It was a beautiful day this past Wednesday and the snow along the river had melted away making it perfect for a late afternoon hike with the dog. One of the nice things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that even in the depths of winter one can secure a few wild edibles from the great outdoors. While our home and gardens are still under a covering of snow, a small drop in elevation and abnormally warm weather allowed us to be free from that for a time.
One of our favorite wild edibles that reaches it's peak only after cold weather has set in is that of the wild rose bushes fruit...rose hips. These little citrusy apple flavored pods are so very sweet this time of year it truly is a form of nature's candy. My wife and I like to collect rose hips in the fall and use them in her teas but my favorite way to consume them, and one that no doubt benefits us the most, is fresh from the bush they grow on. Extremely high in immune system boosting nutrition what could possibly be a better winter snack than this treasure provided from nature at no cost to us other than the time it takes to gather and chew?
The seed itself can be pressed for oil and is being studied for its medicinal properties. The young spring leaves and flowers are also quite edible.