Local Medicine: Rose Hips & Sunchokes

by Dawn Combs

Some plants that are available during the cold months, such as rose hips (Rosa rugosa), are best with a little bit of frost. Others are available to us only if we ship them from other communities, or if we garden. Year-round gardening may be easier in other climates, but it is not impossible here in Ohio. Now is the perfect time to identify where you might be able to dig and plant those precious winter roots next year and find ways to keep the ground from freezing. A simple cold frame, a bale of straw, or even a weighted tarp can provide just enough heat to keep the ground workable. We will put straw over the bed where we keep our sunchokes (Helianthus tuberosus), also known as Jerusalem artichokes. These delicious winter roots are filled with inulin, which is helpful for regulating blood sugar. Unfortunately, inulin begins to degrade once it is dug, so it’s best to dig them only as they are needed.

Dawn’s Recipe for Bone Broth

This broth can then be used as the basis of your soups and casseroles, or merely sipped throughout the day for deep nutrition and warming. The addition of the acid (apple cider vinegar) makes this much more than just a stock. The resulting liquid will be a rich medicinal brew impregnated with gelatin and minerals.

2 to 5 medium-sized bones (commonly beef, chicken, turkey, or fish)
16 cups water to cover
Onions, quartered and unpeeled
¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Place the bones of your choice in a large soup pot, add onions and cover all with water. For every gallon of water, add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar. Bring your broth to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. You may loosely cover the pot and allow to simmer for 12–24 hours.