Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Seaberry or Hippophae rhamnoides

Last year we had enough seaberries to make some juice and as it tasted terrible by itself I decided to mix it with blackberry to make a juice. It was the worst juice I had ever made (of course, we drank it all anyway). This year I didn't get the seaberries harvested before they started to go bad on the bushes-i.e.rot. We harvested them anyway and made a juice with about a quart of seaberries and 2 gallons or so of Dolgo crabapples. It's delicious or at least not too bad. I like it. We pruned the Hippophae to about 10 feet so it could be easier to pick next time. They spread by under ground stolons coming up as far as several feet away from their parents and transplant readily. So far this year we have made black currant, gooseberry, wild cherry, blackberry, and crabapple juice: all with no sugar.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Foliage and Berries

This September and especially October were about the best we ever had for fall foliage. I think of October for leaves and then November for berries.
I have been using Euonymus europaeus and Ilex verticillata and Celastris orbiculatus berries. These are the "flowers" I have done recently for the West Newbury Church.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Last Batch of Juice for the Season

I canned about 10 gallons of juice last night. I still plan to make cider but I have to freeze it as canning ruins it. I made a couple gallons of Schizandra- Aronia with a tiny bit of Dolgo crabapple thrown in. Also, I made my grapes into juice as we've had two light frosts and once the grapes freeze, they are no good for anything--I've tried to juice them after they freeze and no-go.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Martha's Vineyard Vacation

We're spending 10 days on Martha's Vineyard visiting our daughter, Kady. I've volunteered 2 days at the Polly Hill Arboretum where she works; raking leaves (I learned a new excellent 3 person method of picking up leaves after they are raked into a pile: I might be able to convert it to a one person method}, planting Clethra (they are embarking on a Clethra evaluation project: we transplanted 'Ruby Spice', and fencing plants against deer. They have a wonderful collection of oaks at the Polly Hill
The Franklinia is in bloom there
We are going to be here 2 more days: I'm sketching the ocean a lot.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Elderberry Crop Failure

This year many if no most of my elderberries fell off the bushes just before they were dead ripe. I think it was due to dryness. First I thought it was birds eating them even though I did put nets over them, sort of,.... (it wasn't a very good netting job). However there were lots of little - not quite ripe- elderberries all over the ground. I checked the berries for fruit fly maggots and didn't see any, although 2 farms near me had fruit flies ruining their blueberries. I did make one batch of crabapple-elderberry juice which I plan to can tonight. I still plan to make aronia-schizandra juice and grape juice.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Making Juice and Cider

I've been making juices this year with no sugar or other sweetener as i"m now pre-diabetic. Gooseberry and crabapple are quite good the different juices I have made with blackberries are not as good as with sugar. I haven't given up though. I still have elderberries to harvest although they are been ruined by birds and I still plan to make grape juice when my grapes are ready. I made excellent cider last week using Duchess apples and Whitney crabapples which previously I had let all rot.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sea Buckthorn, Seaberry, or Hippophae rhamnoides

We harvested my sea buckthorn yesterday: they were soft and I guess ripe. They are one of the worst of all thorny fruit to pick: they don't come off the stems easily and the hawthorn-like thorns (little spur branchlets) are wicked. Also, they are downright sour with a tangerine-like smell. I made juice, combining them with blackberries which is one of the worst tasting juices I have made yet. It doesn't help that I put no sugar in. I'll see later about canning the stuff- tonight I'm going to Tosca and my wife Dana is having possibly severe car problems in Templeton, Mass.