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How are wild grown sea buckthorn berries harvested in Siberia?

Wild sea buckthorn berries is a very popular fruit due to the many beneficial properties of its berries. The harvest of these freedom-loving berries presents certain difficulties due to the abundance of thorns on the branches and easy damage to the berries.
However, Siberians have mastered many proven over the years methods that make the process much easier. Thanks to experienced berry harvesters, for whom the deep taiga is a second home, we can enjoy various sea buckthorn remedies, drink delicious juice and prepare unique dishes from this Siberian berry.
In this article, we will tell you about how and when it is customary to collect wild sea buckthorn in Siberia:

Various ways to harvest wild sea buckthorn.

When picking by hand, Siberians should, first of all, think about protecting their skin and clothing - sea buckthorn juice irritates the skin and leaves stains on clothing. Therefore, before starting the harvest, they wear an apron and rubber gloves. There are not so many ways to manually collect:
• picking berries from branches with fingers;
• cutting off fruit branches;
• harvesting the berry juice;
• shaking off berries;
• harvest with special tools.


Harvest berries from the branches with fingers

This is the most time consuming method of harvesting sea buckthorn that requires great care. Berries can be easily crushed and spoil their quality. Nevertheless, experienced harvesters from Siberia quite successfully cope with this task in a relatively short time. This method, moreover, is the least damaging to the tree.
To speed up the harvest process, it is better to hang the dishes around your neck. To reduce damage to the berries, you can cut them off with a knife, razor, or scissors.

Cutting fruit branches.

Cutting fruit branches with a pruner or a garden knife allows the berries to be picked later. The cut branches are placed in the freezer, after which the berries are easily separated from the stalks. The complexity of this method is not much less than the first. In addition, excessive pruning can damage the tree.
Experienced harvesters advise cutting only 1/4 of all fruit branches at a time (the rest of the crop is harvested by hand), leaving 5-centimeter stumps. Left stumps give abundant growth, which begins to actively bear fruit after 2-3 years.

Harvesting the berry juice.

If the purpose of berry picking is to make juice, can be used the third method - picking the juice right away. For this purpose, a basin or other container is placed under the branches, then a hand (in a rubber glove!). Is carried along the branch, crushing the berries. True, before harvesting, it is advisable to shower the tree with clean water.

Shaking off the berries.

This method is carried out after severe frosts. Frozen sea buckthorn berries easily fall off the branches if you just shake the tree or knock on the trunk and branches with a strong stick.

Using hand forceps

Tongs can be purchased at any hardware store. They allow to pick the sea buckthorn berries whole and do not damage the tree. But the harvest turns into a long and painstaking work that requires a lot of patience.

Harvesting with a scoop-berry collector

These tools for collecting sea buckthorn can be metal, plastic or wooden. The berries are harvested with a working "comb". This tool speeds up the harvest, but some of the berries can be invariably damaged.


It is also worth remembering that sea buckthorn harvesting begins immediately after the harvest ripens. This should be done very quickly, as the fruit becomes softer and chokes when harvested. Sea buckthorn is usually harvested in September-October or immediately after the first frost.

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