Hedge Apples

 Take a moment and peer into this five-gallon bucket.  Full of hedge apples, it is the receptacle of the all natural pest repellent that the check out lady told my husband we needed for this old farmhouse.  

You see, as the colder months approach we always seem to get a mouse in the house.  My theory on this is.....there is never just one mouse.  When hedge apples were  suggested to my husband, he thought it a great idea!  Yes!  His twin brother's farm has an Osage Orange Tree with the apples on the ground.  Our son was dispatched to bring some home after school.  Some of you may know them as horse apples, monkey brains, or bodark.  



It is said that they repel insects, spiders, and mice.  You can eat the seeds, located in the center of the fruit.  I decided to place some around  this old farmhouse in strategic areas and some just for decoration.  I have used these before and confess that I picked them up behind our church while I was attending a family reunion.  

Obviously I was more interested in the hedge apples.  





The bark of the Osage Orange Tree was prized by Native Americans for bow making.  The tree was also used by FDR in his Great Plains Shelter Belt WPA Project in 1934.  

Merriweather Lewis even sent slips and cuttings of the tree to then President Thomas Jefferson.  




What do you know....a little history right here on the front porch.  




Comments

  1. Very interesting Michelle, I love the looks of those Hedge Apples. Want some for my wooden bowl, :) Francine.

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  2. we had a tree at our old house...didn't know that much about them!

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  3. You'll have to let us know if this works! These (I've heard them referred to as monkey brains) are popular here in winter decorating. If it works, you can bet on it that I'll be finding some of my own! Living in a old farm house is nice sometimes, but the mice sure find their way in easily!

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  4. I havent seen any of those in ages, but was always fascinated by them, when I did. Anything that would repel insects and mice is a friend of mine!

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  5. I have never seen or heard of hedge apples...What a blessing it is if they really work to keep the mice away and they do like real nice in the arrangement, for sure. xo

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  6. The only place I see them is in the grocery store. I've used these to detour mice, spiders, and other bugs. I've also used them as decorations in my window boxes.

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  7. Great idea, we have mice issues in the winter too. Love the photo of your porch. Have a great day!

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  8. i've heard of them repelling insects (supposedly) but never heard about mice. sheesh. might have to go raid a few trees from neighborhood areas.

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  9. A little history is good. What does your dog do? I thought terriers would just not give up until each and every mouse was killed. But in an old farm house, there must be lots of hiding places.

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  10. I love the look of the hedge apples, and if they work as a natural repellant, that's even better!

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  11. I've seen those but never knew what they were called. I need to get a bucket of them for our old farmhouse!! When we remodeled our kitchen you would not believe the mouse holes under the cabinets! I really loved getting a glimpse of your interior.. I've been hoping to see inside!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  12. I never knew that about them! Cool!!!! Gotta find me some of those.. and they're pretty!

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  13. We always have called them mock oranges and no I didn't know they would repel mice. I am interested in anything that will keep those critters away. xo Laura

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  14. The osage orange wood is really good for things like a bow or spring but I had not heard of using the fruit for anything, nice to know.

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  15. We call them horse apples around here, but I never knew they had any use.

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  16. OH wonderful! I have always loved hedge apples...I had NO IDEA you could eat the seeds on the inside...I just like the color and bumpy looks of them in autumn. Love your table.

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  17. I've never seen these apples before, we just have cats they do a good job.
    Merle.........

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  18. I think they are really neat looking. I'd love to use some for decoration. It's awesome that they are also used for pest control!

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  19. We call them hedge apples here in Ohio....and I was always told they repel spiders. My husband 2 years ago at our former farmhouse had them all over the porch, garage, and back side of house. We did feel the spiders were less.....the more the hedge apple died, the uglier it became and smelled. So maybe the spiders didn't like the smell. As for mice.........CATS! Blessings~~~Roxie

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  20. MONKEY BRAINS ... i love them, to see them all smashed on the roads ... a big pile of green slime. super cool!! i would have never guessed to decorate with them ... neat!! enjoy those fall groupings (pumpkins & all) ... fun! ( :

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  21. Wow! I never knew any of that history, and i've never seen hedge apples before! Thank you for the lesson. Those are very cool.. and i love them as decoration. :)

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  22. I am almost embarrassed to tell you I have never in my life heard of a hedge apple, but I won't forget them after this post :) I am going to google them. Thanks Michelle!

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  23. We call them "Horse Apples" here in East Texas... We have a tree here in town that is full of horse apples. I guess I need to go pick a few and do some decorating....Great idea.

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  24. I always called them cricket balls- they will keep crickets at bay too. :)

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  25. We just saw our first one a few weeks back. We did bring on home because of the pest control we were told they bring. I must say I have seen very few spiders in the house.

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  26. Thank You for posting this! I have seen Hedge Apples and never new what they were for. By the time I get home, I always forget to research them.

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  27. Have to admit - I knew NOTHING about hedge apples before reading your post! Thanks for the know!
    They're very awesome looking & I hope they work for the mice!
    I don't care for mice at ALL. :)

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  28. I've never seen nor heard of these..interesting fruit though not very pretty. They make pretty decorations and I love your Fall table centre.

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  29. i've never seen these apples before, but i do like their looks.

    gorgeous photos too!

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  30. So neat. I've been seeing quite a few of these on trees along the road this year. I keep thinking I'll stop and snitch some.

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  31. I remember this kind of fruits, we have these trees somewhere in Tuscany, but can't really remember the name. I think it has something to do with horses, but I am not sure...

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  32. we call them horse apples...I didn't know they would repel insects and mice...may have to go gather up some...I do not like MICE...

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  33. I know them as hedge apples. We used to toss them around and hit them with a baseball bat - squish!! Didn't know the seeds were edible, or that they repel insects and nasties!

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  34. Nice post for this time of year -- barbara

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  35. I had never seen an osage orange in my life, Michelle, until I visited my son in Nebraska. I enjoyed learning more about the history of this unusual plant and fruit.

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  36. I love them! They are so interesting and thanks for the info. I am not sure they grow here, I will have to find out. Anything to keep the mice out is a plus. xo

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  37. The Hedge Apples remind me of my childhood. Growing up on my grandparents farm where they had several trees. The brilliant color on these is nice.

    check out my blog post, beautiful cold front sunset I caught this week; Sunset and Icicles

    I enjoyed browsing your site.
    Michael

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  38. Very curious to my eyes - I don't think we have them in the UK.

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  39. I learned something new...I did not know that the WPA had set them out! Tell me, did you know that already or did you look it up before you made this post. I did know about the osage orange being used for bows, but have konly known that a few years. Don't ask me how I didn't know it, but I didn't.

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  40. Hedge Apples-hadn't thought of them in years : )

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