Lots of people harvest what nature has to offer, most often in the form of hunting or fishing. I have, however, not encountered many people that harvest wild plants or parts of wild plants. Recently we met a gentleman down by the creek that was harvesting Chokeberry for himself and his family. He told us that people these days, specially in the cities, do not harvest wild plants, berries, fruit or mushrooms. So we thought, let’s try something new and the other day we went out down to the creek to harvest some rose hips. I am well-familiar with rose hips as it is commonly consumed in Europe, where I grew up. I have never, however, harvested my own rose hips so this was a new experience for me. Rose hips felt like a safe choice as there is nothing else around that could me mistaken for rose hips. Berries can be trickier and mushrooms are definitely beyond my comfort zone at this point.
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning and we had made our way to Whitemud Ravine south of Snow Valley to Look for some rose hips. I was not sure about the timing as some online resources claim one should wait with harvesting rose hips until after the first frost as they are supposedly sweeter that way. They appear ripe, however, with some of them starting to turn to soft and mush so we decided to try out both versions; harvest some before the first frost and then compare these to rose hips harvested after the first frost. There is certainly no shortage of rose hips along the trails so I think there will be plenty left to harvest later in the season. We ended up with about two cups of rose hips. We washed them, pinched off the old rose petals and now have them out to dry. Once they have dried up a bit we will try making rose hip tea.