I was strolling through Dan's Grocery Store in Bismarck the other day looking for some lunch when I came across these.

Rick Rider
Rick Rider

Hedge Balls, in the produce section with a warning sign telling you not to eat them.  This reminded me of going to my Grand Parents many years ago as they were big believers in dispencing hedge balls all over their rather big home down in Hopkins, Minnesota.  I remember I tried to eat one, and I was reprimanded by my parents not to do so.  They looked like green apples to me, and they certainly appeared edible.

At that time in my life, there really wasn't much we wouldn't try eating while outside playing.  Neighbors' apple trees and gardens were all fair game.  Somehow after all this time, seeing these hedge balls again at the grocery store brought me back in time.  So, I had to figure out once again, what these little green tennis balls look-a-likes are used for.

As you can see by the picture above you should NOT eat this fruit.  However, it's not poisonous.  According to Homespun Hydrangea, the taste is very bitter and is not liked by both humans and animals alike.  The primary use of a hedge ball or known as hedge apples to some is to repel both spiders and mice in a natural way.  Simply cut the fruit in half and put it around the outside foundation of your home.  You can also bring them inside your home, but keep in mind, after a week or so the fruit begins to leak a gooey substance, so it would be best to put them in some sort of bowl if you're going to bring them inside.

I'm going to give this a try at my lake place, where creepy crawlies tend to be a problem this time of year.  If you got unwanted mice or spiders in your home, you might want to give it a whirl.

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