Saturday, 7 July 2018

Red Currants and Green Gooseberries.

The currants are ripening daily.   In just a few days I've got 800 g in the freezer.   It's been too hot to use the currants to make jam or bake anything with them for that matter.    This way, I just clean them up, pop them in the freezer and use them when the weather cools.    These are from a very old currant bush.  It's probably some common old fashioned variety, with smaller, tart berries.  I keep thinking I should dig it up and plant a modern cultivar but I never to, and it keeps on giving, with little pruning or care for that matter.

As well, the gooseberries are ripening.  It's hard to tell because these are one of the old hard green common gooseberry bushes.  I bet the bush is 30 years old.  The berries are small and really tart.  They only seem to turn red or ripen when they get eaten by the gooseberry fruit worms.  They take forever to be topped and tailed - you have to snip the blossom and stem ends off before you use them.  Despite this, they make the absolute best jam.   It is soooo good.  

I 've been thinking though that I'd like to take a cutting and plant it elsewhere, then replace this bush with a newer cultivar that has larger, sweeter fruit.     But then I wonder if I just pick half the berries off when it first starts fruiting, if I'd get larger fruit with less effort.    Still, it would be nice to have sweeter berries and maybe more edible with less sugar.  Does anyone know of good, reliable, hardy gooseberry cultivars?

We're still eating salads from the garden, although the spinach has gone to seed with the stinking hot weather we've had recently.    The pumpkins and cucumbers are doing well.  The powdery mildew seems to be held at bay with several sprinklings of sulfur and a change in weather.    I've been spot watering them directly at the roots every day.  They're growing and there are some tiny fruit on one of the pumpkin plants.   The cucumber plants are flowering, the zucchini plants are about to flower and the beans plants are huge and this morning, the little buds finally opened.    That means beans soon too.   If we get some rain here soon, the potatoes will be happy.  It rained on Friday, everywhere but here it seems.  

1 comment:

Woolly Bits said...

I know how that feels! we've had forecasts of showers nearly daily - and didn't get a single drop:( drought conditions in ireland, I never thought that might be possible:) but at least it isn't as hot today as it was during the last few days... small mercies!
and I wouldn't get rid of your old fruit bushes! we've had very old gooseberry shrubs for many years, with tiny sour berries that even had a prickly "fuzz" on them, but they fruited even in dismal weather, needed no care apart from a bit of pruning and tasted great as jam! now we've planted new ones - and had to disover that they don't like the sometimes shadier space so much! the only one that carried well was in a special spot with loads of sunhine.... the big ones do make the topping and tailing easier though, I have to admit that:)
no red currants here anymore, we didn't replace the old plants, because we never managed to get any ripe ones - the blackbirds are always faster. love the black currants though - the new bushes give big fat fruits, and the birds don't seem to be terribly keen on them - but I am:) weirdly enough both are not available in the shops here - they don't know what they're missing!
off to spin a bit more of my tour de fleece alpaca - I want it gone so that I can start with something more tempting....