Italy

Power berries packed with sunshine

Visiting Weleda’s fair-trade partner for Sea Buckthorn, the super food bursting with Vitamin C and immunity boosting powers.

Today I walked through the fields of San Mario, in Bibonna, Tuscany I met a tough little berry – Sea buckthorn. This little orange ball of energy thrives on sunshine, is packed with Vitamin C and has an invigorating effect on our vitality.

San Mario and their Sea Buckthorn and Olive fields

The growing conditions here in Tuscany are ideal – the soil is nourished with compost and the long hours of sunshine give the Sea Buckthorn the light it needs to build its vitamin complexes.

Sea Buckthorn – the super berry packed with Vitamin C and sunshine

We can learn a lot about resilience and determination from Sea Buckthorn.

It is a stubborn plant, penetrating its root system sometimes 12m deep into the rocky Tuscan soil thriving in even the toughest of terrains. It’s a survivor with its own built in defense mechanisms and water saving tricks which makes it flourish without needing much nourishment from the land.

Sea Buckthorn thrives on sunshine and rugged conditions

The only thing Sea Buckthorn needs is sunlight – and plenty of it!
It’s these qualities that makes us as humans thrive too. Irene from San Mario explains more…

Sea Buckthorn – strengthening the body from the inside and the outside.

These little power balls are packed with vitamins that strengthen the human body from the inside as well as from the outside.

The berries are a little bitter to eat directly but in the juice they are sweeter.

The inside

The bright berries contain an exceptionally high content of vitamin C, but also contain Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), which is especially important for vegetarians.

“Sea Buckthorn is great to use all year round. But especially in Autumn and Spring to prepare out immune system for the harsher seasons to come. The stored sunlight in the berries helps revitalize our immune system and boost our energy levels with easy to absorb biological vitamins.” Irene, San Mario

The outside

This berry works looks after us from the outside too. The rich oil from the seeds and pulp protects skin and strengthens its barrier function.

‘The high amount of vitamin C also helps protect the skin from the sun in summer- from the inside out.”  Valentina, Sales and Marketing Advisor, Weleda

A high content of linoleic and linolenic acid, palmitoleic acid and vitamin E soothes skin irritations. The carotenoids that give the sea buckthorn oil its orange-red colour and the plant’s special relationship with light, air and warmth make sea buckthorn particularly suitable for preventing sun damage to the skin, and for helping to repair skin already damaged by the sun. It prevents skin from drying out and supports healthy interplay of energies within the skin.

Weleda and Sea Buckthorn

Weleda have been using Sea Buckthorn oil and juice in their products for over 70 years because it’s a natural defense mechanism that boosts our immune system. It is used Weleda Juices with and without sugar and natural  skincare:

There are over 100 types of Sea Buckthorn plants but today only the finest 6 varieties are grown by Weleda’s fair-trade partner San Mario, in Bibonna, Tuscany. The plants are thriving in an area of about 100 hectares and produce over 200 tons of fresh, grown berries each year.

1 of the 6 varieties of Sea Buckthorn found at San Mario

Of the 6 varieties, some have a rich content of vitamins and trace elements. Others are better at producing nutrient-rich sea buckthorn oil for skin care products, because they have a higher oil content in the fruit’s flesh which works to restore our skin.

San Mario – Partners in Sea Buckthorn farming and ethics

Founder Kurt Künzi

Kurt Künzi was the founder of San Mario and was the original Weleda fair-trade partner for Sea Buckthorn. Today, the Künzi & Röthlisberger family continue the business pressing almost 100 tons of fresh juice from these berries, in a close partnership with Weleda for over ten years.

Walking and talking with Irene from San Mario

The team keep Kurt Künzi’s and Weleda’s vision alive with sustainability at the heart of everything they do in San Mario. From the selection of plants, to the processes in the fields, use of energy-saving technology, eco compost management and biodynamic preparations to promote soil vitality. This ensures the quality of the plants, keeping them healthy and pest and disease free.

I loved walking the Sea Buckthron fields of San Mario, Tuscany. No wonder the plants love it here. I have always been a huge fan of dosing up on vitamin c to boost the immune system but Sea Buckthorn takes this to a new level! I’ll be cracking the juice out when I get home to tackle winter in a few weeks!

Lauren and Irene

Thanks Irene and the San Mario team for the great tips.

Have you ever tried Sea Buckthorn?