Bearberry Seeds (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
aka: Foxberry, Kinnikinic, Red bearberry, Bear's-grape, Bear's bilberry, Bear's whortleberry, Upland cranberry, Mountain cranberry, Crowberry, Mealberry, Rockberry, Mountain box, killikinnic, Universe vine, Burren myrtle, Creashak, Sagachomi, Rapper dandies (fruit)
Our native bears love these! Bearberry is a low growing and favors semi-shaded areas. Acid soil is not a problem for these plants. Poor soil is not a problem either. Hardy to Zone 2, these tough little plants will please you for years. The fruit can be prepared alone or with other foods. It is not unlike lingonberries- if fact it is closely related. Jellies, jams and spiced fruit recipes are my favorite.
Use the leaves too! Tasty and may help with bladder infections. Make a cold infusion or for a quick method.....
1 teaspoon fresh or dried bearberry leaves
1 cup boiling water
mix and let steep for 15 minutes or until cooled.
2 quarts whole berries
3 oz liquid pectin
Sterilized hot jelly jars
Wash berries thoroughly and put in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until tender - about 5 minutes. Strain in a strainer, then measur by cupfuls and return to the pan. Add pectin and an equal amount of sugar as the amount of cooked berries- mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly again for one minute. Remove from heat. Pour into prepared jelly jars and seal. Store in a cool, dark place.