Field of Science

Currant events

Really hot, dry weather, and a bad encounter with bumblebees (again unappreciative wildlife) left Mrs. Phactor looking for a less stressful garden job this weekend.  Just such an opportunity presented itself  because late June is when one of our perennial fruit crops ripens: red currants.  The plants do OK in partial shade and 3 bushes form a transition zone between a flowering tree/shrub garden and the kitchen garden. They are mostly a trouble free plant, even the birds leave the fruits alone (probably a good thing the cedar waxwings have moved through the area much earlier in the year).  The berries take quite a bit of patience and persistence to harvest, and since it just isn't berry jelly making weather, the currants are striped off their racemes, washed, spread on a baking tray and frozen.  They are then bagged up and left frozen as individual berries until such time as it's cool enough to cook jelly that comes out as pretty as the berries. Note you can also use cranberries along with currants for jelly, or even black raspberries as they latter ripen at just about the same time.

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