Bikurgurl · Blogs I follow · Food · Gardening

The Oregon Grape

With planting instructions close at hand, I now just need to dream of the harvest to come!

I’m thankful for being offered the gift of plants in this autumn season. I’ve long been wanting to add grapes to my urban landscape, for not only the wildlife, but for our own enjoyment! I’m loving this little blog post on the eating (and jelly-ing!) of the Oregon Grape and am re-blogging it to remind myself of the harvest to come! Thank you for writing it, Linda!

oregon-grape-1.jpg
Image Credit: Linda Ziedrich

A Gardener's Table

Wild Fruit for a Tart and Tasty Jelly

In the woods one day, my friend Jocelyn saw me eat an Oregon grape, tried one herself, and screamed. I was unfazed; just after my daughter, not yet two years old, had eaten her first Oregon grape, she had pantomimed death throes.

If you were to taste one of these little not-grapes—and I urge you to try one—you too might guess that they were poisonous, for they are very tart and a little bitter. But they are rich in pectin and make a fine jelly. Nearly black in color, the jelly has a grape-like but spicier flavor.

In either its tall or short form, Oregon grape, Mahonia, is an evergreen shrub with prickly, holly-like leaves and bright yellow blossoms. Though native only to the Pacific Northwest, from northern California to southern British Columbia, the plant is widely grown elsewhere for its…

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