Fruit of the Vine







Chokecherries grow on shrubs or small trees from three to ten feet. The leaves are 1 ½” to 4” in length. The flowers are white and their pea-sized fruit grows in clusters. When the cherries are ripe, they are usually dark purple or black in color. Sometimes there are also cherries of reddish or orange color. When picking, pick the light red and green ones too, because they add flavor and pectin.

Chokecherry fruits are popular in making jelly. Any recipe that calls for sour cherry or elderberry jelly can be substituted with chokecherry fruit. A mixture of half chokecherry juice and half apple or red currant juice also makes a tasty product. Red currant juice does not influence the chokecherry flavor, as does apple juice.


Chokecherry Jam


Remove stems from chokecherries and wash, then drain.
Add 1 cup of water to each four cups of fruit.
Place over slow (or low) heat and simmer until fruit is very tender, stir occasionally.
Rub pulp through a medium sieve.
Measure the pulp and add an equal amount of sugar.
Place over moderate heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Bring to a full, rolling boil, until the mixture “ sheets.”
Stir frequently. Pour into hot sterile jars filling ¾ of the jar.
Seal and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes, then cool and/or freeze.
Three cups of pulp make about three (3) half-pints of jam.

Nanking Cherry






Nanking cherry is a spreading shrub with rose-type leaves. The plant grows to about 10’ in height. It flowers in late April and produces an edible fruit. The fruit of Nanking cherries is bright red and sweet. It is excellent for use in jelly and wine making but lacks the size and firmness necessary for canning. Dividing the crowns of established shrubs or planting the seed could propagate Nanking cherry. Nanking cherries need cross pollination, for fruit production; therefore more than one plant is required.


Nanking Cherry Jelly


16 cups (4L) ripe Nanking cherries
5 cups (1.25L) sugar 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water
2 pouches Certo liquid
To prepare juice, combine cherries and water in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Mash mixture occasionally while cooking. Strain through a jelly bag. Measure 3 cups (750 ml) juice into a Dutch oven. Add sugar and mix well. Place Dutch oven over high heat and bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.

Immediately stir in Certo. Continue to stir over high heat until mixture returns to a full boil. Boil hard for 40 seconds only, stirring constantly. Don’t overcook! Remove from heat and skim foam if necessary. Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼” (6mm) headspace. Wipe jar rims thoroughly. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Yield: about 6 cups (1.5L).

Golden Currant






This common and attractive plant is found along the margins of streams, in alluvial areas and on moist slopes at elevations to 9000’. Under favorable growing conditions it may reach 6 feet in height. The fruit it produces is dark red or black at maturity. The fruit is sweet and edible. The bright yellow flowers that are produced in early spring, the tasty fruit and the attractive growth habit make it a much sought after plant for cultivation.




Choose ripe, sweet berries with uniform color. Wash 1 or 2 quarts of Berries at a time. Drain, cap and stem if necessary. Prepare and boil Syrup if desired. Add ½ cup of syrup (medium syrup – 5 ¼ cups of water to 2 ¼ cups of sugar for 9 pint or 4 quart load, 8 ¼ cups water to 3 ¾ cups of sugar for 7 quart load), juice or water to clean jar. Hot pack – For blueberries, currants, elderberries and gooseberries, heat berries in boiling water for 30 seconds and drain. Fill hot jars and cover with hot juice, leaving ½ “ headspace.  Adjust lids and process.

Recommended processing times:







15 min

20 min

20 min

25 min






Piñon Pine

A native to New Mexico, this tree is common in foothills and low mountain areas throughout New Mexico. It is very slow growing, irregular in shape and well branched. Cones are often gathered to extract the seed, which are edible and sold on the open market in raw form or added to recipes such as piñon brittle candy. The Piñon pine is also New Mexico’s State tree.


Piñon Cakes


2 c Piñon nuts
¾ c water
½ tsp salt
2 T cooking oil

Puree the nuts in a blender or chop and then roll with a rolling pin to a course meal. Mix the Piñon meal with the water and salt to form a stiff batter. Let batter stand at room temperature for about an hour before cooking. Place oil in a large heavy skillet; heat until a drop of water will sizzle. Drop Piñon batter from a spoon, shaping it into six cakes about 3 1/2'” in diameter with a well greased spatula. Reduce heat and brown cakes slowly on each side. Serve hot or cold as bread.

Makes 6 cakes.

Woods Rose

This hardy shrub produces showy pink flowers in the spring. It is excellent cover for grouse and other fowl. Big game animals readily graze them when present in winter range. It is a good soil stabilizer.


Rose Petal Jelly


1 cup fresh, fragrant and unsprayed rose petals
(Best gathered in the morning. Cut off white base on each
clump of petals as it adds bitterness.)

Juice from one lemon
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1 package powdered pectin
1 1/2 cups water

Put petals, lemon juice and 3/4 cups water in blender and blend until smooth. Gradually add sugar. Put mixture in saucepan and stir in the pectin, 3/4 cup of water and boil the mixture hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Put it all back in the cleaned blender and stir until smooth. Pour into hot sterile jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath, or freeze.

Buffalo Berry

This native species is found along the banks of streams or on eroded dry hillsides in northwestern New Mexico. The plant is highly important for mule deer browse and cover for nesting birds. It is a good late winter source of food for birds. The tart red fruit of this plant is used for jellies and jams.


Buffaloberry Jam


16 cups Buffaloberries
2 cups water
1 cup sugar per cup of juice 

Wash and stem Buffaloberries.  Pick them over and discard unwanted berries.  Place in a deep pan with water and bring to a boil, stirring to prevent burning.  Boil 15 minutes, drain, mash, to get all juice.  Strain through a jelly bag.  Measure the juice.  Add one cup of sugar for each cup of juice.  Blend together, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil and test for jellying.  When two drops run together off the side of the spoon, put into hot sterilized jars, skimming first.  Process jars in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Makes eight 8oz jars.  Two cups of juice makes on 8oz jar of jelly.