The allotment has all of a sudden produced a glut of ripe berries, and they are only just beginning. In the last week we have harvested 3kg of raspberries and redcurrants, half of which we picked this morning as yesterday’s sunshine did a super job of ripening them up.
We now have a technique for picking redcurrants with minimal stalks left, and the children really got into it. I have washed and frozen the majority of them to make redcurrant jelly with in the summer holidays, and the remainder will be used to mix with other berries for breakfasts.
The raspberries have mainly been eaten for puddings and snacks, but I plan on freezing some to make jam too. I really don’t have time right now to make it, but a quick bit of research showed I could freeze and make the jam later. I’d say we are half way through the raspberry harvest so there’s plenty more to go. They aren’t even netted so we have done well to not lose too many to birds. (Our favourite way to eat them is with yoghurt and crushed meringue-a slightly less extravagant version of Eton mess!)
The fruit cage still has lots left to ripen, it is crammed full of currant bushes. The blackcurrants and white currants aren’t quite ripe yet, hopefully we will be harvesting some of those in the next couple of weeks. We also have gooseberries, which again are still on the way to ripening. The cage is literally bursting as the bushes were all neglected last year and we took it on too late to prune anything. One or two plants are poking through the sides (and roof!), so we will be researching when and how to prune those shortly.
We also have lots of fruit bushes not in the cage, including blackberries and some more gooseberries, redcurrants and tayberries. Once the berry season is over, we can look forward to the fruit trees giving us their harvest-the plum trees in particular are looking very good.
Even though we haven’t planted much ourselves, we still seem to be bringing plenty home which makes all the hassle of moving plots worth it.
If you have any good uses for the fruits we’ve grown please share, I’m not sure I can fit it all in the freezer!