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Video: Marsh Berry Cloudberry
Cloudberry is a tasty and healthy berry
For five years in a row, I had no luck with cloudberries. Every year, together with the village old-timers, I regularly went to fetch this berry in a distant swamp. And every time for some reason everything turned out wrong. Either the berries were completely unripe (bright red), or, on the contrary, overripe (pale yellow like jelly).
Attempts to pick unripe berries with the hope that they would ripen at home were also unsuccessful. For some reason, cloudberries immediately turned from unripe into overripe (again, into jelly). But picking berries was not easy at all. After all, they had to follow her in the midst of a mosquito robbery, when these bloodsuckers circled in countless hordes in the swamp.
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But what a joy it was when I finally collected and brought home the first basket of cloudberries. There were few berries - no more than a kilogram. But they were collected with their own hands!
In the climatic conditions of the North-West, cloudberries ripen first among all forest berries. It blooms in May-June, the berries ripen in July. I do not presume to judge (I, of course, not a botanist) what factors influence the biology of cloudberries, however, the ripening times of berries differ significantly from year to year. So try it, guess when they are ready. Do not drag yourself every week along a windbreak path to a swamp ten kilometers away.
I think now is the time to get to know this plant better. Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), and it also has several popular names: wahlachka, smoothing, muromka, marsh amber, marsh guard, arctic raspberries, moss currants - a plant of the Rosaceae family from the same genus as raspberries, blackberries, drupes, strawberries, strawberries.
It is a herbaceous perennial 5-25 centimeters high with a long creeping rhizome and erect annual stems. Leaves are dark green, kidney-shaped, wrinkled, five-lobed. Flowers are unisexual (male and female on different plants), single, large. The fruit is a composite drupe, resembling a raspberry in shape, the drupes are large, with a large bone.
Unripe fruits are red at first, then gradually turn yellow and at the stage of full ripeness they become bright yellow, translucent, similar to amber: delicate, sour-sweet - very tasty. It grows on moss, sphagnum and peat bogs, in wild rosemary boggy pine forests, moss and shrub tundra. Cloudberry propagates mainly by rhizomes, but can also propagate by seeds. The plant has great resistance and vitality, therefore it is able to quickly colonize new areas, which makes it suitable for cultural plantings. This is now being done very successfully in Estonia, Norway, Finland.
Although many reference books claim that cloudberries are a good honey plant, I have never met bees in the swamp. And where do they come from there? We know that honey can be: buckwheat, linden, clover, sunflower, fireweed and from some other plants. But has anyone heard of cloudberry honey? I don't think so.
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The northern peoples have long called cloudberries only as an organism cleaner. And its chemical composition confirms this.
Cloudberry fruits contain: 83.3% water, 0.8% proteins, 3-7% sugars, 3.8% pectin substances (substances that increase the stability of fruits and vegetables during storage). In addition, cloudberries contain organic acids: ascorbic, citric, malic, salicylic; as well as phytoncides, leukocyanins, carotene, magnesium, calcium, iron, aluminum, phosphorus, silicon.
This berry is rich in vitamins: C, PP, A, E, B1, B3. In terms of ascorbic acid content, cloudberries are superior to oranges, and they contain several times more carotene than carrots. Cloudberry juice has a strong bactericidal effect. It does not lose these properties when the juice is diluted with water, and when stored for 6-7 months. The shelf life of cloudberries allows you to cook various dishes from it throughout the year.
In folk medicine, cloudberry is used as an antiscorbutic, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic agent, and is also used for coughs, fever, and pain in the heart. Tea leaves are prepared from the leaves. Roots and leaves are good diuretics.
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