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!