Win a copy of Your Edible Yard this week in the Gardening for Beginners forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Jay Angler
  • Tereza Okava

black currant thread

 
Posts: 609
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
52
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

natasha todd wrote:Here in the UK blackcurrant cordial is one of the most popular big brand drinks for kids. I had no idea it wasn't in the American pallet.  Balckcurrent jam, cordial, sorbet, compote or alcohol are probably the most popular ways to consume blackcurrant in the UK.

it used to be popular here until WPBR appeared and then war was declared on all Ribes. very sad as they are such a easy plant to grow in the north and don't need sprays to produce some of the most nutritious fruit on the plant. blackcurrant jam is the best jam I've ever tasted hands down! Ribes nigrum is still illegal to plant here in Maine.
 
steve bossie
Posts: 609
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
52
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nick Kitchener wrote:I happen to be researching appropriate guilds for ribes. Rhubarb is a good border plant, as is horseradish. Strawberries do well as a ground cover. Asparagus go well amongst the blackcurrants/jostaberries because they shade the ribes during the hottest part of the year when they need some shade.

Then as an overstory you have elderberry, golden/clove currents, and seaberry which have the added benefit of being a good physical barrier and fix Nitrogen.

our summers are usually pretty cool but i have 6  70ft. spruces to my west so my currants are shaded from 2pm till' dark. they also break the wind so it creates a sort of micro climate closest to the trees. they grow very well there. i also have thimbleberry, blackberry and salmonberry there and they do well as they are all shade tolerant.
 
Posts: 24
Location: San Cristóbal, Chiapas, Mexico
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello there. Does anyone of you have tricks for growing black currants from seed? My husband rescued some seeds from the bushes in our summer cottage in central Finland and they... made their way here to Mexico... We live in southern Mexico but in the mountains, so the weather gets cold in winter (and rainy in summer), not too far off the seeds' home conditions. He's kept the seeds in the fridge. (Apparently the seeds need 3-4 months in the fridge but we forgot about their existence and now they've been in there for more like two years. So if the propagation doesn't work that'll probably be why!) We're planning to sow them in some home-made compost.
I wouldn't want to wipe out the Mexican pines with white pine blister rust. Do you think there's a risk of the fungus hitching a ride on the seeds?
The bushes at our cottage are at least 30 years old and seem to thrive on neglect. When he cottage belonged to my grandparents they used to need a week's work to harvest the currants in late autumn. By now the bushes have lichen growing on them and there are often dry branches to take off, but they are still producing. Grandma used to give them a scoop of shop-bought "autumn fertilizer" each year, but we are agroecologists and use compost and rested cow manure instead. My uncle claims that pruning the bushes is a priority but I wonder if that's not mainly a cosmetic bugbear of his, does anyone here have an opinon?  
As for the queries about what black currants taste like... they taste better than any other fruit. OK, a controversial statement I realise... but they have an intensity of flavour that makes most other fruits seem insipid and one-dimensional in comparison. (Epecially for people like me who prefer sweet flavours balanced with other stuff). A ripe handful of black currants (because once you taste one, you'll grab its ten siblings off the stalk) starts off tart, goes through tangy blackcurrant flavour (sorry not very helpful I realise), and has a sweet finish. There's nothing delicate about the taste - it has a lot of oomph. But I don't recognise the description of black currant as tasting "medicinal" at all.
Because it has such a strong flavour it comes off well mixed with natural yoghurt, or in quiche-style open pies (cake base and fruit plus custard filling), or indeed anything where you want to balance a heavy creamy element with something sharp and zingy. In Finland we usually preserve currants over the winter as a cordial that you dilute with water and drink as juice. Here are some photos of us making black currant cordial in a steam juicer (called a "mehu-maija" in case you get inspired to order one).

P8120576.JPG
Bottling the hot cordial.
Bottling the hot cordial.
P8120572.JPG
Currants and sugar go in the steam juicer aka "Mehu-Maija"
Currants and sugar go in the steam juicer aka "Mehu-Maija"
 
steve bossie
Posts: 609
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
52
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hi Emilla. i have the same juicer as you have. currants grow like weeds here but every 3 yrs you need to remove the older wood to keep them producing well. i don't think wpbr would be a issue there. it infects white pine here and a few  3 needle pines in the western U.S. what growing zone are you in ? anything hotter than z7 will kill a black currant. crandall clove currants can survive z 9 but its ribes odortatum tastes different than real black currants. if your at least z7 you can grow them out from seed but would take you 5 -6 yrs before getting berries. if you have bushes already, cuttings are easy to get root. just stick 2-3 12in cuttings where you want plants . put some mulch around them and keep them moist most of them will root. in 2 years you will start to get berries. good luck!
 
gardener
Posts: 2544
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
928
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah - black currant root easily, but getting twigs shipped live from far away across borders sounds like a hassle. I'd plant the seeds in a spot you can keep an eye on and hope for the best as you really have nothing to lose.

Welcome to permies and feel free to post any other questions you come up with!

 
Emilia Andersson
Posts: 24
Location: San Cristóbal, Chiapas, Mexico
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Many thanks for the tips and the welcome, folks!
 
No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. This time, do it with this tiny ad:
Learn Permaculture through a little hard work
https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic