I killed two birds with one stone by harvesting invasive autumn olive berries for this tasty homemade wine.
If you can't beat 'em, drink 'em. At least that's what my imaginary alcoholic grandfather used to say. Invasionary Force is a wine made with the berries of the invasive autumn olive, a non-native plant that is slowly moving its way across Michigan. Our property was quite infested with the stuff before I started eradicating it. While I will never win the battle, I can rest easy knowing that the wine made from its berries is actually surprisingly tasty. I picked around 15 pounds of tiny little fruits over the course of an afternoon in October 2017, fermenting and bulk aging the wine before bottling it into 20 bottles in April 2018. The crystal-clear wine has a light yellow color and fruity flavor that hides its more sinister intentions. 13% ABV.
This likely to be a one-off wine, because over the past several years I've managed to kill off nearly all of the autumn olive on our property. While a win for our natural habitats, it's also a crushing blow to the future of invasive species-derived foods. You win some, you lose some.