Just because fall has arrived this doesn’t mean your family foraging fun has to end. The cooler temperatures and shorter days simply bring the opportunity to get out and use foraging to teach your kids about the wild plants that weren’t in season through the summer. One of those wild fruit is the rosehip.
What is a Rosehip?
Wild roses grow all over North America and much of Europe. In addition to their beautiful scented flower petals, which can be foraged for wildcrafting rose petal bath salts and other crafts and recipes, wild rose plants yield a fruit called the rosehip.
Rosehips have been gathered and used either fresh or dried for centuries to make teas, natural remedies and in cooking. According to scientists, rosehips have 50 percent more vitamin C than oranges. They usually appear in late summer and through the fall. Want a few rosehip recipes to try at home? Grab my free Rosehip Recipe Book – the link is at the bottom of this post.
A rosehip is a bulbous, fleshy fruit and can range from an orange colour to dark red. Depending on the variety of wild roses growing in your region, rosehips can be round or more elongated.
Foraging for Rosehips With Kids
Getting outside and foraging with kids is a great way to learn about nature and enjoy the outdoors together as a family. However, it’s important to remind your children of a few rules before heading out the door.
- Tell your kids not to forage for anything without your permission. And before you start to gather any kind of foraged wild plants, (especially when urban foraging) make sure you have permission from the property owner or that you are foraging in a public place.
- Make sure your kids understand to never eat anything they find outdoors without checking with you first! Just because something grows wild in nature doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat.
- Wild roses and rosehips grow on bushes with thorns that can hurt young children. I get my nine-year-old to help pull the rosehips off the bush and my six-year-old pulls the green bits off the top before adding each rosehip to our basket.
How to Use Rosehips
When they’re fresh, rosehips can be used to make sweet teas, jellies, preserves, syrups and even oils. Dried rosehips can also be used to make tea. In fact, we make rosehip tea sweetened with honey for our Friday poetry tea time.
Sarita Harbour is a busy mom/step-mom, and grandmother blessed with seven kids ranging from age 32 down to seven. She lives off the grid with her family in a lakefront chalet in the beautiful wilderness of Canada’s far north. She spends her days teaching, writing, and learning the ropes of homesteading off the grid. Visit her site, Off Grid Life, for free printables and resources on homesteading, homeschooling, and self-reliance for the whole family.