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Roses and permaculture?

 
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Thanks again all for your responses! Took me a while to read through them all I appreciate each reply.

I'm going to leave the roses for now and see how they do with little to no maintenance... may the strong survive!

 
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Look like hybrid tea to me. These are show horses not work horses. However, cut flowers in an urban area may have more ROI than food (self serve bouquet stand?). Roses like drier climate than ours, so good air circulation is important in PDX. Prune to outward buds, maintain an open vase shape. However, no irrigation, and you may see powdery mildew from drought stress. Mulch heavily. Black spot (bacterial) is the other common affliction, and varieties vary heavily in susceptibility. Complementary species will be low to not reduce air circulation, and maybe aromatic to reduce disease, and perhaps build on the cut flower harvest (lavender, thyme, bulbs, etc..)
 
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Update on the thornless wild rose, the hips are not very exciting, lots of seeds that look viable. The plant made 4 new stems in as many months from the roots, so it is going to be a thicket rather than a well defined bush, and a vigorous grower, I expect.

The people who currently propagate this wild rose are not likely to propagate in "plug tray" size, and their propagation and plant efforts tend to focus on cash return for native and xeric plants, and herbs.

I did not do the search, but there may already be a thornless big hip rose available.

If someone who wants to try breeding this rose to something to get bigger hips, contact me, and we'll try to work out how you can get a plant. It might be a wonderful project, but I am not going to take it on.

Thekla
 
pollinator
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The original pear and apple forests had roses and brambles growing in them.
 
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Sue, when you say "original pear and apple forests" what are you referring to?
THanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
Sue Rine
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http://www.koanga.org.nz/knowledgebase/fruit-tree-knowledge/stories-of-collections/kazakstan-apples/

First few pages of this next one give a comprehensive list of species in the forest...great inspiration for food forest guilds!...

http://media.johnwiley.com.au/product_data/excerpt/81/04712196/0471219681-1.pdf
 
John Suavecito
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Sue,
Those are fantastic articles for understanding the original areas of many of our fruiting plants. Great ideas for guilds. Thanks for sharing those links. The New Zealand part threw me off.
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
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I have planted onions among my roses and have left them in the ground for about 1 1/2 years (never dug them up). They somehow seem to protect the roses from aphids and other issues that can come with roses.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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How bout the molds, leaf spots and diseases of the leaf that afflict roses in moist and humid conditions? The onions are keeping them all at bay? That's remarkable!
 
Sue Rine
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The following is helpful for disease prevention and cure on a number of plants...I've seen it work for blight on potatoes and tomatoes, curly leaf on a peach tree, a fungal nasty something on a cucumber plant as well as on roses. Prevention is always better than cure but I have seen it cure as well.

Fermented Ginger and Garlic Spray.

2 small garlic bulbs, (not just cloves!)
Ginger root of an equivalent size
1/2 cup raw sugar
Purified water. (I just used rainwater)
2 Gallon mason jar
Sprayer

Peel and crush garlic and ginger and place in mason jar
Fill with water, leaving 1inch headspace
Place lid on loosely
Let steep at room temperature 24hours
Add sugar, stir and set the lid on top of the jar
Place in a warm place for 5 days. Solution will turn cloudy when it is ready.
Strain and refrigerate until ready to spray. It lasts a long time.
To spray use 1/10 solution with 9/10 water.
 
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Celeste Solum wrote:We make a rose wine that is heavenly and also a rose-ginger soda. !



Rose-ginger soda - yum! Recipe please
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Rose infused honey is nice, too. And rose petal infused brandy (honey sweetened ). Yum
 
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Great (and redundant) coverage of most usage and points.
Two things to add for the original question:

- Care: You don't need to spray things on roses to grow them.
We had hybrid tea roses growing up, a range including the big fluffy-headed kind and some of the more open simple red ones. They thrived on a seasonal diet of lawn clippings, occasional manures when we had them. (If we failed to pick up after the dog before mowing the lawn, it was kinda the same thing, but definitely not organic.) {:>P
I believe they did get a little water now and then because our summers could be 2-3 months with zero precipitation, but not more than once a week. In the wetter winter months we did sometimes have issues with black spot on the lower leaves, and as a kid I was trained to be careful and not spray water on the whole plant, just water deeply at the base.
I've seen people who care about these things use biodegradable soap or organic treatments to get rid of aphids and black spot, but frankly, we didn't worry about it too much. The aphids seem to concentrate the scent of the rose in a kind of amazing way, I've often wondered if you could somehow extract the rose essence by processing the aphids for their wax. Maybe the ants that milk aphids also have special rose aphid farms for their parfumeries.

Roses and their cousins the raspberries and blackberries love being pruned, many people clip them back to about 18" off the ground every year. You can also train them into a hedge or other shape.
As to medicinal properties, do rose leaves (or petals) have the same astringent qualities as raspberry or blackberry leaf? They're safe to eat, the petals are not bad in salad, but I have not researched the more subtle medicinal effects.

- Eating them:
A lot of people have mentioned rose hips, and a few mentioned rose jelly and rose wine, but I feel the latter deserve a bit more detail. You can pick the young blossoms in the morning, when they are just starting to give off their scent, and capture that scent by steeping them in alcohol (or with oil, slightly different results). Have fun picking the right wine (sweet whites are good, something slightly spicy or clove-like like a gewurtztraminer or pinot grigio can be good, a good apple cider might also work especially if it's brewed from one of the older, spicy-floral apple varieties). Steep the petals or even cook them slightly, covered, on low heat. Once the fragrance is fully developed and penetrating the liquid, and the liquid takes on the appropriate color, you can thicken it with pectin, gelatin, or quince to make rose jelly. The original Turkish delight was a rose-scented candy, with a relatively solid rose jelly dusted in powdered sugar. Aplets and Cotlets are a classy, fruit-based variation from our Washington orchards.

Quince is also an awesome vehicle for rose-scented fruit preserves. We have made quince wine, and used wine to make rose jelly, but I have not yet tried making rose jelly with quince wine. It might be marvelous, or it could just be gilding the lily.

You can also freeze smaller roses into ice cubes for elegant punch at parties, or dry them for rosebud tea.

I believe roses get along well with a lot of herbs; I've seen them growing happily with mint, rosemary, thyme (lemon thyme underfoot in a rose garden, mmmm.). Looks like these are inter-planted with iris. Other useful flowers could rotate in: some edible day lilies or edible-tuber lilies; iris tenax if you like basketry. I like the allium idea too.

Ours tended to get a bit weedy with bedstraw and forget-me-nots in the areas where there wasn't enough mulch. Bedstraw has its uses too, and I could see training other flowers or beans on roses (honeysuckle, for example) if you don't mind the thorns while harvesting. Some of those hybrids really don't have much to speak of in the way of thorns, they're widely spaced and it's easy to get in there if you're gentle.



-Erica W
 
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I would be careful with hybrids though because they may or may not be edible like a true wild rose.
 
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Roses are very deep-rooted, and having originated in Persia, they don't need summer water. (They will flower less but they will survive, and be less disease-prone too.) They make a good scaffold for light vines. Like maybe one or two peas or runner beans??? Not a whole big mass of vine like hops or grapes, but I've had good luck with morning glories, and those attracted all kinds of insect life and hummingbirds..
 
Thekla McDaniels
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clematis on roses is an incredible combination
 
Jamie Chevalier
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I hadn't mentioned clematis because they aren't edible, but you're right, they are classic. There are some lovely wild ones with small flowers, too, called "traveler's joy". They have medicinal qualities I think, and were used by various native groups.

All roses are equally edible--there are no poisonous species, so any hybrid will be usable for food, tea, rose petal jam, and so on, though most very double ones won't have hips.

Best of all, roses are so deep-rooted that not only will they find water, they don't care about understory plants that root on the surface. They make a really nice nurse plant, and if you don't prune them, they will cast a useful shade for carpeting herbs like skullcap, alumroot, or wild geranium, that need some protection from hot sun. Even the short hybrid teas will take on a more graceful form if they aren't chopped every spring. They do flower on new wood, though, so cutting off last year's flowering stems is a good idea.

Roses appear not to be affected by the toxins in wormwood, which stunt other plants. I grow wormwood in a band in front of my roses, and it seems to keep away gophers, which have killed my neighbor's. I grow the herbs from seed (I get it from Bountiful Gardens). I tincture the skullcap, and the wormwood a friend uses to make absinthe...
 
Benton Lewis
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Been trying to research this but thought I would just ask the knowledgeable permie crowd!

What's the best rose for hips? Where to get seeds?

What's the best rose for edible leaves? Where to get seeds?

Is there a place to get landrace rose seed packages (multiple rose varieties in one seed package)?

Best is subjective, but I want to know what others think is best!

 
Thekla McDaniels
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Well, I don't know how knowledgeable I am, but here is my 2 cents worth.

There are several cultivars grown just for their hips, Frau Dagmar, or something like that is one. You could get one of the roses grown for their hips. I have an English Rose, a David Austin rose, that I bought for the flowers, no mention of the hips made in the catalog description. The plant is small, the flower simple and the hips huge. I ate one of the hips, its flavor was sweet and very like an apple. (apples are members of the rose family) Not all rose hips taste like that, but they all have vitamin C. If I did not want to grow an old rose variety such as Frau Dagmar, I'd collect mature rose hips off rose plants that had big and tasty hips, and get the seeds from inside the hips. That's where I'd get "packets" of rose seeds.

 
pollinator
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@Benton Lewis - I don't know how much you know about roses, so I have to guess how general or specific your question may have been. But to be on the safe side, I will assume it was general, and therefore will expand on Thekla McDaniels' response just a little. Frau Dagmar is indeed beautiful and widely known to be productive of large hips, but be aware that it is one cultivar of Rosa rugosa, a non-hybridized species of Japanese rose. There are others. And there are plenty that are sold generically as just "rugosa rose." In my own limited experience, any of these should be good fruit producers for you with similar traits (growth habit, climate tolerance, etc.). So don't stress if you have trouble finding one particular variety... unless that variety has one particular trait that is important to you, of course (Frau Dagmar, for examples, is I believe known for its more compact, mounding form).
 
Matthew Nistico
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Benton Lewis wrote:...What's the best rose for edible leaves? Where to get seeds?



Now that is a very interesting question, indeed, and I will look forward to anyone posting an informed reply. I've never known anyone to eat rose leaves! Is it widely done? Or did you mean "edible" for livestock?
 
Jamie Chevalier
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Rose leaves are edible, (the absolute favorite of deer!) but somewhat astringent, like most of the rose family. They could be used for tea, where their tannins would be a pleasant astringency rather than a sort of mouth-puckery one. The young shoots could be eaten as they emerge from the ground or stem at about 6-8 inches while the stem is till soft. The stronger rose family astringents like avens and blackberry root are used to clean wounds, allay diarrhea, and tighten/ tone mucus membranes. (as a mouthwash for example), so the older leaves brewed strong would be possible to use in those sorts of conditions.

Most Rugosas have huge hips; Frau Dagmar Hastrup (I've seen that last name spelled several ways) is famous for large hips, but most rugosa have them. Named varieties of roses, like fruit trees, are clones, raised from cuttings or bud grafts, so you'd have to get Frau Hastrup fron a rose nursery or mailorder supplier. Seeds for unnamed Rosa rugosa are available from Bountiful Gardens in packets, or from Shumacher in bulk.

Rosa Multiflora is another heavy producer of hips that you can often find in ranch and farm country along roadsides--it was introduced for farm hedgerows by the USDA or similar govt agency. They have fallen into disfavor because they are invasive in lots of places...birds spread the seeds, so it is hard to maintain any kind of control and I've seen whole pastures taken over by them. I've picked buckets of hips from the roadside. Of course then once you get them home you have to deal with that fuzz that rose hips have inside....When making jelly, be sure to filter the juice through muslin before adding sugar or anything or you'll choke on all the little fuzzy hairs, like inside an artichoke.

There are zillions of species of wild rose, and probably one that is adapted to anywhere you might live. I've never met a rose that didn't strike root easily from cuttings, including the fancy hybrids, so it is easy to multiply them. The best cutting are from a non-flowering (unbranched) stem, cut about 8" long. You want wood that is young enough to still have lots of leaf buds along it rather than the older parts with thick bark. Not brand-new succulent tip growth; you want firm wood about a year old. Stick the cutting into a gallon pot of soil and don't let it dry out completely. When you see roots starting to show at the drainholes, it is ready to put in the ground. This will be between 2 and 12 months, depending on what time of year you started and the variety.
 
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Hola! I spent last spring debating on destroying our roses, then I heard this helpful podcast on roses. (hope P-dub doesn't smite me for sharing ~competition)

Being a super tough macho guy, I didn't think roses were very 'permaculture', based on how society embraces them - but hot damn, they are friends!
Food, fence, medicine, romance - Tuxedo Mask, you dog!

 
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A new problem that is making it difficult to grow roses is rose rosette disease. This mite transmitted disease is slowly spreading across the country, infects most rose species/hybrids, and will kill the plant over a couple of years. It showed up in my area 2 years ago on the wild multiflora roses and infected my chestnut rose and miniature rose last year. Rosa setigera, R. aricularis, R. arkansana, R. blanda, R. palustris, R. carolina, and R. spinosissima are reported to show some resistance to the disease.
 
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rugosa roses are also resistant. most of the native wild roses, like in your list, are resistant.

roses are actually pretty difficult to start from seed. well difficult might not be the right word, i suppose it's as easy as planting anything, but the germination rate is very very low. i do start some roses from seed, i have a lot of white flowered rugosas that i collect seeds from, and started some successfully. the key was to start a huge amount at once, to get a few sprouts. they need to be cold stratified, and sometimes they take a year to sprout, or longer...if you start them in fall winter, sometimes it takes two winters to get them to sprout.
ive also doubled the cold strat, and that worked for me once. by putting them in cold strat (cold and wet, in a plastic bag, wrapped in moist paper towel) in the fridge for a few months, taking them out, letting them warm up and re doing the paper towel wrapping, then cold stratifying them again for a few months. that worked for me, but still germination is low.

i have different varieties of rose seeds to trade, if anyone is interested, pm me.
 
Mike Turner
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According to comments at the Scott Arboretum website, the rugosa cultivar "Pink Grootendoest" is susceptible to rose rosette.
 
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Growing up in Alaska, wild rose hips were my favorite berry. I preferred them after they softened, especially after the first frost. My brothers and my kids also like them. The seeds soften and the 'meat' gets soft so they are easy to eat. Also, there's plenty of water so they don't dry up.

Domestic rose hips don't seem to soften like that, but when I was a starving college student in Utah I went up a canyon and gathered a quart or so of the shriveled, unappetizing rose hips I found growing wild. I boiled these up, strained them and added sugar to taste and I had a gallon or so of very fruity, flavorful syrup. I used the syrup for the rest of the semester over pan cakes, mixed with biscuit batter to make cakes, over ice cream, and I must say, it was glorious. I'm sure that boiling it destroyed some of the vitamin C, but I'm willing to bet there's still a bunch there. I know the scandinavians traditionally made something similar. I feel confident that domestic rose hips would work at least as well, probably better. The dried up hips I boiled were singularly pitiful looking.

I've also had rose petal ice cream. Interesting, but I can't recommend it as anything but a curiosity.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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rose petal cordial! yum!
 
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We're on a lot more land, but I think roses have a lot of uses in our permaculture systems.

I planted a hugel hedge of roses (with alliums, and mints underneath) to break wind on the herb garden and seperate our pollinator garden from another food forest area.

Also, hoping to incorporate roses in large scale hedgerow planting in the future, still trying to figure out how best to mass propagate them... I like certain rose species because they are drought tolerant, squat, dense and wicked thorny - good for hedges.

We use rose hips in tea all through the winter as well. Chickens and ducks, and pigs eat them up as well.

 
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Congratulations on your new house! I hope that you love it. I had a similar question when I purchased a house on a suburban lot that came with twenty-something rose bushes on it. I've found that the way permaculture practices improve the soil and other conditions in the yard is super rose-friendly, and they're thriving without pesticides or other maintenance. I just leave them alone and let them do their thing. I've made rose petal cordials and enjoyed them, along with rose petal teas. You can layer the petals in jars of sugar and make rose-infused sugar. I found that they're an arresting spot of colorful beauty in a yard that can be very green-on-green. Plus, I love seeing the bees and hummingbirds dancing with them. They're edible perennials that attract insects and please the neighbors.

Oh, plus also, I figured out that I can't kill them. I have tried mighty full-on rose massacres. They just come back. So I've learned to appreciate them.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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rose hips for tea as well, and or jelly.

If you try infusing the rose petals in honey, beware that the innate antimicrobial action of honey is based on the concentration of sugars in the honey. When you dilute that by adding water in any form (the moisture in the rose petals will migrate into the honey, diluting the sugars), honey becomes a great food for microbes (think mead, honey vinegar, honey kombucha). So, if you make the rose petal infused honey (lovely lovely lovely), then evaporate the moisture out of the honey, or freeze or otherwise preserve the concoction!
 
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Andrew Schreiber wrote:roses (with alliums, and mints underneath) to break wind on the herb garden



I bet it smells wonderful when roses, alliums, and mints break wind
 
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Mick Fisch wrote:Growing up in Alaska, wild rose hips were my favorite berry. I preferred them after they softened, especially after the first frost. My brothers and my kids also like them. The seeds soften and the 'meat' gets soft so they are easy to eat. Also, there's plenty of water so they don't dry up.

Domestic rose hips don't seem to soften like that, but when I was a starving college student in Utah I went up a canyon and gathered a quart or so of the shriveled, unappetizing rose hips I found growing wild. I boiled these up, strained them and added sugar to taste and I had a gallon or so of very fruity, flavorful syrup. I used the syrup for the rest of the semester over pan cakes, mixed with biscuit batter to make cakes, over ice cream, and I must say, it was glorious. I'm sure that boiling it destroyed some of the vitamin C, but I'm willing to bet there's still a bunch there. I know the scandinavians traditionally made something similar. I feel confident that domestic rose hips would work at least as well, probably better. The dried up hips I boiled were singularly pitiful looking.

I've also had rose petal ice cream. Interesting, but I can't recommend it as anything but a curiosity.


I have been maintaining a wild rose hedge fence between the south end of my field and the road. late last fall I used a blueberry picking scoop to harvest the frosted softened hips. I steamed them with some winter apples and ran them through the champion juicer to make a hip apple sauce. I should have added more stevia leaves but it was a good vitamin additive to my smoothies during the winter.
S-breeze.jpg
[Thumbnail for S-breeze.jpg]
back ground is wild rose hedge fence is loaded with hyps in winter
2013-08-17-14.26.09.jpg
[Thumbnail for 2013-08-17-14.26.09.jpg]
Champion juicer separating seeds and skin from pulp
 
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Chives are supposed to be a good companion plant to roses, keep away the blackspot.
 
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I used to be a bit anti-roses. I always thought that they were pathetic showy things that needed a lot of care until I discovered species roses which fit in really well to my permaculture designs and gardens and they've also wormed their way into my heart.

You can see this yellow rose, climbing all the way up to the top of a huge oak tree, our Rosa banksiae lutea or Lady Banks rose (Species rose) is thornless, almost evergreen and is extremely healthy. In Tombstone Arizona, a 120-year-old white Lady Banks rose covers 8,600 square feet !



Rosa mulliganii is another species rose which is extremely healthy, grows on our north-facing wall, has a wonderful light fresh fragrance and offers fantastic cover for nesting birds.



We make lots of things with roses, we did a very agreeable rose wine last year with a wonderful colour and a lovely taste.
 
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Any of you espousing your love of Rosa Rugosa...wanna share some with me? I had seeds this year that I tried to Winter Sow. But, our winter this year was not the perfect one for rugosa seeds - not enough chill days, I believe.

Cuttings, seeds, plants...I'd love someone to share with me <3

As for a role in Permaculture - everyone else has already mentioned really swell ideas. I'm just going to pipe up and say - don't forget about using them as a Nanny Plant! I've got some "came with the house" roses too and I used them to help protect some other tender seedlings from the bigger and badder critters that wanted to eat them, or have them blow over. They helped me propagate some native clematis seeds last year - the vines rambled up the big thorny bushes and kept the squirrels from eating them.

All the best with your new place!
~Jess
 
Matthew Nistico
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In case nobody else has mentioned it, I can definitely attest (unfortunately) that roses make an excellent trap crop for Japanese beetles : (
 
Matthew Nistico
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Location: Clemson, SC ("new" Zone 8a)
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Jessica Hill wrote:Any of you espousing your love of Rosa Rugosa...wanna share some with me? I had seeds this year that I tried to Winter Sow. But, our winter this year was not the perfect one for rugosa seeds - not enough chill days, I believe.

Cuttings, seeds, plants...I'd love someone to share with me <3

~Jess



Jess, I can definitely hook you up. Send me a PM and we can arrange the details.
 
Jessica Hill
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Location: Schoharie County, NY
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Matthew Nistico wrote:

Jess, I can definitely hook you up. Send me a PM and we can arrange the details.



done and done! Thanks Matthew!
 
Matthew Nistico
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@Hans Quistorff - Dude, I love what you are doing with that juicer! Looks so easy. I will have to remember that and see if I can get the same results (assuming one day I buy a juicer).

Another technique I'm interested in pursuing is to dry the hips whole, and then grind them to a powder, which could then be added to teas and herbal infusions. I've been told that this is a convenient and effective way to get all of the tart taste (i.e. the vitamin-C) out of the rose hips while avoiding the need to separate the hairy seeds from the flesh. Without a mechanical assistance like your juicer, the job of removing seeds sounds like a deal-breaker to me.

Anyone else have input on processing rose hips this way?
 
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