Harvesting Sea Buckthorn Berries

steve333_gw(5a)August 18, 2013

Looks like one of the female seabuckthorn plants actually formed some berries this year. A surprise to me, as I did not notice any flowers this spring.

Since this will be our first harvest, I was wondering how one tells when the berries are ripe. Right now mine are a yellowish color, not the bright orange one usually sees, so I am assuming they have a ways to go. Also do I need to net this bush to keep the birds out?

TIA

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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I look it up says 25 days before frost shake bush over sheats to harvest 15% bust save them make oil.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:04PM
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larry_gene

...means 25 days before average date of first frost.

You can shake all you want but nothing will happen, my seaberries always had a death grip on the branch no matter how ripe. Fruit will remain on the bush into winter--does not loosen and fall like many fruits. Poorly pollinated, shriveled fruit will fall easily.

Some seaberry varieties ripen to yellow-orange.

Ripe berries will give when squeezed, rubbery but not soft; try eating one--it should be juicy and lemon-tart. If there is no sign of shriveling you can wait on them to change color.

Birds behave differently everywhere, but are not said to be a pest of seaberries. All mine ever got was earwigs.

Both your female and male plants bloomed in spring, the female flowers are inconspicuous and look like a tiny green worm growing at the base of leaf nodes, just as leaves form.
And the blooms are easily killed by frost.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 11:27PM
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don555(3a)

Tried some for the first time last year. I don't recall eating anything that sour before...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 2:27AM
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glib(5.5)

That is why the jelly is so popular. But if you are in Zone 3 a few jars of Jelly will keep your vit. C levels high through the winter. My homemade pear-sea buckthorn sorbet is dynamite, too.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:56AM
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braeburn040(2B/3 BC)

Steve333
I have a Sea Buckthorn orchard in Zone 2B/3. I have three Varieties, the two Russian ones ripen in October, the "Indian Summer Variety" ripen usually Labor Day Weekend. Yes the Crows love them, I don't care as I have 200 trees. Mine don't shake off very well, how I harvest is prune them off and freeze then bash the fruit in a basin and use them that way. Glib's sorbet sounds like a plan., you should post the recipe.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:01PM
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glib(5.5)

The peeled, quartered pears need to be cooked in a bit of water until they become translucent, this is the only essential step as it makes the pectin that will hold the sorbet together, and will make the sorbet taste smoother. You can even let the pan run dry and caramel them a bit (we actually do a number of pear-X sorbets, but the main two are Concord grape and buckthorn).

Then blend them with the raw berries, in a ratio that suits your taste (we are fans of tart sorbets), or add some sugar, or cook the berries down together with the pears to sweeten them, really, it will be good regardless. Then place the mix in the freezer until almost frozen, and finally crank the mix in the ice cream maker.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 10:16PM
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braeburn040(2B/3 BC)

Glib
That sounds easy when you describe it. I follow it quite well, it makes me wish I had a pear tree. Our supermarket usually has fresh pears all year long. Thanks a bunch!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 10:44PM
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larry_gene

glib, how do you remove the seaberry seeds?

Seaberry juice incorporated into a vanilla ice cream recipe makes a very good dessert.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:08AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

This video shows one way,...

Here is a link that might be useful: Harvesting Sea Buckthorn Berries

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Another way,..
Juicing on the bush

Here is a link that might be useful: Juicing on the bush

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:27AM
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canadianplant

IIR, most people remove whole branches and smack them against the ground....

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 7:16AM
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braeburn040(2B/3 BC)

Konrad , those video links were great! do you think the first one with the individual berry picker is a joke? I works well, but it would take years to pick my orchard, but boy the product was clean. My worst job is separating the leaves etc from the fruit. The juice squeezer works good as well.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 10:55AM
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larry_gene

The second video for entertainment, most seaberries form on thick wood where the squeezer would not be effective, plus you are going to get a lot of broken thorn tips in the juice! What, they waltzed off with about 3 ounces of juice?

Hand-picking is what most home gardeners with a few bushes will do; they don't have the luxury of chopping up their plants for the harvest. I hand-picked an estimated 90,000 berries some years ago off of four plants; it took a few hours a day for a few days. Less than the cumulative time in my blackberry patch over the season.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:32PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yeah,..I don't like it by the looks of it, handpicking would be my first approach for a couple of bushes. I've seen another video, think it was Russia, when a guy used some kind of homemade rake/comb, [couldn't find it anymore] he made a mess out of the plant. Think I could improve on the tool,...might make one down the road when I have more to pick.

This post was edited by konrad___far_north on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 2:06

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 2:03AM
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braeburn040(2B/3 BC)

Yes there are a lot of Sea Buckthorn orchards just feeding the crows! The best approach (according to the University of Sask.) is to shake and collect the berries on a tarp. they attached a vibrator to the boom of one of those mini rubber tracked excavators it causes a bit of tree damage they say.
Because the fruit when ripe has a lot of cling to remove from the stem, I heard they were trying to breed a variety with less cling so shaking would be easier. On my orchard I tried the more affordable attachment that goes on a portable reciprocating saw, it pinches the branch and shakes off the berries. The one I had whiplashed the branch off before all the berries shook loose. I've gone back to pruning to harvest. Once the trees are established they seem to handle the pruning and give the same amount of fruit the following year. To larry-gene I run my fruit through a juicer(auger type) and the seeds and some skins come out the solids section, like a lot of fruit, it clogs the screens though.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:05AM
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braeburn040(2B/3 BC)

Sorry on my previous post I referred to U of Sask, I Should have said The Ag Canada Stn. at Indian Head Sask. I think I got it right this time.( Maybe that's what the preview button is for!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:33AM
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larry_gene

Yes, I used the auger-juicer for my seaberries and it was very efficient. Like 85% juice and oils versus 15% dry ejecta.

Any harvesting method that leaves damaged fruit on the plants is an open invitation for the SWD fruit flies in many locales.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 12:27AM
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