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Mahonia or Oregon Grape

 
Gray Simpson
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
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My mahonia bushes (invasive -- volunteer plants) have some beautiful fruit this year. I'm going to try this recipe soon. I might try freezing some of the fruit and see if that makes it sweeter. http://s158336089.onlinehome.us/OregonGrapeJam/OregonGrapeJam.html

Getting the fruit off the seed is going to be challenging without a Foley mill.
 
Gray Simpson
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
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The pulp tasted like rottten collard greens once I boiled the berries, so I threw it out. Oh well.
 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
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Huh. I've made oregon grape jam, but I used a vittorio strainer -- hand crank the fruit through it, didn't boil the fruit first, then heat to a boil add sweetener and pectin. It was alright, certainly not boiled collard! This year, if I can find some (in a new place) I think I'll use it as a mix in with apple butter.
Did you taste them before cooking? They are tart, for sure, but not astringent, when ripe. Unripe ones might taste pretty nasty when boiled...
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Various parts of the plant can also be used for medicinal purposes. Some good info here:
http://www.thepracticalherbalist.com/conditions/what-ails-you/233.html

Oregon grape is scattered all around our area. I've only sampled a few of the berries last summer. They were tart enough to pucker my...

One of our neighbors down the road said that he has a friend that makes a good jam out of it. I'll try and remember to see if he can get the recipe sometime. Most people around here don't seem to have much use for it besides a landscape plant, these days.

One of the comments in the above link was that richer soil and more water may lead to sweeter berries.
 
Gray Simpson
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
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The berries themselves taste good, like blueberries, but with half the sugar. They're mostly seeds and skin. Mine are probably a different species than the ones in Oregon. I guess I should have listened to Walter Reeves when he said that they're not considered edible!
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About 5 feet high.
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The berries turn dark blue when they ripen.
 
Peony Jay
Posts: 145
Location: B.C.
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True story. A local First Nations woman told me that her grandmother brewed up a Oregon Grape tea (or maybe a tincture) to treat her acne. It really works! Goldenseal and Oregon Grape have similar chemical compounds.

Info from a favourite website. http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mahonia+aquifolium
 
Peony Jay
Posts: 145
Location: B.C.
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A shout out to Kay Bee. Thanks for introducing me to thepracticalherbalist.com Cool!
Ever seen the German Commission E herbal website? Very informative.
http://cms.herbalgram.org/commissione/HerbIndex/approvedherbs.html
 
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