Hips and Haws

‘Many haws, many snaws’ is apparently something they say in Herefordshire. It’s a bumper year for all sorts of nuts and berries, but we now have long enough records to prove that a plentiful harvest does not always precede a hard winter. It’s wishful thinking, trying to predict what can’t really be predicted. All it shows is that we’ve just had a good year.
However, all those hips and haws will come in handy if things do get tough later. Rosehips are rich in vitamin C, and can be made into a delicious syrup for winter coughs, or tinctured to add to mixtures with things like Echinacea, Elderflowers or berries, Thyme, Elecampane or any number or herbs that will help prevent or shorten a cold or chest infection. Pick your rosehips soon, before frost puts an end to them. It’s the hips of Rosa canina – the wild Dog Rose – that are most useful.
Haws are the fruit of hawthorn, tiny dark red ‘apples’ that are everywhere just now. They contain bioflavonoids that help to boost your circulation and optimise heart function; a warming, cheering support to help see you through the winter. You can make them into a sauce, too, for game meats like venison or pheasant. The tincture, I’m told, tastes like single malt whisky, so maybe there’s another use for them that hasn’t been exploited yet.