Second Autumn Olive Berry Harvest

On this trip 6 of us (4 children, 2 adults) managed to harvest a little over a gallon of fruit (18 cups!) in about an hour. We visited a spot along the trail at Riverview Park not to far from the persimmon tree that was harvested a few days ago. The site was just far enough off the main trail to be in the middle of the briars!…muliflora rose and blackberry to be specific. The carpet of honeysuckle, with its tiny black berries, added to the complexity of the briars. But, we quickly overcame these obstacles. These shrubs were packed! Nearly the entirety of this gallon came from one shrub.

These autumn olive berries were particularly bitter and we think this may be one of the reasons this shrub had so many berries remaining. The majority of shrubs around town have already had their bounty swiped by wildlife and wind. I figure that this spot, being at 320′ in elevation, is one of the lowest in C-ville, contributing to its late season harvest potential. The harvest opportunity ended in the mountains to our west nearly three weeks ago. So if one wants to continue harvesting, I suggest you either look at areas that are low in elevation (along streams) and sheltered from the wind, or you could head east toward the coastal plain or south where an earlier season temperature and floral display may be found!

After picking these berries we played in the playground a bit, and then headed to Play Group in the Woods. Later in the evening I placed all the berries in a large bowl measured and weighed them. 18 cups, 9 pounds! They are covered and in a refrigerator at the moment, awaiting processing.

We are planning on processing these berries Saturday night; cooking, straining, mashing, and spreading…the spread will remain in an oven at about 140 degrees overnight and presto, Fruit Leather!
It will be interesting to see how much this produces.