In previous years, I have written about our sea buckthorn crop. This year, we (well more correctly my husband) have been much better at harvesting the berries. They are fiddly to pick due mainly to the small size of the fruit and large size of the thorns.
We’ve been juicing the berries. While my husband is happy to drink the tart juice straight or half diluted with water, I prefer mine mixed with warm water and drunk like a tea. We have two varieties of berries, and one is definitely more palatable that the other. We have frozen some of the juice in, in ice-cube trays so that we will continue to benefit from the berries many good properties over the winter.
Sea buckthorn berries
Back in 2014 we had a good crop of sea buckthorn bu last year we hardly had any. This year we have a another good crop. The berries are small. They have a sharp but pleasant citrus flavour. I find them a bit too sharp to eat on their own but like to mash some up and add hot water for a lovely drink.
The plant is a nitrogen fixer and so thrives in poor soil, but it can be invasive, as on North Bull Island near Dublin. Birds like the berries and therefore spread the seeds. So far (at least) the birds, particularly the blackbirds seems to prefer our Chokeberries. These were just getting ripe but the birds have already stripped most of the bushes!
Aronia berries (chokeberry)
The sea buckthorm berries are supposed to get sweeter on freezing (something I will try this year). They can be made into syrups, icecream, added to porridge, and much more. I also like this idea of rosemary and sea buckthorn vinegar.
As well as the larger fruits, the smaller ones are ripening too. We harvested a few of the beautifully orange berries of the sea buckthorn today. The berries are exceptional high in Vitamin C. They are also said to be have potent antioxidant properties. They have a sharp, citrus flavour. We just mashed the berries with a fork and added some hot water, to create a pleasant soothing drink.
Sea buckthorn, Askola cultivar
For Sea buckthorn to fruit you need male and female plants for pollination. We planted ours this spring in the new area of the garden from bare-rooted stock from fruitandnut.ie. The plants seem to be establishing well, though only a couple have fruit this year.