Winter Foraging: Fermented Rose Hips Soda

Living in the Pacific Northwest I've been dabbling in to what to gather mostly in the summer time when there is so much abundance (and sunshine) to play with.

Among my favourites I've collected include blackberries, huckleberries, salmonberries, blueberries, and apples. 

I've always assumed winter is more boring for foraging, but I've been discovering that's definitely not the case. After watching two seasons of Alone, I've been looking at everything I walk by and wondering if that green leaf or plant is edible (or if it will poison me).

Right now I'm coveting rose hips (it's the end of season) and licorice fern.

I'm a huge fan of licorice, so finding out that there's a fern that's local that tastes like it and has medicinal properties is kind of like finding gold for me. 

If you've been watching me on Instagram stories (@gatherandstay), you'll have seen some of my foraging adventures trying to go find it - unsuccessfully this far (I think?). I thought I had some correctly identified, but they tasted bitter and nothing like licorice, so I'm going to have to look more in to it.

Rosehips, on the other hand, I've got down.


These beautiful red berries come out for the winter, and when I first learned about them in a foraging class, was struck by Mother Nature bringing them out just when cold and flu season hit. These berries are full of Vitamin C, so naturally really great at immune boosting and supporting our body through sickness. They're best picked after the first frost, and it's coming to the end of the season now. 

I was lovingly gifted some rose hips, and am experimenting with making a fermented soda (because, fermentation is my favourite). 

The fermentation has been going for 4 days (I've taste-tested - so excited), so watch for updates, but you can make the tonic to have in your fridge for boosting your immune system.


This is a great drink to make if:

  • you want to improve your digestion;
  • you're looking for a way to boost your immune system;
  • you want to incorporate more fermented foods in to your diet;


  • 1 cup rose hips
  • 3 slices lemon
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (optional - see directions)

  • Rinse the rose hips and remove the stems.
  • Add the slices of lemon and rose hips to a pot with the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Strain the lemon and berries out and the liquid in to a mason jar.
  • Allow the mixture to cool.
  • Add the honey and stir until dissolved. Store in fridge in airtight container.

If you want to experiment with fermentation, add these additional steps:

  • After you've added and dissolved the honey, add raw apple cider vinegar and stir with a non-metal spoon (wooden or plastic works)
  • cover with a cloth and place in an out of the way location in your kitchen, such as on top of the cupboard or in a spare cupboard. 
  • Let it ferment naturally for 3-7 days, taste-testing periodically. Fermentation time will depend on the temperature and strength of the culture (raw apple cider vinegar). You'll notice small bubbles and it becomes effervescent. 
  • Once it tastes like you want, cover in an airtight container and store in the fridge. 
  • Add more raw honey to taste.