Thursday, 12 May 2016

Berries and Weaving

I have a European Black Currant bush in my garden.  In the past 5 years, I have harvested 3 berries.   That's it, a paltry 3 berries.  It isn't that it doesn't bloom.  It gets tons of flowers.  However, as soon as it flowers, we get light frost or a couple of cold days, which cause blossom drop or that is what I think is happening from the Omafra website on currant information.  Anyway, we get a couple of cold days and we don't get berries.  

I was hoping with the very cool weather this spring, that maybe the flowers would just hold off enough to allow a currant harvest this year.   However, they are in full flower right now and we are supposed to have frost on Saturday and Sunday nights :(

For Mother's Day, in hopes of allaying the yearly black currant disappointment, some garden centre hopping happened.   I was looking for a Black Currant variety recommended by Omafra, but couldn't find any at all.  However, I came home with one that has good recommendations.  We also found a North American Black Currant - similar but not the same and much hardier.  Then on Sunday, most of the garden centres were closed, so we went to one that we rarely visit.  My son found me a white currant bush, a pink blueberry bush and then he hunted down a Josta berry bush.  Josta berry is a cross between a gooseberry and a black currant.    Our gooseberry bush is really old.   Everything I read about them says they should be replaced every 10 - 15 years.   I've taken cuttings in hopes of propagating some new ones and then we can replace it with the Josta berry.  If it works, we'll probably have half a dozen gooseberry bushes popping up in weird places though.

I decided to put a quick sample project on the floor loom.   I found this draft of the Birka 10 textile that I put on the warp weighted loom.  It was a small sample, only 15 inches wide, with rug yarn that I sett at 9 ppi, much coarser than the original textile.  I used a light beige colour and a woad blue, the same colours as on the warp weighted loom.  My hopes are that one day, it will be an interesting comparison between the two.  That is of course, presuming that I actually get the warp weighted loom project woven off.

This is off the loom and drying after wet finishing.  


Bettina said...

my shrubs flower nicely and set well - and then the blackbirds come and gone is the harvest:) esp. with the red ones, they pick the berries with the first flush of pink:( I do have a lot of gooseberries though, they birds seem to be uninterested with green berries... and jostaberries are very tasty indeed, I hope you'll get berries with that one! couldn't you wrap the currants in garden fleece or even bubble wrap, if it is only for a few nights?

good luck with your new additions - we are having a sunny and warm spell and hope that the apple trees will set well this year - for a change!

Sharon said...

I hadn't considered birds in my thoughts about planting berries. I guess I need to do some more homework before I invest in plants. It's two steps forward and one step back when it comes to yard work.