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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Seaberry Orchard nearly finished. Permaculture plantings beginning.

Seabuckthorn project.

For the last three years, inspired initially be the hardiness of Hippophae rhamnoides and that being important in Central Maine, I found information very limited and often incorrect.  The availability of the plant also quite limited and extraordinarily expensive.  I started out by obtaining some seeds from Lithuania.  It has progressed to an attempt at a full orchard.
I have not written very often at all about the health benefits of Seabuckthorn plant products (berries, leaves, bark, root).  I have been cautious about that since although it may be a "superberry".  Those seem to come and go in popularity and the claims often anecdotal.  Seabuckthorn may be different.  The scientific research has been ongoing and there is now a great body of evidence supporting health benefits.  I will be reviewing some of these studies soon.  
Currently, for me, the huge benefit of Seaberries has been the physical effort of planting a Seabuckthorn orchard with slightly less than 500 shrub sized plants.

The digging continues to be difficult and that is ok, it is what it is.  This field is new and located in what is called the Central Highlands of Maine.  It is rocky.  I am glad when the stumps were removed I asked the excavator operator to "pluck" the stumps and shake to help retain the soil in place.  It would have been a huge error to bulldoze the stumps.  All the topsoil would have been scraped off and only mineral soil without organic matter content would have remained.  That would have been more suitable for a parking lot. In order to protect that soil I planted pasture grasses and clover.  This stabilized and prevented erosion which might have been catastrophic during the spring melt.  It worked almost too well.  I am finding the root systems of these pasture plants to bee up to 9 inches deep.  Good for the soil but a rather solid mat to remove during the digging of the holes for the Seabuckthorn plants.
Before placing the plant into the hole I have been dipping the roots in a solution which contains water retaining gel, micorrhizal inoculants sea kelp, and lots of other good stuff.
More to come-  Mulberry trees, Saskatoon berries, field updates

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