I’ve been so busy pickling for the Market that I haven’t spent as much time as I usually do admiring the wonder outside and harvesting herbs we’ll need for the year ahead.
But who can ignore these gorgeous baubles?
They are the hips from rosa villosa — or apple rose — and are as big as crabapples. Whenever I pick these, I’m reminded that apples, roses, and raspberries are all related. When dried, these taste like raspberry fruit leather.
I dehydrate them for use in healing teas during the winter. Eloise likes to pop them in her mouth and suck on them like candy. Rose hips have more than twenty times the amount of vitamin C as oranges. They also help boost the immune system and relax inflammation. If I’m feeling blue, a couple of rosehips and a sprig of rosemary in a cup of hot water will brighten my mood.
When you harvest rose hips, you have to remove the little hairs (and seeds) inside the hip. These hairs were the source of the ”itching powder” advertised in the back of comic books and in gag shops. The little fibers are easy to remove in hips that are this large. Most rosa rugosa — shrub roses — will produce big, meaty hips.