When Do You Harvest Hawthorn Berries – Hawthorn berry harvest is new for me this year. They’re sweet and mild if you get them at the right time, and I’ve tasted them prematurely in the fall for the past few years. This year, Washington Hawthorn is sweet and mild in late October. But by that time, the single hawthorns have already started to rot, so next year I’ll be looking for those in mid-October.
I owe it to Josh Fecteau for his recent hawthorn post, which inspired me to try hawthorn berries again. As Josh pointed out, there are many varieties of hawthorn, maybe 50 in New England. And, according to George Symonds, throughout North America, there may be a thousand species (taken from his wonderful book Tree Identification: A Practical Approach to Tree Identification and Identification)
When Do You Harvest Hawthorn Berries
, my favorite learning tree ID guide). Fortunately, you don’t need to be able to identify a specific species. You just need to know it’s hawthorn, because all hawthorns have edible berries. However, like apple seeds, hawthorn seeds contain cyanide and should not be eaten. Don’t panic; just spit out the seeds.
Sacred Tree Profile: Hawthorn (lore, Medicine, Magic, And Mystery)
Why bother with Hawthorn? They are beautiful, fun, delicious wild foods with health benefits. Some people make hawthorn jelly with berries, but I haven’t tried it yet. Berries, leaves and flowers can be used to make tea. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see how I made hawthorn berry extract.
I will describe both species here to illustrate general characteristics. This should help you recognize hawthorn when you see it, but I
If you’re unsure if you have hawthorn while foraging, check other sources before eating hawthorn until you’re sure.
It grows as a small tree or large shrub, bearing clusters of white flowers in late spring. The berries turn red in September (here), but then sweeten. By October 31st, they are sweet and probably skip the peak. Each berry has 3-5 seeds.
Beautiful Autumnal Harvesting Background With Blackberries, Rose Hops, Sloe Berries, Hawthorn Berries, Beech Nuts Stock Photo
As you can see in my photo above, the leaves are lobed and toothed. Many other hawthorn varieties have similar leaves. The tree is covered with long thorns, about 3 inches long. However, as long as you exercise caution, you can easily harvest the berries, which tend to droop from the branches. It’s easier later in the season after many leaves have fallen and the thorns are no longer covered.
Also known as common hawthorn, this is a European native that has escaped cultivation and naturalized in North America. It’s sometimes called an invasive plant, but I don’t find it very often, and when I see it, there aren’t many in an area. Maybe it’s invasive in other parts of the country, but it doesn’t seem particularly invasive here. Like Washington hawthorn, single-seeded hawthorn grows as a shrub or small tree and produces clusters of white flowers in late spring. The oval red berries ripen in the fall (a little earlier than Washington hawthorn) and contain a single seed (hence the name). The toothed leaves are deeper than those of Washington hawthorn, but the spines are much smaller, only about 1/2 inch to 1 inch long.
Hawthorn is common in the forest undergrowth of Massachusetts, but these are scrawny specimens with poor results. It’s too dark in the forest. To find fruit-bearing hawthorn, look in sunny locations such as bushes and undergrowth, pasture edges, and streams. They’re often grown as ornamentals, so if your friend has one and doesn’t mind you picking some berries, you’ll have a foraging experience at your fingertips.
This is my first time using hawthorn berries and I’m making an extract from them, the same process I use to make vanilla extract. I wish to use hawthorn extract as a seasoning in cooking and baking. I filled a clean canning jar about 3/4 full with the berries, covered them with 80 degree vodka, and closed the jar. I’m not sure how long it will take to get enough flavor out of the berries, so I’ll check daily. I know other extracts (like vanilla extract) take weeks, so that’s what I’m looking for here. Hawthorn is planted near 15th & Arch! Check leaf shape and fruit bloom ends to help with identification.
Energetic And Spiritual Medicine Of Hawthorn: Protective And Purifying Healing The Heart
In December, POPHarvest’s last community harvest was hawthorn berries harvested on the edge of the Teens 4 Good farm at the Schuylkill Environmental Education Center. Want to know about future events? Feel free to add yourself to the POPHarvest list for 2016 collection announcements!
Teens 4’s POPHarvesters Good Farm shakes fruit from their tall hawthorn trees. These incredibly long thorns were planted long ago as natural hedges and deer fences.
Hawthorn (Crataegus), one of the most widespread genera, is partly used for human consumption and is grown in Philadelphia to stabilize trees for streets and clearings. They are related to apples, roses and many other popular edible fruits. As such, they look a lot like some crabapples, but they’re easy to tell apart once you recognize the nuances of their respective leaves and fruit – and the hawthorn berries seem to last longer throughout the winter without being like crabs That shriveled and rotted. Using the photos in this post as a guide, you can see that hawthorn leaves have serrations and lobes, somewhat similar to round maple leaves, while crabapple and apple trees have a more exotic, oval shape. The rosette (bottom of the fruit) of the hawthorn berry is more pronounced, and the rosette of the crabapple is so small that it looks like the hawthorn is smooth. For identification purposes, it’s also safe to take a little bite, as both are edible. Begonias will be super sour. Hawthorn has very little flavor but some sweetness.
There are 200 to 300 species of hawthorn, and North America has the most variation among its native hawthorns. However, all appear to have similar nutritional and medicinal benefits. The fruit (hawthorn), flowers and leaves have been used medicinally for centuries to prevent and treat heart disease.
Hawthorn Berry Recipes
Their berries are not as easy to prepare or traditionally delicious as apples or peaches, but they are one of the few fruits still hanging from trees ready to be picked after the recent sub-freezing and snow, and they have nutritional and medicinal properties This is well worth being told!
*IMPORTANT* Hawthorn berry seeds contain amygdalin, cyanide combined with sugar. In your small intestine, amygdalin is converted to hydrogen cyanide. In addition to hawthorn, many members of the rose family, including apples, almonds, plums, apricots, and peaches, also contain amygdalin. I’m having a hard time finding any info on how much hawthorn seeds you need to consume before you have a reaction, but it’s definitely a lot. That being said, be careful. If you’re infusing berries into anything, don’t crush or crush them with the seeds, and use a sieve or food grinder to separate the seeds in any recipe.
With my POPHarvest harvest, I spent the whole day experimenting in the kitchen. These are not instant fruits, although now that I know what I’m doing, hopefully they will be easier for you. Get into the slow cooker mentality, build a multitasking list, find a good album, podcast or audiobook, and start making!
Cooking with hawthorn involves a lot of things: slowly softening and cooking the berries, passing them through a food mill, and heating them with other ingredients, not the seeds.
Add Indian Hawthorn For Spring Flowering
I made this Hawthorn Berry Tomato Sauce variation with the ingredients I had on hand. As opposed to the high fructose corn syrup-rich ketchup most people are used to, what I ended up with seemed more like a good meat or mushroom marinade than ketchup, but I was happy with the result. I slowly soften the berries in water and vinegar, gradually add sugar and salt, and taste as I go.
I’m even more proud of the results of hawthorn in what I call “Rosaceae butter” (all major ingredients are from the rose family). I cleaned out some expired leftovers in the fridge – some apples, asian pears and papaya – added them to about 2 quarts of grated hawthorn, added some cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, brown sugar and a bit of trefoil Orange juice to taste and let it all simmer until it is the consistency of a good applesauce. Since then, I’ve used it as a substitute for applesauce, or spread on bread or cookies.
This blog post titled “What can I do with hawthorn berries?” has a long list of great suggestions with links to various recipes. Berries are very high in pectin, a necessary part of making jelly, so they can also be added to any other jelly recipes you’re interested in. This Eating Weed blog also has some interesting facts and recipes.
Separated from the POPHarvest campaign, I harvested a quart