Harvesting rose hips - how's it going?

Harvesting rose hips - how's it going?

The question of the best time

Rose hips ripen at different times depending on the variety. Early plants ripen the fruits in mid-September. Others do not mature until autumn. Basically, you should consider harvesting the rose hips on dry and sunny days. On rainy days, their vitamin C content is lower and they are more difficult to store due to the moisture on the shell.

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The best harvest time to further process rose hips

If you intend to use the rose hips to make puree, jam or other foods, you should harvest them early. As soon as they have reached maturity - which can be recognized by a bright red shell - they should be picked. This is usually the case between mid-September and November.

The best harvest time to enjoy pure rose hips

If you want to nibble on the rose hips raw, you should harvest them at the earliest after the first frost period in autumn and by the end of December. They can be harvested by February at the latest, whereby they will dry out more and more by then.

The low temperatures make the rose hips softer and more tasty. This can be seen:

  • on a glassy looking bowl
  • the fruits give way easily at the touch of a finger
  • the pulp inside is musky

How are rose hips harvested?

Rose hips are picked by hand. Usually several passes are necessary because not all fruits ripen at the same time. To protect the hands from injuries caused by the sharp thorns on the branches of the plant, gloves such as rose gloves should be worn as a precaution.

What can you do with them?

If rosehips are harvested in a soft state, the kernels (actually nuts) can be removed more easily. This is advantageous if these fruits are to be processed further. In addition to being consumed dried and pure, they can be used for:

  • Mus
  • jam
  • jelly
  • tea
  • juice
  • Wine
  • liqueur
  • Pastries (for filling, for example)

Tips & Tricks

Rose hips are the perfect food in the cold autumn and winter times, which are characterized by colds. They are rich in vitamin C and should therefore be consumed raw or only gently heated. If the temperature is too high, vitamin C is quickly destroyed.