Drying and storing Rose Hip

In the late September when the Rose Hips are fully red and ripe and before the first frost gather as many hips as you need for one year. The first step is to wash them them and remove any excessive stems from the bush and the part where the flower was attached. After washing, spread the whole hips on a paper and dry them in the sun or use food dehydrator if the weather is unfavourable.

The look of the rose hips after drying, they are wrinkled and hard.

When the drying is complete, put them into the food processor. Do not grind them too small, because the red parts could fall through metal sieve.

Grinded rose hips in a food processor.

Now put the grinded material into metal sieve and shake it to remove the fine white-yellow hairs. They can be easily separated if the hips are thoroughly dried. It is recommended to remove the hairs as they can be very irritating for your lungs and skin. 

Metal sieve for removing the hairs from the usable stuff.

As you can see my first sieve had too big holes therefore I had to use another one with smaller holes to separate all the hair from the dried red hips. There is no need to remove the seeds. The final step is to put the dried rose hips into a airtight glass jar.

Dried rose hips stored in a airtight glass jar.

To make a tea use a teaspoons of dried hips for every cup of boiling water and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Sweeten with honey and enjoy.

Elder plant tea

The most tasty herbal teas for me come from Elder plant. When the shrub is in full bloom (May/June) and on a warm dry sunny day find an Elder plant away from polluting roads. Harvest only healthy looking flower heads without black plant lice. Pick them carefully as they are very easily damaged, I tend to collect them into a paper bag to avoid squashing them on the way home. Lay the flowers out on a paper to dry in a warm, well ventilated place. When thoroughly dry, store the flowers and pollen (the best part) in airtight glass jars in a dark place, for up to a year.

Fresh Elder flowers before drying.

Dried Elder flower stored in glass jars.

The next usable part of the plant are Elderberries. Harvest the berries when they are fully ripe (deep purple not red) in late August. They will be round and plump, and hanging off the branches in large, heavy clusters. Elderberries cannot be eaten raw, therefore they must be dried before consumption. The easiest method for drying them it to hang the berry clusters on a string in a warm, dry place. I usually dry them in the attic where the air is always warm in the middle of the summer. When dried remove the stems and store them in airtight glass jars in a dark place.

Drying Elderberries, suspended on a string.