Using Rose Hips
From teas to preserves, a quick search of the internet will produce a bounty of interesting recipes for rose hips. Before you harvest them for use, follow these simple guidelines:
- Use only rose hips that come from plants free of pesticides and herbicides.
- Stop deadheading blossoms in mid to late August so hips can form.
- Wait until after the first frost before harvesting. The color of the hips will be bright and their texture softer. This will also concentrate the sugars for a sweeter taste.
- To prepare for recipes, trim off stem and blossom ends and cut hips lengthwise to remove the seeds and small hairs. Wash thoroughly and spread them in a single layer on a tray or drying rack. Dry them in a food dehydrator, in an oven on the lowest setting or in a dark, well-ventilated place.
- Rose hips used for decorative crafts can be dried whole and kept in a cool, dark place.
- Leave some hips on the bush for the birds. They provide a great source of winter food and protective cover. For a festive garland birds will love, string a garland with rose hips, popcorn, nuts and dried fruits to hang on a tree near your home.
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