Ideas from the Front Page

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leonia
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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by leonia » August 14th, 2011, 8:25 pm

Liis wrote: Today I started this year's period of training saintly patience - picking sea buckthorn berries ("astelpaju") *.
* 1 litre per hour ... :cry:


Oops, hello Liis, what will that be good for? :unsure:

From my northern home during my school years at Bremen and the same here: reed was everywhere near ditches, may be the roadside you drive by has a drainage where the roots of the reed may reach into.

Birches I have quite a lot around at my home here: because of the lots of rain we had there are no yellow leaves to see. :shake:

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Felis silvestris
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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Felis silvestris » August 15th, 2011, 6:23 pm

I once had jam made of buckthorn, home made, that was absolutely delicious. Just don't remember when and where that was, that was in the young years when there was a lot of travel and seeing and meeting people here and there. Later I bought factory made jam, but that was not nearly as good as the home made.
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Liis
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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » August 15th, 2011, 10:40 pm

About buckthorn, Hippophae rhamnoides
It isn't native in Estonia, but is widely cultivated, and has been so long before it was "discovered" for food and health e g in Sweden. For a large group of the modern high-yield cultivars Russian / Siberian species have been used in breeding.
It is a fascinating shrub - fixes its own nitrogen fertiliser, like alder and many Fabaceae (Leguminosae) plants, with bacteria living in nodules on the roots.
Good for - absolutely everything, it seems. To ward off, or to mend. If I were a horse, I would get beautiful, glossy hair too. From the leaves, even. The berries have an extremely high content of Vitamin C and a number of fat-soluble beneficial substances. Dishes made with sea buckthorn berries get a glorious golden-yellow colour, and a rather special taste.
Why only 1 litre picked per hour? The berries sit almost directly on the branches, with only tiny stalks, many and very close together - see for instance HERE. Imagine a corn (maize) cob, but the corns are filled with juice, and the skins burst if you press just a little too hard when you pry the berries off. I have considered everything: mini sickle, tiny scissors, growing one nail like a claw (as Chinese empresses had) with a cutting edge ...
A common commercial method is simply to cut off branches with berries, freeze them, then shake - berries and leaves break off at the stalks, berries are then separated from leaves and other debris by blowing or vibrating.

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Felis silvestris
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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Felis silvestris » August 17th, 2011, 10:18 pm

Sounds a very tedious job. Blueberries (in German Heidelbeeren, Vaccinium myrtillus) are sometimes gathered by using a comb
like you can see here in this Wikipedia article http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaubeerkamm
Maybe something based on a comb would work? I guess it will be difficult to grow body parts fitting the work :shock:
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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » August 18th, 2011, 12:19 am

Just possibly the berries should roll over to the Picnic grounds?
Felis silvestris wrote:Sounds a very tedious job.
Or good for getting into a meditative mood. Zen and the art of buckthorn picking?
Felis silvestris wrote:Blueberries (in German Heidelbeeren, Vaccinium myrtillus) are sometimes gathered by using a comb
like you can see here in this Wikipedia article http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaubeerkamm:
So are lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idae). But then picking becomes work, not pleasure, and leaves you with the truly boring job of cleaning the berries from leaves, bugs, ants, spiders ... for hours. The trick is to get to pick your berries in an enjoyable environment: a buckthorn on the coast with the sea right behind it, and sunshine of course ...
Felis silvestris wrote:Maybe something based on a comb would work? I guess it will be difficult to grow body parts fitting the work :shock
Preplanning for growing the fingernail, yes :innocent: ... Some simply use a fork to rip the berries off. Earlier - maybe now too - people brought various kinds of portable juice presses along, roughly oversized lemon wedge squeezers ending in hollow handles with attached tubing going to a bottle. As bonus, they said, the berry skins and seeds were left on the branches for the little birds ...

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » August 18th, 2011, 9:29 am

Vipers or adders?
Is it a matter of part of country, US/UK (are there adders/vipers - Vipera berus - in US?), other?

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Arvi » August 18th, 2011, 1:02 pm

Liis wrote:Some simply use a fork to rip the berries off. Earlier - maybe now too - people brought various kinds of portable juice presses along, roughly oversized lemon wedge squeezers ending in hollow handles with attached tubing going to a bottle. As bonus, they said, the berry skins and seeds were left on the branches for the little birds ...
I have read about some tool for this: an 3-4 cm wide 2-graip fork with handle, and with a steel wire strung on it.

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by alice44 » August 19th, 2011, 10:55 am

Somehow I missed all the activity on this thread.

Looking at your picture Liis I might cut stalks and then in the best of all worlds clean them while relaxing on a lovely shady breezy porch with bird song -- or while in the kitchen listening to a good story on cd -- so both the picking and cleaning would be enjoyable but under different conditions.


My birches are getting quite yellow (but I fear some of it may be due to an invasion by a terrible birch killing beetle).

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by alice44 » August 19th, 2011, 11:03 am

Liis wrote:Vipers or adders?
Is it a matter of part of country, US/UK (are there adders/vipers - Vipera berus - in US?), other?
Since I had NO clue I went to the font of all knowledge -- wikipedia :rotf:

Adder -- Any of several groups of venomous snakes of the Viperidae family including Vipera berus, the common European adder, found in Europe and northern Asia.

It says Vipers are almost everywhere (but the term here seems to do with a car or something). It feels like viper is the more proper term, but maybe that one adder is one of the more common varieties.

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Jo UK
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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Jo UK » August 19th, 2011, 12:38 pm

In UK adder is most common. Adders are common along the south coast areas, and local hospitals hold stocks of anti-venom.
Grandmother's dog died after a third adder bite. Poor Suzy.

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by alice44 » August 20th, 2011, 7:56 am

And I just learned that rattlesnakes are vipers, but which ever species we would refer to them as rattlesnakes. Luckily I don't think they are at all common in my valley, but when I was working in potato fields on the other (hotter dryer) side of the state I was always a bit nervous and cautious.

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » August 23rd, 2011, 7:58 pm

I seem to remember that buckthorn counts as invasive species in US? Canada? Quite credible - see pic of buckthorn thicket in Naturegate, spreads by roots (my neighbour grumbles!)

About the buckthorn berries -
does anyone else use them?
They were really "in" for cooking in Sweden a few years ago, all the top restaurant cooks used them in everything.
Discovery today: lovely simply sprinkled on ice-cream.

Alice: I do pick some as you suggested, cut branches and pick at leisure... but it takes some growth planning: new branches will bear fruit at 2-3 years, and I have just one bush/tree (another, of different variety, coming).

Arvi: picking tools depend somewhat on if one goes for whole berries or partly crushed ones; that steel thread might be an idea - garroting wire?! No berries left to test on though, birds discovered that orange yellow is edible too ...
Finally recent re-evaluation in Estonian article, about the values of berries: for your vitamin C at least you only need 2 rose hips per day, but 4 tablespoons of buckthorn berries ...

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » August 24th, 2011, 9:50 am

Rowans and whitebeams and relatives* -
whitebeams are beautiful in spring. When the leaves are coming, they look like magnolia buds. Beautiful too in summer in a wind: the underside of the leaves is a really bright silvery white, the trees look nearly white.
The berries (well, pomes :innocent:) are dry and mealy, taste very little for humans, but birds loved them fervently in the street where my car used to be parked occasionally. Showed on the car paint, too.

* Language grumble: Estonian "perekond" means "family". But is "genus" in biological systematics. Genus is Sugukond. So it is Family-Genus-Species in English but Sugukond-Perekond-Liik :cry: How come?

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » August 27th, 2011, 11:38 am

About lingonberries - cowberries - more to read in Naturegate.
Hmm, Jo , others from UK - why cowberry in UK? Never knew cows liked it particularly, doesn't grow in typical cow pastures either.
However, voles and/or mice seem to love the whole plant - I fight to grow a pot of a cultured variety, each and every winter they gnaw it down to nearly below soil level, so the beautiful bunch of glossy green leaves with lovely red berries have never yet been seen.
Lingonberry picking is (used to be?) a great event in Sweden and Finland. What about Denmark, Norway?

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » August 31st, 2011, 11:02 am

The lingonberries/cowberries again http://www.looduskalender.ee/en/node/11041:
Vegetarians such as cows and horses don't eat them. But wolves, bears and others known to be meat-eaters go out to do so. Salad for the meat?

It is known about rats that they send in "tasters" when a food is unknown. If the tasters fall ill, food (bait) is not eaten. How do animals know what to eat and - more important - what to leave alone in a pasture or a forest?

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » September 2nd, 2011, 9:15 am

There seems to be no common English name for today's mushroom, Inocybe impexa - like surrealistic furry animals in Toivo Tuberik's photo.

The open sands of the Pihla-Kaibaldi nature protection area where it was photographed are inland on Hiiumaa island, in a moor and bog landscape, aerial view HERE

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alice44
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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by alice44 » September 2nd, 2011, 9:20 am

Liis wrote:There seems to be no common English name fortoday's mushroom, Inocybe impexa - like surrealistic furry animals in Toivo Tuberik's photo.

The open sands of the Pihla-Kaibaldi nature protection area where it was photographed are inland on Hiiumaa island, in a moor and bog landscape, aerial view HERE
I guess it doesn't grow in an English speaking country?

(I accidentally popped onto that page awhile back -- those little things are kind of cute, I thought it was like a sand camouflage.)

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by Liis » September 4th, 2011, 12:31 am

alice44 wrote: I guess it doesn't grow in an English speaking country?
Oh, but it does ... well, sort of. Included in list of fungi in ”The larger fungi of Welsh sand dunes”, by Maurice Rotherroe, 1993. And in impressive list of fungi species seen in Oct 2007 at Moore Hill, Cheshire. So no language barriers ... :rotf:
alice44 wrote:(I accidentally popped onto that page awhile back -- those little things are kind of cute, I thought it was like a sand camouflage.)
Yes, wouldn't it be lovely to meet them in that sea of sand!

More seriously, the policy in Estonia (Sweden; Germany?) seems to be to set up own-language names for species, even foreign ones, and rather the opposite in UK, no common or English names even for not particularly rare UK species.
What about US? others?

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by unp » September 4th, 2011, 8:05 am

Judging by what is shown here there are 22 common English names for 175 UK native Inocybe species.

There seems to be no logical pattern. Inocybe impexa (map is here) has been observed 8 times (Inocybe fraudans, 302 times) and has no common name while Inocybe fibrosa, only 7 but is known as Silky Fibrecap.

All hope is not lost though. Work is underway to give them all names. A delicate and awesome task.

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Re: Ideas from the Front Page

Post by alice44 » September 4th, 2011, 9:23 am

Perhaps there is a Welsh name for the mushroom?

despite Unp's clear evidence of some work on the mushroom names, I think on the whole because English is pretty content to Anglicize most any word, we are lax about systematically creating English words.


--
Years ago I had some friends working in Algae -- back when dna was beginning to be run. As I recall most of the species genus names were turning out to be very wrong, suggesting relationships that weren't really there. I have been wondering if names are systematically being changed to fix this. I know bird names change occasionally but...

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