Since 2012, Autumn Berry Inspired has been collaborating with food artisans in Central Illinois, Chicago, and beyond to create amazing Autumn Berry foods including jam, dried fruit snacks, chia pudding, ice cream, doughnuts, salad dressing, cream cheese spread, BBQ sauce, beer, mead, and wine. People love to experience this new, delicious flavor in their familiar foods.
Founder Dustin Kelly became inspired when he harvested his first Autumn Berries in 2011 from an organic farm in Urbana, Illinois. Ever since he has been promoting awareness and control of this exotic tree along with wide-spread consumption of its abundant, tasty, and nutritious berry. Dustin and his team developed techniques for harvesting and processing which they freely share (see FAQ-link) to inspire others to connect with, enjoy, and preserve their local natural world
Autumn Berry Inspired creates experiences that nurture and inspire us. Our products raise ecological awareness and promote the maximum utilization of resources.
The autumn berry is a delicious and incredibly versatile fruit
Autumn Berries are the small, red, edible fruit of the Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata, related to, but not an olive). The trees have fragrant ivory flowers and silvery-green leaves.
The USDA found Autumn Berries to contain 17 times the Lycopene found in tomatoes along with high levels of protein, vitamins A, C, and E, and essential fatty acids. Lycopene “is considered an important phytonutrient, and is thought to prevent or fight cancer of the prostate, mouth, throat and skin, and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease” (Black, B.L. and I. Fordham. 2005).
In the disturbed soils of North America, the Autumn Olive adapted and proved itself to be uncontrollable. Birds spread the Autumn Olive seeds to the places where foreign colonizers had cleared and tilled ancient prairies, wetlands, savannas, and forests. The Autumn Olive moves into these depleted lands and begins the processes of succession and regeneration of the soils. Almost immediately, diversity emerges in what at first appears to be a monoculture of Autumn Olive. On once bare land, insect, fungal, bird, and mammal populations crop up while taller trees tower above and eventually shade out the sun-loving Autumn Olive. With time, nature regains balance and heals itself from the wounds of human disturbance.