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Sea Buckthorn Jam | Adeline Panamaroff

Sea Buckthorn Jam | Adeline Panamaroff  

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Have you waited till October to start your urban foraging?

Many will think it too late to gather anything this late in the growing season. Not true, however. There is the sea buckthorn berry.

This berry can be seen developing from late July to September but is actually not ready till a few frosts have come and gone. It sweetens into an otherwise very tart fruit. Biding your time till late Autumn will pay off in this belated seasonal treasure.

Sea buckthorn bushes have a growing tolerance for cold and dry areas. This has allowed them to thrive in zone 3 growing regions.

Sea Buckthorn Jam | Adeline Panamaroff
Sea Buckthorn Jam | Adeline Panamaroff

In Edmonton, the bushes have been planted along train lines and in green spaces as a landscape plant. Its long thorny twigs and closely bunched berries can make gathering these fruits a “sharp” business.

I have found positioning my collection container right under a group of berries with one hand and rolling the fruit off the stem with the other hand works well, even if this means crushed berries.


  • collection container

  • stock pot

  • soup pot

  • sieve

  • mixing spoon

  • measuring cup

  • potato masher

  • 4-pint sealing jars, rings with new lids

  • jar funnel

  • saucepan

  • jar tongs

  • ladle

  • clean washcloth


  • 4.25 cups of sea buckthorn berries

  • 2 cups water

  • 7.5 cups sugar


  1. Pick and sort your berries, discarding any that are dried up.

  2. Wash and drain the fruit in the sieve.

  3. In the stock pot, bring the berries and water to a boil over medium/low heat. Let simmer for 20 min.

  4. While you wait, wash the pint jars, rings and lids in hot soapy water, then sterilize the jars in a preheated oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 min.

    Sea Buckthorn Jam | Adeline Panamaroff
    Sea Buckthorn Jam | Adeline Panamaroff
  5. Place the new jar lids into the saucepan, with enough water to cover them, and set to boil over medium heat. This will soften the rubber rings and sanitize the lids.

  6. Half-fill the stock pot with water, place a clean dishcloth at the bottom, and set it to boil on high.

  7. Once cooked, mash the cooked fruit with the potato masher.

  8. Pour the mash into the prepared hot pint jars with the aid of the jar funnel and a ladle.

  9. Fill the jars to the top of the shoulder, leaving the neck of the jar clear, about an inch from the top.

  10. Cap the jars with a lid and seal them tight with a screw top ring.

  11. Once the stock pot has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and place the filled pints in the hot water bath with the jar tongs. If the water level is not covering the jars by an inch, add more water to the pot.

  12. Let the stock pot come back to a rolling boil for 10 min.

  13. Remove the jars from the hot water bath with the jar tongs, and listen for the lids to pop and sing as they compress and seal.

  14. Let the pints cool overnight, then check if they are sealed. If the lid is concave and you can hold it by its edges, with the ring removed, and it does not come off, the seal has worked. Gently tilt the jar to see if it has set.

  15. Label and date the pints, and store in a cold dark place till you open them, then refrigerate.

Some people would strain the berries to remove the seed. I leave the seeds in as it creates extra roughage that can only help to keep your bowels regular. Why waste-free fibre? The thickness of the berry pulp and the natural pectin levels in sea buckthorn berries make this a jam that does not require supplemental liquid or powdered pectin.

Sea buckthorn jam has a light apple and citrus flavour that can be nice on toast, pancakes, or even on meats. Next time you are on the train, try to spot these red or orange fruit-bearing shrubs as you pass them on your way from here to there.

Read more here:


Chokecherry Jelly | By Adeline Panamaroff



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