?

To one cup of boiling water, we added 2 cups of chopped up Rose Hips and let is simmer for 20 minutes. We then strained it through a jelly bag, put it back on the stove to simmer, and added 1/2 cup of sugar until it dissolved. That recipe made 8 fluid ounces.

The taste is unique and hard to describe, but on top of waffles and ice cream my wife described it as “quite decadent”. That word is pretty fancy for me, but my hillbilly buddy that stopped in said “Damn, that’s good”.

Supposedly, Rose Hips contain 20 times the Vitamin C of oranges, so it is a perfect time to make some up as the weather turns cool.

Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris) – curved thorns, wet soil

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Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) patch for next season – yellow leaves in background

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Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

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Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

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A beautiful fall day looking across the lake to the school location.

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And my favorite part of the day. A nap in the fall leaves…

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