DH had a surprise for me last night when he arrived home, as he often will do on his way home from the feed store he took a new route home and when he came though the door, he was excited to show me something he had found on a tiny back road, as he handed these lovely clumbs of rich dark berries on twigs, he asked if I knew what they were, I took one look and was delighted.. Black Choke Cherries!
I know this fruit, and only needed to bite down into a cherry to hit the pit, see how ripe they were and get that lovely cottenish/pucker bite in my mouth, this was very mild, these were some perfectly ripe berries, just bursting with juice.
I asked how many and I am thrilled to hear that we have a very large clumb of a number of mature bushes and even more excited that he says there is for sure 4 to 6 small bushes perfect for digging out and transplanting to the farm, I will thank the patch by hauling out tubs of compost and will fill the holes left from digging the baby bushes out by filling it in for the bigger ones.. Not only so there will be no holes for us to step in next year but also because it will feed the bushes that I want to harvest from.. Don’t worry, i’m not picking on private property, these are wild ditch fruit.
From the sounds of it, it will be possable to get a number of five gallon buckets full easily and I am so excited to add this fruit, I will be making some into wine/vinagar, some into juice with a small amount into jelly but most of it will be dried and lots made into fruit leather..
If there is extra after that, I will dry the fruits with pits in and use them as extra high quality chicken feed in late winter. While I have not seen them yet, I will be looking to see how or why these bushes are having such a bumper crop on such a dry year, I am guessing they must bump up to a good underground water level but more on that later!