ILIAN SCHAER FARM & FOOD CARE ONTARIO – Teeswater -You could be in a citrus grove as you stroll amongst swaying branches chock full of brightly coloured orange fruit -but you know you can’t be since you’re in Ontario, a province not known for its citrus-growing climate.
What you’re seeing is sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L), a unique and hard-to-find super-fruit billed as “Ontario’s 100 mile citrus crop”.
The thorny plant is a great source of antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals like potassium and iron. Rich in Omega 3, 6, 9 and 7, it’s also good for the skin and arteries.
Eight of the small berries, for example, can equal approximately one daily dose of Vitamin C, and in the 1980s, sea buckthorn oil was used to treat burn victims from the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
It’s rare in Ontario, but Marlene Wynnyk and partner Rodger Shankland are known as Ontario’s sea buckthorn pioneers, establishing the province’s first plantings at their Golden Orchard in southern Bruce County nine years ago.
It’s a labour of love that has won them a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation and established them as the go-to source for sea buckthorn in Ontario as the fledgling industry works to get off the ground.
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