Deep fall when leaves have left their precarious perches high above heads, making their journey back to the earth, after the color, the vibrancy, the autumnal glow is fading, is the time to gather wild rosehips. The hard frost has been upon the homestead steadily for over a week now.
Breaking through ice that freezes thick on water troughs has become routine during our feeding and frolicking with the critters. Soon we will have to turn over our collection of water tanks that hold rainwater for both garden and animals. I hold off as long as I can, as we carry water from the kitchen sink during the frozen months. Soon it will be time.
Today is the time to gather the wild rosehips that grow alongside the wooded edges of our homestead. Sunshine sparkles diamonds across the frozen landscape this morning as it makes it’s welcome, warming presence known. We gather to prepare for the coming winter. The wood, the food, the herbs and medicines that will be needed for the frozen, dormant, hibernating season.
Wild Rosehips offer nature’s glory in a fire-red orb. They are the fruit of the wild rose, whose heady perfume in early summer elevates the senses as you walk by. Wild rosehips are a potent, reliable source for vitamin C in a frozen climate. The taste is sweet-tart with a noticeable tang. My favorite way to keep these valuable globes of nourishment for the winter months is to dry them and use in tea to boost immunity, maintain nutrition, and for infusing oils to make healing balms for cold, dry, chapped winter skin.
It should be said that the seeds of wild rosehip should not be consumed. They are covered in tiny hair-like fibers that prickle and stick in mouth and throat. This is why I like to dry our winter hoard of wild rosehips. I do not need to de-seed them, I use them whole in tea and infusion, then discard what is left. I have found this to be the most efficient way for us to utilize them on our homestead.