Tag Archives: soft fruit

Can you ever have too many raspberries ???

17 Jul

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I’ve picked over 2kg of raspberries this week !

They really are the best value for money crop I grow on my allotment. At almost £2 for 100g in the supermarket that’s £40 worth !

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And they’re organic and practically carbon free !
All I do is cut out the old canes over the winter, then I just leave them to do their own thing.

I’ll make jam, pavlovas, summer pudding and just eat them straight out of the bowl !

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What’s not to like ?!!

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Bucketfuls of Blackcurrants

20 Jul

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It’s that time of year again – blackcurrant time !
I’ve picked several kilos of berries off just two bushes.
To avoid the sore back, I’ve adopted the picking method of cutting off all the most heavily laden branches from the bush, then picking the berries of these branches whilst comfortably sat at the garden table with a nice glass of chilled Picpoul de Pinet ! Result is pruned bushes and no sore back! I have used this method for the last three or four years and have always had heavy crops.

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This year I’ve made cordial – very easy and excellent with fizzy water and/or gin !

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My go-to blackcurrant cake is from Sarah Raven’s Cookbook – blackcurrant and almond cake – very easy, suitably gooey but nice and sharp when you hit a blackcurrant.

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Also made blackcurrant cheesecake ice cream which was delicious.
Still got plenty of berries in the freezer so any ideas welcome !!

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Sunday Sunshine

24 Feb

I finally made it down to my allotment – first time this year ( don’t tell anyone !!)

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It was a lovely morning and there were plenty of signs of spring to be seen – the odd bumble bee, buds on the fruit bushes, and millions of nigella seedlings !!
This weekend’s task was to tackle my soft fruit. Over a third of my plot is laid down to soft fruit – black currants, red currants, summer & autumn raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries and josta berries. Josta berries are a strange cross between gooseberries and black currants you can eat them raw or cooked and they make nice jam and ice cream.
This permanent planting of fruit is a good use of space as maintenance is minimal and the rewards are high. It would cost a fortune to buy the fruit I harvest and it’s easy to preserve and freeze.

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At this time of year I just need to cut down the autumn raspberries to the ground – they fruit on this coming seasons canes. On the summer raspberries I cut out the canes that fruited last summer leaving the new growth to fruit this summer.
The black currants were pruned last summer when I harvested the fruit – I simply cut out the heavily fruited branches and then remove the berries – much less back breaking! But if you didn’t do this, you can remove some of the older growth.
My gooseberry and josta berry have got completely out of control so I took the radical action of hard pruning these – I won’t get much fruit this year – but to be honest there’s still plenty in the freezer!

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It was just about dry enough for a bonfire too ! Although I do seem to have a problem with bonfires and had to get my lovely allotment neighbour Eric to help – bonfires are obviously a man thing !

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