This morning my neighbour and I went down to the beach to pick berries, Sea-Buckthorn berries to be more exact. These bright orange berries are rich in vitamins and you can make all sorts of delicious things from them and their juice.
The amazing thing is that these tiny berries have up to ten times more vitamin C then lemons and they even have some vitamin B12, which you normally only find in animal based products. They also contain carotene, vitamin E, amino acids and natural oils. However they are quite tart and you should let them get some frost before you use the. But since you hardly ever get frost here in Ireland a few hours in the deep-freezer is all it takes to bring the sweetness out, making the berries perfect for some jam or concentrated juice.
They are very sturdy plants and grow near the sea but if you want to get at the berries you need to wear gloves to avoid their big thorns that will tear at you skin. It’s easiest to take some secateurs or a big scissors with you and cut the branches rather than pick the berries as then tend to mush up and create a big mess.
Sadly I won’t be able to cook the jam today as I am busy cleaning the house, getting ready from a visit from the grand dame: my mum. So while my neighbour is preparing her share of the harvest I am mopping the floors, dusting and generally doing a big clean of my tiny home.
But hopefully I’ll find an hour or two later to turn my spoils into jam, a test run if you will as I have never used these berries before. And if all goes well I’ll be back down the beach next weekend, picking berries in the blustery autumn wind.