Autumn olive

Identification, cultivation, harvesting, preparing, preserving, recipies, general ethnobotany... Disclaimer: Don't experiment with unknown plants, or rely on the information in this forum. Get your own information and use CAUTION!

Autumn olive

rokchipr
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rokchipr
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Joined: May 16th, 2005, 9:18 pm

September 6th, 2014, 1:03 am #1

The early ripening varieties of Autumn olive are ripe here in SE PA. I picked the last 2 quarts of Aronia melanocarpa (AKA chokeberry) yesterday and cooked them with 3-1/2 gallons of Autumn olive. Since I plan on straining out the seeds from the Autumn olive the remaining juice and pulp should make a nice jam. I'll have several more gallons of Autumn olive to harvest as they ripen over the next month or so destined to be more jam, juice or syrup.
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Forager
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Joined: October 22nd, 2010, 11:42 pm

September 6th, 2014, 1:28 am #2

Rok have you worked with Autumn Olive as a preserve? Because there is a tendency for the extract to separate into liquid and pulp, I've made both jelly and jam each derived from one batch of fruit. Each was delicious, the jelly made from the liquid was a pale amber and tasted like a mix of peach and citrus, the jam from the pulp was tomato red (and very high in lycopene) and dense, rich, and tartly flavored. Once I didn't separate the extract and it didn't jell properly, the two elements separating in the jars once cooled.

What an absolutely beautiful fruit:

 
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caveman2533
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September 6th, 2014, 2:24 am #3

When I was at Letchworth a few weeks ago these were ripe. They were everywhere. I have not seen any around here like that.
Steve Nissly
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rokchipr
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September 6th, 2014, 3:53 am #4

Forager, This is the first year I have enough fruit to work with. I have read that jam or jelly has a tendency to separate as you have described. I mixed the aronia with the Autumn olive to see if a combined fruit mixture would react the same way and because they are very complimentary. The astringent aronia is moderated by the tart Autumn olive and the Autumn olive becomes quite sweet tasting even before the addition of any sugar. I'm going to let the juice stand until tomorrow afternoon and see what happens before I proceed. Both fruits have amazingly high levels of various antioxidants.
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rokchipr
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rokchipr
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September 6th, 2014, 4:03 am #5

Steve, I'm surprised you haven't located any Autumn olive in your area. It's a tremendously prolific invasive species. I have four bushes along the edge of my property and I have located over a dozen more in a short distance from home. I see them frequently as I drive in the area here. Pete Davis's place was loaded with them and so was Washington's Crossing last year. You can get a good look at mine here next week although I'm pretty sure you can identify them already. First two ripe pawpaws came off the tree last Monday. I have seen clusters of as many as seven!
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Hhop
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September 6th, 2014, 1:29 pm #6

Autumn Olive bushes have just taken over large areas where I live. What were areas that you could walk through 20 years ago, are now just almost impassable, because of the closely packed Autumn Olive bushes that have forced out nearly all native species. While the fruit is useful, I would dearly love to see it completely eradicated from this area. I place much of the blame on the state highway department, who planted it along the highways. From there it has spread over vast areas. Once it is started in your area, it is a losing battle to keep it under control, because of the thousands of berries with seeds on each bush.

To completely kill a bush, you just literally have to bull doze it out of the ground by the roots and burn it, not too practical, but about the only permanent solution.
"You don't have to stop playing when you get old, but you get old when you stop playing."
http://hhopsnaturewalk.blogspot.com/
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hada
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Joined: September 10th, 2012, 10:44 pm

September 7th, 2014, 12:23 am #7

I haven't looked at the silver berry by me yet this year. Think I hear there better after the first frost is that right?
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rokchipr
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rokchipr
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September 7th, 2014, 4:12 am #8

Hada, there seem to be three varieties here that ripen at different times. The early ripening ones are ripe now and I've harvested them. The mid-season ones are just turning red now but will be fully ripe in about two weeks. The late season variety are still small, green and won't be ready for more than a month yet. Keep an eye on them.
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rokchipr
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September 28th, 2014, 1:19 am #9

Forager, I made a jelly of autumn olive and chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) about three or four weeks ago. The mixture hasn't separated as I've seen jelly made from autumn olive alone. I know you separate the milky liquid from the pulpy layer of autumn olive and make two distinctly different products. I've got about two gallons of autumn olive juice on the stove right now and I'm going to try making a jam from the combined juice/pulp. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm using an old timey technique that I used with the aronia/autumn olive combination.
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Forager
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September 28th, 2014, 1:58 am #10

I look forward to your feedback, hopefully with a description of your technique. I am keenly partial to old timey methods, they are tried and true and provide a dimension of contact with the past through present experience.
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rokchipr
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October 8th, 2014, 4:53 pm #11

Forager, I have noted no separation of my autumn olive jelly that I made 6 weeks ago. It is a bit more stiff than I would like but still very reasonable consistency for spreading. I have some to bring along this weekend to try and I'll share the method with you. There were many bushes growing in the field across from the camping area at Washington's Crossing last year and the bush behind the Nature Center was loaded with fruit. Yield was less than expected. I had about nine quarts of fresh berries and produced 3-1/2 pints of jam. Talk to you Sunday. Should be a nice weekend. 
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