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Any uses for Hedge apples/Osage oranges?

 
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Specifically: THE FRUIT. I've always used the wood for various crafts, and suffered from the gnarly thorns, so I got to wondering if the fruit themselves were good for anything?

I know some people use them to repel insects, but it's a bit disappointing if that's all you can use them for! Any odd uses, or new ideas? We've got a ton of them down here and I'd love to be able to utilize them more!

Thanks in advance!
 
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I haven't tried this, but here's a video on eating the seeds....seems you would need to figure out a way to harvest them easier!
 
Jane Marr
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Greg Martin wrote:I haven't tried this, but here's a video on eating the seeds....seems you would need to figure out a way to harvest them easier!



Oh! That would be an extra food source if, like you said, there were an efficient way of harvesting. I'll definitely look into it, thank you so much for the video!

I also just realized, for anyone who happens upon this thread and is curious too--some people give them to chickens! I've read varying results as some peoples' hens hate them while others love them, but I'll be trying that soon too!
 
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They're called horse apples for a reason ... horses love them!  We have a huge drop every year along our driveway and more than once the neighbor's horses have broken out of their pasture to come eat them.  They are also beloved of squirrels and (in midwinter when it's snowy out) of deer, who hole up under the trees and monch up the semi-rotten softer ones.  

I know that cattle ranchers hate them because apparently some cows will try to swallow them whole and then choke.  I don't know if they are safe for horses, but I do know that horses don't care.
 
Jane Marr
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Interesting! I don't have horses myself but I know people with them--maybe I can ask if they'd like some of mine! Thank you for the ideas!
 
Dan Boone
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Jane Marr wrote:
Oh! That would be an extra food source if, like you said, there were an efficient way of harvesting. I'll definitely look into it, thank you so much for the video!

I also just realized, for anyone who happens upon this thread and is curious too--some people give them to chickens! I've read varying results as some peoples' hens hate them while others love them, but I'll be trying that soon too!



I have picked one apart (very laboriously) and found the seeds to be very similar in size and flavor to sunflower seeds.  In other words, good eats!  But the amount of labor involved is ridiculously prohibitive.

At some point in the freeze/thaw/rot cycle, the fruit become quite soft, usually after various parts of the surface turn black.  It would be unpleasant to handle the fruit in detail at that point, but it might be the "sweet spot" for feeding them to chickens, because the seeds would be much easier to get at.  That's what I would try, anyway.
 
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They make a nice display:


source
 
I love a good mentalist. And so does this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
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