Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hawthorn Heaven

So way back last winter when I moved to Colorado, one of the first new plants I found was a hawthorn tree by the mailbox. Now a cycle of seasons has turned to harvest of fruit, and this week I picked a boxful of haws. Bright red, shiny and mealy sweet.

Half of these lovely heart healing berries went into brandy for a delicious heart tonifying and heartbreak healing elixir. I filled the jar, smashed the fruits and then poured brandy over the whole mess. The fruits must be full of pectin, because the mass has kind of jelled into a thick mass but the red of the skins is bleeding out and turning the whole thing a lovely ruby color. I'll just have to wait and see how it strains out in several weeks. I may add some honey after straining for added sweetness to the tonic, but it may be sweet enough with the fruits alone.

The other half of the berries I've spent a rainy, cold, autumn moring slicing in half and setting to dry in the oven with the light on. I never got around to collecting leaves and flowers for tea, but the fruit harvest makes up for it. I'm looking foward to warm hawthorn berry brews mulled with cinnamon, and cardamom and orange peels during the cold winter months. And looking foward to experimenting more with the new ally over the winter. Hawthorn wasn't something I spent much time using while in Arizona, since it didn't grow nearby and, well, it just didn't call to me in that time and place. But, alas, she has, here and now, and so expect to hear more about the lovely hawthorn over the next few months!


Kiva Rose said...

Ooooh, how pretty!

I just heard about a grove of Black Hawthorns about an hour from here, I sure am tempted to go harvest some. As if I need more plants, sheesh.

Let us know how the tincture turns out!

kate said...

Those berries are a decent size too. Is that normal for where you are or is it a bumper year?

I had that gel thing happen with hawthorn berry vinegar. Still haven't figured out how to decant it yet.

Shamana Flora said...

I dont \really know kate, this is first year i've ever seen a hawthorn tree and gathered haws. :P I'm still trying to decipher the species!

I just finished splitting all the haws and putting them to dry in the oven with the light on. Let me know if you get any kiva and what you do with them!

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~