Kombrink Real Estate Group: The Green Experiment; Foraging the Woods In My Back Yard

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance

What Did I Find In The Woods?

In my last post, Kombrink Real Estate Group: The Green Experiment, I said that I would share with you what I found in my back yard to help my family through the cold and flu season.

It has long been suggested that taking vitamin C can help fight off colds.  It is also credited with being an anti-oxidant.  We are familiar with the many sources for adding vitamin C into our diets.  Of course orange juice is one way of getting your vitamin C or you could go to your local drug store and purchase the tablet and swallow that horse pill on a daily basis.

I have also found that vitamin C is available in our skin care products as a way to fight the signs of aging.

Another source of vitamin C is rose hips.  Rose hips are the fruit that roses make after the bloom has finished being beautiful.  According to my reading, rose hips have a very high vitamin C content.

I notice every spring, in the woods on my property, the beautiful pink blooms of wild roses.  So I got to wondering the other day, after reading about rose hips, if the roses that grow on my property made rose hips.

I did some more investigating and sought out pictures of rose hips so I would know what I was looking for and set off on a small hike.  I knew exactly where those bushes were and sure enough....there they were.  The little red berry-like fruit were all over those bushes.

Everything I've read about them tells me the best time to gather them is after the first frost, but I figured what the heck and began to pick the little treasures.  They were already dried on the bushes, so that actually saved me the step of having to dry them in my dehydrator.  I imagine if I had gone out after the first frost to gather them I would have found more of them as I'm pretty sure they are often eaten by wild birds and other of mother nature's little critters.

I brought them into my house and washed and dried them.  I then broke out my coffee grinder to grind the little hard berries.  I placed them in water and brought them to a slow boil, removed them from the heat and let them steep.  Vitamin C breaks down in heat, so I wanted to be careful not to over heat them.

After steeping them, I poured the liquid through a coffee filter to retrieve the tea.  I placed it in a mason jar with a lid and placed it in my refrigerator.  I have read that I can also freeze the tea.  I could have frozen the rose hips and only steeped them as I needed them, but there were so few berries that I chose to just go ahead and steep all of them.

This rose hip tea is full of vitamin C.  And since I have it in a liquid form...I can add it to juices or use it in my home made skin care products.  I have begun to use on a daily basis for my face and have noticed the texture of my skin is softer and improved over all.  Of course vitamin C is an acid...so I may be basically giving myself an acid peel each time I use it.

In my research, I have found there are many other plants, trees, berries and flowers that grow wild in our area that have many wonderful uses.  It is winter right now, so identifying some of these would be very difficult.  I can't wait for spring to see what other useful things there are in my backyard.

I do know that we have a wild persimmon tree.  The fruit from this tree can be made into sugar!  Wow.  I can't wait until the fall to try that experiment.

Stay tuned for more....I will be talking about the composting system that will be going into my basement.  yes...I said my basement.  Stay tuned!

Comments (18)

Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Very interesting.  I have woods behind my property and you have made me very curious...

Feb 06, 2009 12:30 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Hello Karl,
You will need to do some good research.  You will need a book with photos so you don't accidentally pick something that could be harmful.  There are many things that grow wild and can be used both as food and medicinally.  I can't wait for the spring!

In terms of being "green" or "sustainable"... if we can eliminate some of our consumerism that would cut down or having to throw away plastic containers which just end up in the garbage.  I have taken to saving containers, cleaning them thoroughly and re-using them to store some of my experimental concoctions in.

Plus...I'm having fun and learning.  Using the old brain cells to learn new things!

Feb 06, 2009 12:34 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Oh...and Karl....you'll want to be careful about the areas nearest roadways.  Sometimes road crews will spray weed killers and pesticides...so I know that I wouldn't want to gather anything from those areas.

Feb 06, 2009 12:37 AM
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

Laura - I remember drinking rose hip tea years ago but I have never hear of it being used topically.  Interesteing.

Feb 06, 2009 01:58 PM
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Laura - Thanks for the warning about the pesticides.  I'll also make sure I do my homework before touching or ingesting anything.

Feb 07, 2009 03:19 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Hello Pam,
Thanks for stopping by.  I have never heard of it being used topically either, but have read some studies on Vitamin C being used in skin care products...so decided to try it.  Like I said, vitamin C is an acid...so I may just be giving myself a mild acid peel.

Feb 07, 2009 12:51 PM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Karl,
You are a faithful reader of my blogs and am greatful that you continue to follow my saga.  I am not recommending that anyone follow in my footsteps.  Just sharing what I'm doing and the results.

Sometimes it is fun to focus on other interests besides real estate...although real estate is a blast!

Feb 07, 2009 12:53 PM
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Laura - I do have wild strawberries and raspberries growing in the woods behind my house.  Reading this just makes me wonder what else I might discover if i were to take the time to look.

And yes, no matter how much we may enjoy what we do for a living, we need to have a diversion somewhere in our lives.  For me, I'm a Philadelphia sports nut. 

Feb 16, 2009 08:15 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Karl,
I happen to love football!  I love the immediate struggle and the dedication to success.  I love the idea of pushing one's self and putting yourself in direct contact with your competition.  Love it!

Feb 16, 2009 08:30 AM
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Football is my favorite sport to watch on tv.  Watching the individual battles play out within the team's overall strategy makes for great drama.  I'm guessing you're a Bears fan?

I love your new picture.

Feb 19, 2009 09:12 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

No sir...and shame on you for calling me that.  I live outside of St. Louis....so by default I'm a Rams fan.

But, I've always loved the Cowboys...since I was 9 years old.  :)

Feb 19, 2009 12:47 PM
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

The Cowboys?  That's awful.  As an Eagles fan my 2nd favorite football team is always whoever is play the Cowboys.

Feb 23, 2009 05:18 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

LOL...I hear that alot.  :)  It's ok...everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it's wrong.  :)

Feb 23, 2009 05:24 AM
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Laura, it's great to see that you can admit to being wrong :)

Feb 27, 2009 12:38 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Good one Karl....game on...  :)

Feb 27, 2009 12:53 AM
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

Hey Laura - I was wondering how that T.O. experiment is working out for you?  You should have learned from our mistakes.

Mar 07, 2009 02:47 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

T.O experiment....I'm trying to remember what that was.

Mar 08, 2009 09:08 AM
Karl Peidl
Moorestown, NJ
Accredited Loan Consultant

He's Buffalo's problem now.  I hope he hates the cold and the snow.

Mar 13, 2009 08:49 AM