We recently went out to East Lothian to pick some sea buckthorn – it’s very abundant along the coastline there, having been planted as a wind break.
Sea buckthorn is supposed to be very good for you, high in vitamin C amongst other things. The oil is used in skin creams too.
We found the best harvesting method was to cut off small branches. When we tried to pick the berries, they dissolved in our hands in a sticky mush! You can also use a fork to rake the berries off the branch into a tub.
At home, I cut my branches into twigs with the berries still attached and put them in the freezer on a baking tray. Once they were frozen, they popped straight off. I put them in a bag back in the freezer to be processed at a later date.
I’m going to make mine into a runny conserve/jam with left over pectin from last year. I’m also tempted by the idea of a sorbet… Others have made juice (mixing with apple juice makes it a bit nicer!) and infused oils and vinegars and a cordial. I’ve seen Hugh Fearnley-W make a juice/syrup for a sea buck’s fizz too. My Finnish friend Trella also makes a sea buckthorn vodka.