Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Autumn Olive (Japanese Silverberry) (Elaeagnus umbellata): Images

Date Location Notes Images
June 5, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire The Autumn Olive and its relative, the Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) are deciduous shrubs/small trees with smooth gray bark. They have distinctive silvery scales/dots on the young stems, leaves, flowers and fruits. The backs of the leaves are an especially distinctive, somewhat translucent silver color. (See picture to the right.) The leaves are alternate and slightly oval to lanceolate. They have untoothed (entire) margins.

The front of the Autumn Olive leaves are a dull green color, but are reported to become brighter green towards the Fall as some of the coloration rubs off. On the other hand, the front of the Russian Olive leaves are a gray-green color and stay like that all season. The Russian Olive leaves tend to be much thinner (more willow-like according to Samuel Thayer) and have a silvery sheen on both sides of the leaf. The flowers (not shown) are light yellow and appear in May. The fruit of Autumn Olive is a pink to red color with silver dots while the fruit of Russian Olive is yellow or orange with silver dots. It is available for harvest in late August through October. It is high in lycopene. I find the fruit of the Russian Olive sweeter than that of the Autumn Olive, but the Russian Olive is much more rare in Southeastern, New Hampshire.
Date Location Notes Images
June 7, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Pictures of an Autumn Olive bush that I found in a local park.
Date Location Notes Images
October 2, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Found a great place to pick Autumn Olive berries and made 4 cups of jam.
Date Location Notes Images
October 13, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Made more Autumn Olive jam. This time I used way too much honey. I used 3/4th of a cup of Wildflower Honey for 3 cups of Autumn Olive puree. In the future, I should use an absolute maximum of 1/2 cup of honey per 3 cups of puree. Also, the jam did not solidify as well as last time (October 2, 2010) even though I used 9 Tablespoons of Agar Agar. It might be because I did not add Apple Juice this time. Or perhaps it was because I used too much honey? Or maybe I just needed a bit more Agar Agar since I had 1/2 cup more of puree this time.
Date Location Notes Images
May 11, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire
Date Location Notes Images
June 7, 2014 Central, Connecticut