Autumn Olive Trees
We found a very neat little berry up at the property. This particular bush is right by our front driveway! I made sure to get a picture because the berries were such a neat colour. Where else can you find all of the colours of Autumn in one little bush?
A family friend informed us that these were called Russian Olives, and that we should get rid of them before they took over.
As it turns out, a little research reveals these to be Autumn Olives! The May 2013 edition of Cottage Life tells us that they're found throughout Southern Ontario, and are nutritious and delicious, best used in smoothies, yogurt, or in jams and jellies.
A bit of further research told us that these trees are considered invasive, which explains why we were told to destroy them. I'm so glad that we didn't, even though our argument was that the multi-toned berries were quite pretty. I don't know why it didn't occur to us that they could be edible as well.
Autumn Olives are a fantastic source of Lycopene, that wonderful carotenoid that medical science has us scrambling to eat tomatoes for. Medical science hasn't quite narrowed down what Lycopene is most useful for, as the main food that contains it is tomatoes, which contain an abundance of other vitamins that might be doing the 'health' for us. Honestly though? Both tomatoes and Autumn olives are ripe at the end of the year, just before heading into winter. Nature must be telling us something.
All of the advice that I could find online advised us to try multiple bushes, as they have varying levels of tartness due to the tannins the berries contain. Dad and I found this was quite true, and we seem to have at least 2 bushes that are 'wow' tasting up by the shed.