We have a truly lovely haul from our red current bushes with pounds of them coming off each mature bush, some of the bushes are smaller-younger that are not as many but the older ones are having a outstanding year!
After each bowl full was picked, it came in the house, was cleaned up (what is with the snails in the bushes this year LOL) and weighted and then into freezer bags they went, they will be frozen solid till I have time to do them all in the steam juicer and then this year its nice and easy.. A batch or two of Jelly.. one pure Red current.. One Red Current and Elderberry Flower. and the rest is going into simple syrup, used for Pancake syrup, drizzled over meat as a glaze, or into a glass for a cool summer drink or into some hot tea to add a burst of flavour in the hard depth of winter.
The bushes are in need to pruning and a number of the cuttings will be saved for the creation of new bushes.. All 13 of my current bushes comes from the two I bought for the farm the first year we were here. I want to make more and move more of them into the front hedge row food forest style gardens.
I have Black and White Currents as well, but they never produce as much as these reds do, I have even bought different kinds of other Black and White Currents to see if the strain of them will make a difference. However at least here.. the red are the clear winners.
I loved my dried red currents from last year but I still have some for the kitchen use and I am all out of jelly and Syrup!
What about you? What color of current is your favorite? Do you find one type does better in your garden zone? or your Soil Type? What is your favorite way to use your Red Currents?
D > What a sight to behold!! It’s been a good year for soft fruit, across the UK (even in Shetland, apparently!) – but as for the red-currants, birds get to them before ever I can. We need a fruit cage – but J says that’s very difficult to do in such windy conditions.
The red Currents are in a long row in one of the side yards, they are on a slow downward slope, good full sun but when it over rains, they are line to get a nice long slow drink at it makes it way to the much further ditch line that connects to the farmers tiled land.. Someday.. Lol Someday, I am going to put in a pond an a burm to hold more water in that area.. but for now I use it as it is. Yes, we have had a good year so far for soft fruit as well. I can see a fruit cage being hard in very windy area. Thankfully my seven farm cats take that area as part of their hunting grounds. I do feel bad when they catch birds, but it does mean that the birds tend to feed on other area’s then my hunted gardens.
D > Ah that’s what we’re doing wrong! Four cats sunning themselves by the house, and the currants all at the far end of the garden!!
J > Our soil is sandy with a lot of organic matter added. The soft fruit does better here than any other of the many places we’ve lived – including much gentler climates. I feel sure the soil is decisive : most other places we’ve lived have had clayey or other heavier soils. Also, here the temperatures are moderate, but there’s a lot of sunshine.
Very nice info on the soil and sun, thanks for the feedback 🙂 I find soft fruits are a very good investment despite the picking time needed on them. I remember being sent as a child-teen when I got off the bus, there would be pails waiting.. After changing from school to farm cloths, you had to grab your bucket and go pick till it was full before you could relax. There was many a day I was not happy to see those buckets lol. now I think.. how much faster could we pick if there was four or five of us instead of just one or two.. plus when its just me, no one to talk to an chat with. At least the hounds and purrpots trail around me and keep me company 🙂
Doing things alone makes such a huge difference, doesn’t it? ):
No red currants here, just an abundance of black currants. I’m looking forwards to a jelly / ribena making day in the very near future.
Are they black currents you planted or is that what is wild grown in your area?
Such lovely Ruby Red Jewels. Winner, hands down!
In Russia we traditionally just mashed black and red / white currants with sugar – no heat treatment. I continue to do it with currants I grow in our Maryland home garden. For me blackcurrants are more productive and I like their taste more. Unlike red and white ones, black currant bushes require more trimming to stay productive: branches older than 3 years have to be removed.
Very interesting, thanks for sharing..