Exploring the potential of edible forest gardens: experiences from a participatory action research project in Sweden Agroforest Syst https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-018-0208-8
Johanna Björklund . Karin Eksvärd . Christina Schaffer
This research project explores the feasibility of growing a diversity of crops in a planned, forested area. The goals are lofty:
“The desired functions from the systems were agreed to be the provision of nutritious and tasty food products, nitrogen fixation, nutrient accumulation, the provision of quality food for pollinators, carbon sequestration, contribution to a benign microclimate and the provision of timber. The design and species composition were planned to optimize these functions”
This research reminds me of the permaculture gardens that have risen in popularity across the U.S. Whenever you have a multi-use approach to agriculture, there are a lot of tradeoffs especially in maximizing yield. Having layers of berry bushes growing beneath a nut tree, for instance, reduces light and could adversely impact yield and pollinator activity because the area becomes too shady. There is a desire for timber, but cut trees down and the entire moisture, light, etc. regimes of this ecosystem are changed. One of the plants included in this study was lambs quarter, Chenopodium album, an annual that would most definitely die out after a while because of shading and competition from trees as well as lack of disturbance of the soils. It certainly is a fun exercise and yields of any one crop will suffer, but in my back yard? Why not?
This study from Norway centered around glucose control in the liver. The researchers studied the pathways of glucose uptake and described the enzymes used in the final steps of carbohydrate digestion as alpha-amylase and alpha glucosidase. Any chemical that inhibits these enzymes will slow glucose uptake in the liver and be a benefit to anyone dealing with type 2 diabetes. They studies a lot of berries (bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), black currants (Ribes nigrum), bog whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitas-idaea), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), red currant (Ribes rubric), rowan berries (mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia), and sea buckthorn (Hippophae (Elaeagnus) rhamnoides). The phenolic compounds in all the berries inhibited response the enzymes that promote glucose uptake. Some berries had other chemicals that actually promoted glucose uptake: mountain ash and bilberry being the highest. The berries with the most powerful inhibitors were crowberry, cloudberry, bog whortleberry (bog blueberry), and lingonberry with crowberry being ranked number 1!
Posted in Blueberries (Vaccinium), Chokeberry (Aronia), Cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus), Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), Currants (Ribes), Elderberry (Sambucus), Health, Lingonberry, Lowbush cranberry, (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), Mountain Ash (Sorbus), Raspberries (Rubus idaeus), Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae)
I first read the title to this article and wondered if this wasn’t a joke – trying to make sausages healthy by adding sea buckthorn juice. Sounded pretty extraordinary to me. But then I read past the abstract and learned that the researchers are trying to find alternatives to chemical additives to sausages. In other words, they were trying to find a natural alternative to artificial additives to their product. In this case addition of 1.5% sea buckthorn juice increased the shelf life, reduced lipid oxidation and improved the microbial quality of the meat product. Its an interesting look at the complexities of food science.
Anna Marietta Salejda,1 Agnieszka Nawirska-OlszaNska,Urszula Janiewicz,1 and Grahyna Krasnowska Department of Animal Products Technology and Quality Management,Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences,ChełmoÅLnskiego Str., 51-630Wroclaw, Poland and Department of Fruit, Vegetable and Nutraceutical Technology,Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, ChełmoÅLnskiego Str., 51-630Wroclaw, Poland
The present study was aimed at evaluating the effect of a sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) fruit extract on selected quality properties of cooked sausages.The ethanolic extract of sea buckthorn fruit (SBE) incorporated at the highest level (3%) significantly affected the pH, weight losses, and instrumental color parameters of sausages. The SBE deteriorated organoleptic properties of sausages like juiciness, overall appearance, texture, and taste; however the sausagesmanufactured with 1.5% SBE were scored higher for color and almost the same as control for smell acceptance. Textural parameters like hardness, springiness, gumminess, and chewiness of cooked sausages decreased along with SBE addition. After 28 days of storage, the samples with 1.5% SBE addition were as springy, hard, and gummy as the control ones. Incorporation of SBE increased the shelf life of sausages. The highest inhibition of lipid oxidation was observed in the samples manufactured with 1.5% SBE.The SBE significantly improved the microbial qualities of sausages.
Sea buckthorn is a plant that is being talked about more and more in Alaska. Native to northern latitudes of Europe and Asia, it would seem this plant would be well-suited to Alaska. Canadian researchers are already looking into developing sea buckthorn as a crop, as they have for saskatoon serviceberries and honeyberries.
Alaskans are making progress on this plant too! Papa M. is growing sea buckthorn in North Pole, AK. He has some older shrubs that are over 10 feet tall and produce gallons of gorgeous orange berries. Papa sells sexed seedlings (which is extremely important for dioecious species such as sea buckthorn) from productive lines every summer at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market or direct from his farm.
Learn more about how to grow the plants here:
Sea buckthorn Special Crops Factsheet
Sea buckthorn Production Guide
A new favorite berry plant of mine is the seaberry, Hippophae rhamnoides also called sea-buckthorn. The seed catalog where I purchased mine from, One Green World, enticed me with tidbits like “Grow your own orange juice” and “improves the soil”. I purchased three plants from them three years ago. I purchased two female and one male plant because they are dioecious. Although I didn’t see any flowers on the two female plants early on this spring/summer, I was surprised to find berries mid-August. One drawback with this plant is the huge thorns which makes harvesting difficult. Further research will be conducted in locating less hazardous harvesting methods. I discovered another internet site with some interesting information which shares growing information and health benefits, The Sea Buckthorn Insider. I’m amazed at the versatility of this plant.
One Green World. 2014. Seaberry. Available online: https://www.onegreenworld.com/Sea%20Berry/397/ . Accessed 25 September 2015.
The Sea Buckthorn Insider. 2014. Sea-buckthorn trees. http://www.seabuckthorninsider.com/education/sea-buckthorns-trees/ . Accessed 25 September 2015.