The autumn olive (or autumnberry) bush is a double-edged sword. In my area, it can be found along just about any country road or fence row. Unfortunately, just like Japanese knotweed and multiflora rose, it’s considered an invasive species. However, recently, it’s been discovered that the autumn olive berry contains high amounts of Lycopene – a cancer fighter.
So what’s a farm girl to do?
There are a few autumn olive bushes on our farm that have escaped the chainsaw. So I set off early one morning, to pick some berries. To my disappointment, most of the bushes had already been picked clean by the birds. I finally spotted a bush full of berries on a steep hillside – so up I went like a not-so-graceful billy goat, got my boot caught on a tree root and stumbled into the poison ivy. Fortunately, I had found the mother lode.
Picking these berries one at a time would make you lose your mind quick, fast and in a hurry. The easiest way I found to harvest them was to pull my hand along the branch allowing the berries and some leaves to fall into my bucket.
After a little research, I tried this great recipe for autumn olive jam on OurOneAcreFarm.com with delicious results!