Being haunted by an unusually cold, and slightly snowy spring (last year I almost had corn planted by now!), it was a nice surprise to receive a rather large package in the mail today. I knew what it was before even opening it – contained in the six foot tall, long skinny box was two Mountain Ash hybrids. Sorbus acuparia - Mountain Ash, or in Ireland and the United Kingdom known as a Rowan tree, caught my fancy this winter as I was flipping through all the different seed catalogs. After reading Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway, I was on the lookout for new trees, shrubs and other perennials to add to our gardens both for food and for animal habitat. Previous to ordering these trees I knew what a Mountain Ash tree looked like, and also knew it had culinary uses. What I learned from some of these seed catalogs was that Sorbus acuparia had been crossed with both Aronia and Hawthorne. The famous Russian plant breeder Ivan Michurin, who performed these initial crosses is also their namesake – Ivan’s Beauty and Ivan’s Belle. The hybridization of Sorbus acuparia has left the fruit less bitter, more purple than orange, and a wonderful addition to any northern edible landscape. The berries that are produced on a Mountain Ash or any of the hybrids are high in vitamin C and can be used in a number of ways. Jams, jellies, and preserves are a traditional use; along with sauces as a condiment for wild game. One other use, and the one that sold me on these trees is the drying of the fruit. Being that the fruits are high in vitamin C, a tea made with dried Mountain Ash berries holds it’s place as a wonderful and tasty survival food here in the cold, snowy, white north. Here in Minnesota it is hard to come by vitamin C in the middle of the winter (the only other plant that comes to mind is rosehips), so if the grocery stores all of a sudden stop selling lemons, limes, and orange juice because gas prices sky-rocket, at least I won’t die of scurvy!! It will be a few years before I see any fruit from these trees, but it is the start of our future boulevard permaculture garden and animal habitat. Cheers!
jeff z on Horticultural Traditions Jeremia on Horticultural Traditions Rick Larson on Horticultural Traditions Stevene on The Autonomous Apple Tasters C… Stevene on The Autonomous Apple Tasters C…
Popular Topics of ConversationAnarchy Apples Apple Trees bee keeping Beer canning CCD Chickens climate change Cold Frames Collapse Compost Crash DIY Dumpster Diving Economics figs Fire Wood Food food preservation Fruit Trees Garage Sales Gardens garlic Gleaning global warming Green Houses Guerrilla Forest Gardens Guerrilla Gardening Heirloom Seeds herbal medicine herbs Hiking Home Brew Home Brewing Honey Honey Bees Hops Industrial Agriculture Ivan's Beauty Ivan's Belle Lumber malt Maple Syrup Monsanto Morels Mountain Ash Mushrooms National Debt National Security North American Scion Exchange Okra Okra seed "Coffee" Peak Oil permaculture Pests Plums Potato Tower Punk Rock Rabbits Rain Barrels Recipes sedd catalogs Seed Savers squash Three Sisters Tree Grafting Urban Farm Urban Foraging Urban homesteading Urban Wilderness Water Wood Burning Stoves yeast Yogurt
Radio Eco – Shock
The Dark Mountain Project
There’s No Tommorrow