2 thoughts on “Autumn Olive

  1. I had my first encounter with E. unbellata last year, when it ripened in October and I picked a couple gallons of berries in a very short time – they were THICK on the tree! Much larger fruit than the semi-wild E. angustifolia trees growing in my area, with much more agreeable flavor, color and size. If I’m going to pick berries, I’d far rather pick BIG ones that taste great! Umbellata make wonderful jam or jelly – I put mine through a Squeezo-type strainer (with the short GRAPE spiral, or it jams!) and it worked splendidly with a currant-jelly recipe. The seeds aren’t any harder than grape seeds, being chewable, but I didn’t think they belonged in my jam. I will not mind at all having these growing in my food-hedge in the future! The sheer volume of the berries means the birds can eat all they want, and there will likely still be plenty for me. They ripen at a time when the berry season is winding down, too, so the birds can fatten up for migration, or just wintering-over. I will also try drying these, although they’d probably do better as fruit leather, after straining out the seeds.

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