Like dandelions we walk by the coniferous tips all the time without knowing their culinary uses. When just emerged and harvested, these tips are tender and fresh tasting with a hint of resin and citrus. Be sure to rid yourself of the papery casing or of any hard stems before using them.  Careful when harvesting late because the flavour may be too intense. Our favourite way to enjoy these is to pickle them!

click title head below for link to recipe webpage.


Makes 2 half pint jars, scale as needed


  • 2 cups fresh, young spruce tips, papery husk removed
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup applecider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sugar


  1. Pack your ½ pint canning jars with spruce tips, stopping ½ inch below the lid
  2. Heat the water, vinegar, salt and sugar until boiling
  3. Pour the boiling pickle liquid over the jars of spruce tips, filling them almost all the way to the top of the jar, making sure to use a paper clip, UCT, or some other thin utensil to agitate the tips and release air bubbles if needed.
  4. Now place the canning lids on the jars of spruce tips and turn the jars upside down. Leave overnight to seal. In the morning you will find they have formed a natural hermetic seal  due to the heat of the boiling water. Filling the jars more full of liquid than usual also helps the seal to form, as without the pressure of boiling water outside of the jars, there is no danger of them exploding due to overfilling.

This is a back alley canning procedure I covered in the fiddlehead pickle post. If you prefer to can yours in a water bath, thats just fine. The low ph***in this recipe and the amount of sugar and salt is more than enough to ensure a bacteria-less environment though.

I have never tried this, looks cool

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