Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Gather Ye Rose Hips

June 1, 2018

Some rose species, such as Rosa rugosa, R. glauca and R. pomifera, produce large, edible fruits called rose hips that are high in vitamin C. All three are easy to grow (even from seed) and are hardy throughout Maine.

Rose hips can be made into jams and jellies, teas, syrup or wine and can be dried or used fresh. Collect them any time after they turn red, from plants that haven’t been exposed to pesticides. They’ll be sweeter if collected after a frost, but are less likely to be moldy if collected in late summer. If you’re not using them immediately, cut the hips open, remove the seeds, wash the fruit pieces and dry them on screens. Wear gloves when working with rose hips so that their small thorns don’t irritating your skin.

Rose Hip Jam

Place 1 pound (about 4 quarts) of clean rose hips in 1 cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the hips are very soft, adding more water if needed. Put the mixture through a food mill to remove seeds and large pieces of hips. Add about 1 pound of sugar (about 3-1/2 cups) to each pound of pulp. Simmer, adding more sugar as desired and stirring frequently. Cook until the mix has the consistency of jam. Process in hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom, in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Rose Hip Tea

Pick rose hips, remove the stem and blossom ends, cut the hips in half, remove the seeds, and then wash the pieces of hips. Place several pieces in a cup of water, pour boiling water over them and steep for 10 minutes.

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