This single plant in 2015 produced around 100£ worth of fruit and is well on the way to replicating this in 2016.
An eclectic mixture of food and drink photos from around Europe. Nothing special as they have all been taken with the I Phone which is not the best camera at all. But hopefully enough to make you hungry and thirsty.
The redcurrant (or red currant), Ribes rubrum, is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family , native to parts of western Europe (Belgium, Great Britain ,France, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, northern Italy, northern Spain, Portugal and Poland). They tend to grow best in coll regions with abundant moisture. More importantly right now they grow in my surrey garden. A single plant (like mine) can produce up to 2.5kg. What however many are not aware of, including myself till recently, is that redcurrants are prohibited in many USA states. For example they cannot be shipped to North Carolina, New Hampshire, West Virginia. Other states like Delaware and Massachusetts insist on a permit. Some states prohibit them in certain counties/areas, for example Maine and New Jersey. The federal government had banned the growing of black and red currants in 1911 when the burgeoning logging industry put pressure on lawmakers to eliminate the currants because they were thought to be an intermediate host of white pine blister rust. New disease-resistant varieties of currants were later developed and in 1966 the government left it up to the states to lift the ban. Quinn persuaded New York state to lift the ban in 2003.In 1933, Pennsylvania passed a law that limited growing gooseberries and currants in certain areas; however, the law is not enforced. Therefore, all Ribes can be grown in the state. Many USA citizens are unfamiliar with currants generally including redcurants, although New Yorkers grew 2,700 acres of them in the 1920s.
The reasons are quite historical. In the early 1900s, the federal and state governments outlawed the growing of currants and gooseberries to prevent the spread of white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola). This fungal disease attacks both Ribes and white pines, which must live in close proximity for the blister rust fungus to complete its life cycle. Although the federal ban was rescinded in 1966, some northern states as above do still prohibit the planting or cultivation of currants. In 2003 though, New York State passed a law that modified its ban to allow commercial growers and home gardeners to legally grow red currants, gooseberries and immune or resistant cultivars of black currants throughout New York State.
New disease-resistant varieties of currants were later developed and in 1966 the government left it up to the states to lift the ban. Quinn persuaded New York state to lift the ban in 2003.It is good news that production is slowly returning in USA as redcurrants are undoubtedly healthy fruit. After all, red and black currants have four times more vitamin C than oranges and twice the antioxidants of blueberries.
Planting things in the garden is always an interesting thing to do. Some things survive, some dont, and one never knows exactly why. For the last few years we have had an everlasting strawberry plant that has lived outside through some quite tough winters and each year produces fruit. About two months ago a courgette plant came home from school with the 11-year old who had taken a fancy to gardening club there each thursday. the plant was duly planted in the only free space in a sort of light the touchpaper and stand back. I have no idea what courgette plants like. In fact this plant has been producing whole crops of courgettes, maybe 10-15 separate items already and shows no signs of stopping. The leaves are truly massive and I would caution against having more than one plant. anyway courgettes have been harvested and eaten. Delicious . Now for the potatoes. They are due soon from the everlasting black bin bag filled with soil. The redcurrant plant seems to have retired for the winter with a total produce of one small bunch of redcurrants. Maybe it can have a word with the courgette plant when I am not looking?