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Friday, March 25, 2011

Sea Berry: The Other Orange Juice


Sea Buckthorn Seedlings 2011

If you take pleasure in orange and other wonderful juices, there’s no need to suit up, drive or fly umpteen miles and hand over a fistful of cash for a glass of it.  Growing Sea Buckthorn for juice is by no means difficult; it’s just a bit of an investment and of luck.  Choosing which variety(s) to grow is an activity which you may want to spend some time in examining.  Each has its own characteristics, the most common are larger plants, but if space or the aesthetic you desire requires a smaller plant, you may wish to try Golden Siberia or Baikal Ruby. 
Information on varieties can be found:
·         On a previous post
·         One Green World Catalog (Golden Siberia and Baikal Ruby can be found here)
IMPORTANT!!!   If you are considering purchasing plants from an online source this year, I suggest you do so very soon.  Many of the sources have very limited quantities and may already be sold out.  One Green World seems to have the most choices still available.  I just ordered Amber Dawn and Klim’s Prize to add to my experiment.

Amber Dawn Sea Berry is described as bearing “abundant crops of large, sweet, bright orange berries which make exceptionally high quality jam and juice. A particularly attractive variety, Amber Dawn grows to be a broad spreading shrub, 4-6 ft. in height.”
Klim’s Prize is described as from the “Buryatian Experiment Station, Klim’s Prize is a compact, upright growing shrub and bears abundant crops of large, bright orange berries. This unique, high quality fruit is very juicy and sweet and is quite delicious for fresh eating.”

I am looking forward to both of them.
2011 New Growth on purchase 2010 plants

Regardless of whether you purchase specific plants from a nursery or grow plants from seeds the Sea Buckthorn plant is an exciting garden adventure.  I have learned of people who have enjoyed Sea Berries for many years in their gardens.  Most enjoy the experience.  There are even more people who are somewhat new to the plant and find it as interesting as I do. 
    
2010 Sea Buckthorn seedling - 1 yr old


The winter here in southern New England is over and spring is arriving slowly. Most of the Sea Berry plants have survived the winter!  There are a couple which do not look well yet I am still holding out hope they are just a little later showing signs of life.  The seedings planted in 2010 overwintered very well and somehow look the most healthy, albeit a bit smaller.  These seedlings are infinitely less expensive than purchased plants and will be a mystery regarding berry and thorn quality until they are a few years old.  The Sakatoon farm  mentioned  in the Feb 17th post, has advanced the variety offerings for North America, maybe others can too.  With all the possibilities, juice, fresh fruit, dried fruit, oils, etc. there is plenty of room for experimentation and the benefits could be vast.  (Note: I focus here on growing of Sea Buckthorn and the fruit as food.  I am aware of the many health benefits proven and alleged and I have chosen not to focus on that information. Recipes are more fun




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