Monday, July 3, 2017

Berry Season is Underway

After a light year last year, this year we have had a bumper crop of currants and the first major crop of gooseberries. Unfortunately we have lost almost every one of our old blackberries and golden raspberries. So strange as they usually spread like weeds. Next spring I will need to do some major pruning of the currants and gooseberries, and I would like to plant some black and white currants, but for now I need to hurry up and finish picking!

We grow 'Red Lake' currants, and they were all seriously productive this year.

The currants grew extremely plump and red on the dangling racemes.

I always pick the entire thing. If needed I will remove them from their stems before freezing. For making jam, however, I toss it all in the pot. The stems come out in the food mill.

Down by the vegetable garden are three more currant bushes (don't ask me why I thought we needed six of one variety). They, too, are completely laden with fruit.


Back in the Berry Patch the gooseberries are a huge mess of brambles, but there are so many berries!

They line the undersides of almost every branch.

And they mean business. Some of their thorns are almost an inch long!

The tart, plump little berries are almost always mixed with sugar when cooking. The more ripe berries you can eat out of hand.

Here you can see the dark, riper berries. For baking, however, the green are the norm. I will divide these up before freezing whole. When I use them frozen you just snip of the head and the tail and they will be ready to go.

This is the fifth bowl of currants. I imagine we have picked about 20 lbs so far. Now, what am I going to make? 

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