It may be January, but have you noticed the trees littered with juicy red berries? Often planted only for landscaping, the Winterberry (which comprises about 400 species) is a sweet, cold-weather berry that keeps local bird populations sated, but are also edible for humans! In springtime, the twigs can be steeped to make a medicinal tea, but enjoy the berries now. Wait to pick them until they are fully ripe, soft, and wrinkly. Or, wait until they dry in the sun like raisins, directly on the branches. Because the winterberry is usually planted in Chicago for decoration, try to ask before harvesting. Hold the branch taut with one hand while gently pulling the berry stems. You can consume them raw, make a compote, wine, or use as a garnish. At this time one tree could give you 3 pounds of fruit, but remember to harvest responsibly and leave some for birds who are over-wintering. The edible winterberry grows on trees approximately 10 feet tall–do not confuse them with the red-berried shrubs that grow under 6 feet. Those berries are sour, unpleasant, and toxic.