No, these aren't tomatoes. These are rose hips from the spicy, vibrant, intoxicating apple rose that we planted this spring. They are huge -- some bigger than most cherry tomatoes. They taste a bit sweet, and there's even a bit of "juice" in the fruit's flesh.
In the background is the violet oil I decanted this morning. I put it up on July 5th, after I finally realized that the outrageous, hyperactive violets outside weren't just having a party all by themselves -- they were trying to tell me to pick and use them. It's been infusing all this time, turning deep amber/green.
Violet leaves are abundant in vitamin C. You can eat the leaves and flowers (false flowers, actually... the real flowers are underneath the showy "flowers") raw in salads, and they're full of minerals. Infusions from violet leaves and flowers nourish nervous and immune systems. Violets often are used to help prevent cancer and care for people recovering from cancer. Violets have a special affinity for the breasts and can help disolve cysts and other blockages in the deep tissues. They're cooling, calming, and can bring down tension in a sweet way.
Next year I'm going to infuse them in honey.
This is a picture of an apple rose -- or Rosa villosa. We got ours from One Green World in Molalla. It's had phenomenal growth since we put it in the ground a few months ago, even though it's in a slightly neglected spot on the hillside. I was out picking blackberries down by the creek, looked up on the hill above and saw these huge red orbs flashing in the sun. Such delicious hips! So cool that this new plant could produce so many.
The other thing about the apple rose is that when I brush up against the plant, it covers me in a spicy, cinnamon-ish, sweet bay-ish scent. I've fallen in love with it.